Picasso & how to glean the best from letters.

Some Picasso‘s exes were writing him letters, sometimes daily, for years. I read that he loved these a LOT.

I’m writing an article about “Types of Muses”, idea given by his life & wives. Instead of giving a list of names with a few labels on each (intellectual/innocent, tortured/happy, silent/talkative) let’s say he met very different persons – which is common, but means maybe a lot more for a artist.

Daily stories, thoughts, attacks, melancholia, gossips, hopes or life moments, anything : Picasso opened the envelopes and loved them all with gourmandise, like love of good food, it “made his honey”, like we say in France (“Faire son miel”) : He knew how to glean the best from these letters.

Why, what for?

This leads me to some ideas or tools :

  • Keeping bonds with personalities that count.
  • A way to make excellent use of everything, extract or invent seeds of them.
  • A form of happiness – to be a “best gleaner”, a happy amor fati person, a dancer with what “comes”.
  • It also shows a strength. Knowing what he wants in his life, what he’s worth, in a way : “…but words will never break me”.
  • What would one do else with daily letters? Trash them? It’s a pressure, right? Some likes pressure from others, because it’s life?
  • Knowing that these persons think about him?
  • Simple entertainment?

 

It makes me wonder about the daily writers too :

  • Was it a promise – to keep in touch?
  • When you know you write to Picasso (even if he is your “ex”), you stand up differently, you have to be “up to the conversation partner”, which is great for steam and inspiration, of course…
  • Therefore it gives you a force, ideas, attitude, and a desire to impress, probably.
  • A displacement/substitution for love and conversation…

 

(Hmm sorry I’ll be Picasso-ed for a moment)

Thanks for reading!

JP

 

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Paul Valéry about “writing for someone”?

Why I talk to my exes

You’re great / You’re not great anymore

 

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Seeking Circuits

I found this in a Siri Hustvedt book :

Jaak Panksepp was a neuroscientist who said that what animates us is a “seeking system”, which pushes all mammals, a mouse or a human, to explore or understand what’s around, and to extract a meaning from every situation we meet.

A quick Google search lead me to this paragraph, which will make thinkers smile :

‘’For humans, this desire to search is not just about fulfilling our physical needs. Panksepp says that humans can get just as excited about abstract rewards as tangible ones. He says that when we get thrilled about the world of ideas, about making intellectual connections, about divining meaning, it is the seeking circuits that are firing.”

E. Yoffe

I think there are ranks here – from crazy seeking for useless lols on Internet to exploration of other cultures and areas of knowledge…

Some also say that depression is caused by a failure in our seeking system…

Thanks for reading!

One-Lined Ideas for Writers, Part II

The suites of transformations you need to express things, respecting the conditions your have to respect.

You write, you read what you just wrote, in a loop. A closed balanced between you and you. A pleasure can resonate.

Pull weapons out of other people’s work – to use you own resources.

Find the person you write for – even if this person does not really exist. Golem it.

Use what is made for use. Find a drawer : open it. Break what is fragile. Push what tilts.

Try what has never be done, but appears as possible.

Your work can always been gone back over. This is your job. Find your “until”.

Try a thousand ways to write an idea until you meet a favorable words figure.

Find a force. Find where to use it. Apply a force.

At one moment you are attracted by what is needed, by what goes forward to the goal.

You dream to write, you desire to write, you call. But it’s not to be confused with the state where you MAKE.

Our most precious states are unstable – the artist answers trying to stabilize them.

What you feel. What you do. What you want to make feel.

 

All these microseeds come from Paul Valéry‘s Poietis (Poïétique). They aren’t quotes, I kneaded them for your pleasure. Have fun.

One-Lined Ideas for Writers, Part I

Thanks for reading!

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200 Followers! Thank you!!

Hey everybody! I salute you!

More than two years ago I began with this article :

https://afrenchtoolbox.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/a-matter-of-levers/

I had some great help from a WordPress blogger, and ONE follower…

Today I reached 200 “real” followers (197 + 3 “by email” – more than 350 with Social Medias)  and reached more than 1000 views in the month of January. Waow!

It’s little when you know some other blogs, but it’s a big satisfaction for me. Merci !

I love to blog. I stand up and I stood up thanks to it. It’s organizing my messy brain, and at the same time I love sharing little ideas (tools) with you.

Thank you for being there! Thank you for liking it when you do…

I invite you to steal anything from it and share it if you think it can be useful, or build your own text from this. Ideas are floating and they are free. Tools should be shared.

One day, someone told me that 40 followers was a classroom.

Well, it’s a bigger one today.

Bonne journée ! Have a nice day!

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Ohh : 201 now 🙂

Proust : “Beautiful books are written in a kind of foreign language”

“Beautiful books are written in a kind of foreign language”.

 

Isn’t it true? What about other textfields? Articles? Theater plays? Dialogs in a movie? Blogs?

It’s about style, but not only. It’s about strangeization (adding little strange elements in the words flow to raise the reader’s eyebrows) but not only.

 

I blogged for eight years in French, and then now I write in English, precisely because it’s not my native language. I have to stay simple, to let go, I have to admit I’m not skilled enough to write as I would have liked to. I wrote an article about it : Writing in another language.

…until I realized it can be pleasant or funny for English readspeakers to read my warped little articles here :

  1. I make mistakes (I’m sorry for that!)
  2. I make mistakes on purpose
  3. I add French words in the phrases (so there), et voilà !
  4. I often hesitate between two words and then I aggregate them in a forfun way…

 

But I think Proust says more. I like this idea of inventing a slightly weird style in your own native language, when you write. This is a little string in the harp of writing creativity, I agree, but to me it’s an important string.

When I discover a new blog, I explore the ideas it presents, of course, but I really LOVE to find little leaning elements, the raising eyebrows kind…

written in a kind of foreign language

Yes sometimes it goes a bit far. I remember my shock when I began to read Faulkner, with his risky unpunctuated flows of conscience pages. Or Joyce, of course.

 

In France, the infinite, complex and delicious pages of Marcel Proust, the false spoken style of Céline, the gorgeous style of Colette or Jean Giono, the toxic pleasures of Marguerite Duras. I’m French. I read them in an awe, surprised and amazed by how they dare to write.

I do wonder how translators try to… transmit this in English!

 

Tools :

Is it a tool? Do you think about it when you write? How?

 

I could hands can see cooling fingers invisible swan-throat where less than Moses rod the glass touch tentative not to drumming lean cool throat drumming cooling the metal the glass full overfull cooling the glass the fingers flushing sleep leaving the taste of dampened sleep in the long silence of the throat I returned up the corridor, waking the lost feet in whispering battalions in the silence, into the gasoline, the watch telling its furious lie on the dark table.

Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

 

(yes it’s about a guy in the night searching of the carafe of water in darkness)

 

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<< Virginia Woolf would sit down to thank a friend for sending her a slab of nougat from Saint-Tropez, but, put in mind of France by the package, she soon found herself talking only of the novel. “My great adventure is really Proust,” she wrote, “I am in a state of amazement; as if a miracle were being done before my eyes. How, at last, has someone solidified what has always escaped—and made it too into this beautiful and perfectly enduring substance? One has to put the book down and gasp. The pleasure becomes physical—like sun and wine and grapes and perfect serenity and intense vitality combined.” >>

 

 

First Ever & Hitherto Unheard, a words combination game

Fool’s dew – Heartened letterbox – Heavy-headed butterfly

Well that’s an easy game, keeping in mind that a little minibell could ring somewhere each time you pronounce a new combination of words. Ding!

Today you can even check with Google. Then you could be surprised : I googled “grapes in fire” and I found one. And I was wrong to imagine a Ding! with my “heavy-headed butterfly” : there’s one in a poem – by a Kathy Walden – with this one.

You get easier unheards when you :

  1. stick words together
  2. watch names on a “not my country” map and translate each
  3. combine words from different languages
  4. try to invent titles
  5. random play with a dictionary
  6. poetize
  7. combine three remote-fields words

 

What’s the purpose, dear?

Invention? A game to be “aware” of words? Seeds for poetry? A tool to find good article titles? An invitation to learn other languages?

Butterfly (flying butter, really??) in French is Papillon, in Spanish Mariposa. Play, combine, invert, etc…

 

Let write a poem (or a country music song, lalère) :

Hey heavy-headed butterfly
Grapes are on fire in the West

My heartened letterbox awaits
The fool’s dew for y’all

And a caterpillar cheek kiss

Are you all safe?

 

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Non Finito : Inchoateness in #Art

There’s a Wikipedia page about sculpture : Non Finito. We could begin with this.

Non finito is a sculpting technique meaning that the work is unfinished. Italian in origin, it literally means “not finished”. Non finito sculptures appear unfinished because the artist only sculpts part of the block, the figure sometimes appearing to be stuck within the block of material.

An unfinished piece of Art can be caused by the death of the artist, obviously, but now it’s also an esthetics purpose. You can imagine many ways of reading it :

  • Showing you a little of the act of creation
  • A failure, fatigue
  • No more money/no more inspiration
  • A refusal to decide it is “done”
  • A way to say it could be improved indefinitely
  • Impossibility to find perfection
  • Something finished or “too beautiful” is exhausting, disagreeable
  • It makes the audience think and wander within the “what could have happened”

 

In some fields, the “never finished” thing is constant : there are, for example, no finished Cathedrals in France. And I should explore it about Orson Welles, for example, who constantly seemed to be away and off with the idea of finishing and editing a movie.

Of course, there are problems with that concept. The “unfinished” thing can make the artist appear as a smart-ass doing is “non finito” thing. If it’s a trend to do this, what’s the point?

“This can be finished later” : some composers (or theater plays writers) constantly work on their stuff, and Proust, the French writer, is well known for his “quillings” : he added and added hundreds of little papers, adding fragments of texts to the existing text, and, as says Wikipedia : Proust died before he was able to complete his revision of the drafts and proofs of the final volumes.

In fact, it’s difficult for an artist to know, therefore to decide, when a piece of art is DONE. Some artists, like the painter Turner, decided to come back to work after a long time, and to put it further. Thus, you can finish is… many times.

Of course, this makes you think about the way it’s done. You can work back on a poem, even on a movie, but it’s harder to do it on an album – I read an interview of Peter Gabriel who was telling that he would love to redo some of his CDs. It can be remixed, remastered, but the record companies would unlikely allow him to change them really.

Mike Oldfield did it with Tubular Bells. He said in an hilarious interview that the original album was full of mistakes and flaws, so he redid it completely with a perfect sound and digital recording. Decades after the 1973 one, the new version was a success, but after a few months, the good old one was back on the shelves…

Tools & Dials :

What about YOUR art? How do you blog? How do you write? When do you know it’s over? Do you ask someone? Do you think about it if you paint?

Thanks for reading!

(So sorry for my bad English)

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