Quasars, Fireflies & Seeds : Chronicle 22

“The power of quasars originates from supermassive black holes that are believed to exist at the core of all galaxies”. You don’t need to know more than this little Wikipedia extract. N. Bouvier writes about one quasar moment (in front of a wave passing under an almost frozen sea). I’d say :

You’re in a quiet time with yourself, contemplating nature – or a good idea. But suddenly you click on something in your head, your idea connects with another one, or with a memory, and here we are : you disappear into yourself. You don’t see, nor hear anything. You’re in your own deep space, hidden without even knowing you’re “not here” : your brain has cut the mooring line. Meandering or Dreamery, it is not – these follow what’s around, like when you traintravel – it’s an inner thing. Quasar. You disappear into yourself. When you “come back”, it’s a weird feeling to reconnect with your life and your duties.

 

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Yesterday I met a man in his sixties, he talked about a book named “The Survival of the Fireflies” (La Survivance des Lucioles). In a way, it’s a whole book extending the idea of “Light a candle, you can’t fight the night”. Fireflies are the humans who sparkle little things in the night. A smile, a picture, a little hoping seed, a way tu stay calm, a curiosity, a helping gesture, a painting, a poem, a silence…

“Disappearance of the fireflies” seems a fact, but I’m interested in Didi-Huberman’s book because he agrees but explores deeper : glow gleam glimmer – what kind of resistance is it? Fireflies disappear maybe because we don’t know how to see them anymore? Maybe there’s a way to “organize the retreat”? Can you become one firefly? When and how?

Google will help you. For example I found this :

The book ends with the violent glare of the police torches and helicopter beams sweeping through the fields of Sangatte, and unseen by them, a Kurdish boy dancing in the wind, “his blanket his only drapery: like an ornament of his dignity and somehow his joy despite everything.” – http://www.laurawaddington.com/article.php?article=48

The “joy despite everything” is like the smiling Sisyphus, right?

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Alice Miller studied the school books of this generation, in Germany, who became the Nazis. It’s now known as the Poisonous Pedagogy – “child-raising approaches that damage a child’s emotional development”. Other poisons has been studied ever since, like the King Baby (when you never say no to a child, he becomes a fool) syndrome :

A King Baby copes with life’s difficulties and trials by refusing to accept them and instead focuses on selfish needs and desires. He doesn’t take responsibility for his actions and is always looking for the next reason to laugh and have fun — no matter what the expense.

It is difficult for a King Baby to move out of this role given the fact that he perceives so many advantages to not needing to worry about life.

In China the “one child policy” lead to what they call “Little Emperor Syndrome“.

Today I do wonder what will become of these one year old kids using tablet computers instead of discovering the world. Some studies show that there shouldn’t be any screen from 0 to 3, a little TV from 3 to 6, and tablets at 6 and after. The main problem seems that some parents are pretty sure it’ll make their kid a genius. In fact, it will probably destroy their empathy and bust their future relationships. Thus : Nazis or Fat Potato Sheeps?

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As a bookseller, I ordered and go a biography of Edouard Manet, the French painter. I know for good that this man’s life and art is important. If you agree that Art’s progress is this question : “What is new here?” – Manet pushed many levers.

I opened it at a random page, and read about Lola de Valence, a painting who triggered a poet’s enthusiasm (Baudelaire) :

Here it is, and 3 possible translations :

Lola de Valence

Entre tant de beautés que partout on peut voir,
Je contemple bien, amis, que le désir balance;
Mais on voit scintiller en Lola de Valence
Le charme inattendu d’un bijou rose et noir.

— Charles Baudelaire

Lola of Valencia

Among such beauties as one can see everywhere
I understand, my friends, that desire hesitates;
But one sees sparkling in Lola of Valencia
The unexpected charm of a black and rose jewel.

On Manet’s Picture “Lola of Valencia”

Amongst the myriad flowers on beauty’s stem
It’s hard to choose. Such crowds there are of them
But Lola burns with unexpected fuel
The radiance of a black and rosy jewel.

Lola De Valence

Friends, though on every side of you you see
Such beauties that desire must hesitate,
In Lola de Valence there scintillate
Strange charms o’ a gem of rose and ebony.

The poem has been a scandal in itself (because of the “black and rosy jewel” sexual ambiguity, and was printed and showed next to the painting). This was a strange painting, like a picture taken in a backstage area of a bit dumpy dancer with strong calves. It was a disturbing sight at this time : the decor, the imperfections of the girl, and of the way he painted – with a kind of freedom, an air of casualness… The poem added enough to create a little scandal…

It’s a movement, to read about this in books and on the web, to try to understand what was new in this work, how Manet… Oh, there’s a good page in English in you want to see more : http://www.manet.org/

 

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