Lecture or Aphorism?

Like some children have an imaginary friend, I have an imaginary reader, built like a golem from all of you, my followers : helloooo!

This person is smart and fast, and curious. She (let’s call this person a she) would be able to ask questions like : “From the books you read in the last year, who brought you this feeling of being too much, offering you like a feast of ideas – and what structure do you find there?”.

I thanked her for this question, and answered quickly : Valéry’s notebooks and Bourdieu’s lectures about Manet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Val%C3%A9ry
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Bourdieu

  1. Valéry’s notebooks are arranged by themes : humans, poetry, dreams… His paragraphs are very short, a few lines at the most. He’s the best thinker I’ve ever read. The result is, like with Nietzsche sometimes, like a huge tank of crystals, crystals of thoughts. Therefore it’s very slow to read these notebooks : each line almost stops you for a day…
  2. Bourdieu was a French sociologist, at the end of his life, he gave a bunch of lectures in the Collège de France about Edouard Manet, the painter. It became a big book, which is exhausting (in the good way) to read : it’s like hearing him constantly exploding with thoughts, ideas, patterns, about art, society, painting, psychology, history, etc.

 

With one you get a piece of complex, smart, fascinating jewelry. With the other you get a river.

Thus, I wanted to write this article with a rotation. You, who wants to share something, what do you do? You blog or you write a book? Do you concentrate or do you flow? To you build a little thinking toy model, or do you offer a one hour firework? How is the quality presented, displayed? A weaving of string arrows which envelops you like a blanket of ideas, or a ring of twelve words, changing you forever?

What is the most effective for an audience? Lecture or Aphorism?

How do you blog? Do you think about your audience, about their time, their mood? Are you too short, too long? What is an article of yours? A box? A current? Jewelry or map?

Thanks for reading!

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instagram : _bodylanguage_

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coll%C3%A8ge_de_France

Creativity for Bloggers & others

I took this picture in a French book and I’ll list the creativity tips for you. Apply them on blogging, then on sex, then on photography, OK?

  1. Call evidences into questions : have a “why?” conversation and use it on everything.
  2. Feed from everything : be curious, and be curious out of your field.
  3. Identify your “box” and get out of it : what is your routine?
  4. Go see elsewhere : what will you explore ?
  5. Steal ideas : and let others steal yours, observation & appropriation.
  6. Test your ideas (with whom?) : listen and improve.
  7. Jump into the pool, then learn how to swim : dare, have fun, experiment.
  8. Learn how to fail : get smarter.
  9. Pick yourself up… endlessly; create by mistakes.
  10. Highlight the process, more than the goal.
  11. Flexible and agile : be fast and elegant and gathering…
  12. Stay open, knock down walls : learn, listen to the propositions of life. Who are those who don’t think like you?
  13. Walk : inside or outside, even around your desk! Walk and see ideas blossom.
  14. Write, always write, even imperfectly, even if you feel you have nothing to say. Everyday.
  15. Disconnect and tame boredom.
  16. Do much, with little : even if little is “money” or “time”, or “ideas”.
  17. Work relentlessly.
  18. Love mess, love order too.
  19. Don’t judge (too early) : let your work grow, then you’ll see.
  20. Let go, and trust : de-control-freak yourself?
  21. Surround with the good persons.
  22. Keep your brain in movement : talk with younger people!
  23. Pace yourself. Nap. Don’t be jealous, it’s a loss of time.
  24. It’s never too late

Extend in : can I go too far? Then what?

Try this : prove they’re all wrong.

Then try this : apply to teaching, marketing, military.

What if you don’t have to be creative?

I’d add : listen to propositions, explore your other side, invent your golem

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Without this, without that

ONE

I talked with a grandma who told me that she invented a little basket near the door of her house : when her grand-daughter, who is 11, visits her, she has to put the phone in the basket.

There are moments in the day, after a meal, a game, a book, when the girl says “And what do we do now?”. Grandma answers : “Nothing”. To let her find the time to daydream and dream, to find the time to… imagine.

TWO

I love Starck, Philippe Starck, a French designer but also a good thinker. He’s good, he’s fast and different. He says that whatever he has to invent, he goes in a little house (I imagine in a forest) where there’s no computer and no Internet, then works for days, like in a trance, with little food and work interspersed with small parts of sleep.

There he works a lot.

THREE

Are you like me, having ideas when you’re in bed, and more ideas in the shower?

The fact that we don’t have much complicated things to do lets our mind wander. Our brain, suddenly happy to be unbusy, unfolds and begins to think.

FOUR

My eldest daughter listens to lectures with iBooked students, but she is the only one who doesn’t take it with her in amphitheaters. Because she knows that we learn and listen differently with a pen.

TOOL

It’s just easy, obvious and non-nonsensical : invent moments in your day when you do not bring this and that : no phone and no computer. Bored? Good to you! Unfold ideas, watch them blossom, then… write an article, OK?

And this extension : What can you take away something to… get something else?

Have a great day!

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Paul Valéry : “Our talents press us to employ themselves…

I always come back to Paul Valéry’s notebooks. This guy is the most generous French thinker EVER.

Those who know these work, when they meet, have a special smile. “Ah you love Valéry, OK”.

Sign of good sign…

I just read five pages of this guy, about Stendhal, the writer. Here are some seeds to plant in your own soil :

ONE

  • “Se connaître n’est que se prévoir; se prévoir aboutit à jouer un rôle”.
  • “To know yourself is only to predict yourself; to predict yourself leads to play a role”.

Really? Isn’t it true? How? Can we forecast ourselves? What do you think about this? Is there a problem? Should we resist? What should we keep?

 

TWO

Napoleo seen by Stendhal is Roman, Italian, it’s the Cesar type, the Condottiere (GIYF). Seen by Balzac, he’s the Emperor of the French, inventor of laws (Le Code Civil (GIYF)), the following of French Revolution, etc.

Valéry takes this as an double exercise : you could prolong these, reasonably, with interest…

Which is a great tool : what subject would you, for your pleasure, DOUBLE STUDY? Lincoln? French lovers? XXth Century music?

 

THREE

  • “La volonté d’être encore ce que l’on fut”.
  • “The willpower to be again what we have been”.

 

FOUR

  • “Nos talents nous pressent de s’employer; la formation vive et incessante des idées engendre une étrange impatience de les produire”.
  • “Our talents press us to employ themselves; the keen and unremitting formation of the ideas engenders a strange impatience to produce them”.

 

You have two hours.

Hmmm : jeanpascal@wanadoo.fr.

Thanks for reading!

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Words, loops, and Picasso

Yeyyy I bought a new book about Picasso. Like Manet, Valéry, Chekhov, Mahler or Faulkner. Little feasts. Emerald and pearls. Each time.

Why would I quit good guys like these, even if some are real toxic (Faulkner is so great that it kills me, Picasso is too prolific and multiple, Mahler too difficult, too subtle, Valéry impossibly clever)? I won’t. I’m hungry all the time – and to be disturbed is interesting!

These artists (and the books about them) made like… a free reservoir of ideas! In a way, this is generous, right?…

For an example, I chose here… Picasso, found a pattern, a seed to think about.

Watch this : when he was 15 he painted the church scene, at 19 the second one, at 21 he painted the blue one, at 26 the lady with the fan, the cubist mandolin at 29, and the running ladies at 31 years old. And he lived 91 years!

One of the funny magnifier to use with art is progress. We see here a man being a great artist as a teen, learning how to forget how to paint, to use his mood (sad blue), influences (African masks), analysis (deconstructing with cubism), then here… going back to representing things, but in another way : joyously, with exaggeration of gestures and bodies, with a clever way to be childish too.

Picasso always said he spent his life to unlearn how to draw.

I wanted to write an article about this structure :

Once you navigated into avant-garde, how do you come back to good old forms? I mean HOW? With a new freedom? Casualness? Science?

Life?

Why would you do that? A restart? A milestone? A pause? (It’s an article, right?)

Where do you see this pattern? In music? In cinema? Teaching? Learning? Writing?

What’s the structure? Pushing a lever then pulling it back? Taking risks then no more?

What kind of a LOOP (quit academicism, go back to it with something else. What?) is it? What are loops (oh, another article!)?

I like to read about Art, maybe more than watching it. Maybe yeah I’m an astronomer, not an astronaut… I love to talk about all these. Sometimes I have The Rilke Syndrome – Familiarity Problem.

OK I’m sorry. This is not an article, this is a mess. Sharing brings joy. Now I go back to my book. Or to Mike Oldfield’s Amarok (oh, another article!).

To your good health!

Thanks for reading.

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The need of weakness and other subjects to think of : Chronicle 53

If we see the human mind as a layer of beast and a layer of culture above, what about people who never read? Index cards certainties…

To have the right to judge, one just has to announce that they never judge.

A secret is not made to be kept, but to give some importance to the information.

The suffering of children is the absolute evil.

If one wants to get the upper hand, it’s because one is under.

The stronger of all is the one who shrugs.

A unity made of neutralized contraries, an apparent immobility which hides a vertiginous and perpetual life : develop.

What is our “horrible need of weakness”?

The coward’s tantrum.

What is temptation, what is desire? How are they different?

Categories, what do they say?

If a soft bass voice is the sign of high civilization, what about loud people?

Is to transform a place into something it’s not (take an old church and make it a gallery, take a barn and make it a store) vulgar or painful? Why?

Someone is ugly because one was born ugly, someone is ugly because mediocrity shaped their face. Do we have the faculty to determine it? Which one scares you the most?

I read that one of one father’s role (purpose) is to save time to his child, to offer or show them the most checked boxes possible before sailing on existence. I terribly agree with this one.

Those for whom one of the greatest pleasures is to cancel a travel.

This age where you have a form, an index card for everything and everyone. Your neighbor, a singer, a recipe, a writer, a movie, a city. This exercise : to cancel it, to change it, to enrich it. How?

To make/keep someone shut up, three ways : to monolog endlessly, to make as if you don’t understand, to show that you’re not interested by what one says.

Our mother dreams about what?

Good masters open a chasm under your feet. In one sentence, they show it to you. For good or bad.

You know things only by differences, wrote Suares. Does it mean that we function with analogies?

If there are no rules, you can not transgress them.

The right to go away (Baudelaire). Develop.

To be conscious of everything and at the same time to keep our instinct alive : Art?

Mystery, but no obscurity.

A lack can be unconscious. It shows itself with instant tears…

Thanks! Have a good day!

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All these stolen from J. D. – let’s spread.

“Dodgin Forgin” : Chronicle 52

Cats are dramatic. When I walk in my corridor and I meet Isis the cat, she stops and acts “as if” she was about to be slaughtered by the human, then runs away with big eyed panic, as if I was a dangerous goblin…

—–

I read about a strange Akira Kurosawa‘s tool, the Japanese director, who said, when shooting a movie, something like :

“When a scene is done, in the box, and you’re happy : go on shooting”.

Opens a little door in my head, written “Why?” on it : When you have what you need, maybe you are relaxed, then you can try new things? Or maybe the tiredness could bring another “tone”? Kubrick is said to shoot dozens of times, just to make the actors quit their easiness, their habits…

Where else could this be true? Prayers? Poetry? Training?

—–

Alexithymia is a word built on Greek, of course : “No words for emotions”.

It’s not really a mental disorder. It’s a difficulty identifying and describing feelings or emotions.

It’s interesting because it leads to different branches :

  1. I don’t know what I feel, I don’t have words for that.
  2. I don’t like what I feel, thus I’m afraid to find out.
  3. I don’t know what to think about what I feel, though I physically feel something, it doesn’t give me an emotion or I don’t know what would be the “proper” emotion.
  4. There’s a confusion between “the event” (outside of me) and “the sensation” (inside).

 

—–

I read about a study about the factors that employees consider motivating. Good wages, , interesting work, security of the job, of course, but the number one factor was “to be valued”. Really valued.

It’s not about a bonus or a “best employee of the month” challenge. It’s really something like :

“I see what you do and I appreciate what you do”.

People often do the best they can with what they got. And they wait, they need to be seen

Makes sense, right?

—–

Lax ways of escaping (life, a situation, boredom) should be listed :

Alcohol, sports, speedy leisures, drugs, video games…

But what if you can’t escape? Will your body find a way (accident, illness…)? Dodging forging ahead?

 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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