The sadness of Chekhovian heroins is ours

Anton Chekhov wrote a few plays, and hundreds of short stories.

When you read him, the “archetype” of the Chekhovian Heroin begins to appear in your head.

She’s a woman. She’s sensitive. She dreams of another life. She’s a bit sad.

Here are three examples.

A stormy day, a man, with drops of water in his beard, says a declaration of love to a young woman. She ignores him. Years later, they both live alone. They are still in contact. She cries on her lost life, the time flowing, the too lates. (A Lady’s Story)

A butterfly-minded spouse is unable to see the value and the kindness of her husband, and realizes it too late. (The Grasshopper)

A young woman takes on the ideas and habits of every man she loves. People laugh at her, and at the end she is lost and alone. (The Darling)

There’s a lot to learn by reading Chekhov : We all do what we can. We fail because we’re afraid, or we think we know. Life is short and we should dare more. And we all are a little stupid, and ridiculous…

Most of his short stories are free on the web. You’ll also find many “Selected Short Stories” in book. I assure you : it’s better than many Self-Help books!

Thanks for reading!

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Keep a part for later – Masterpieces from Masters

If you’re an explorer, you sometimes discover an artist you… adore.

It’s so good that you can’t resist : here you are exploring the whole chest, pigging out the whole thing. We are all lost souls, craving for…

But sometimes you climb “one more degree”. It’s so good that you decide something.

Keep a part for later. More in reserve. Some gas left in the tank.

This is what I did with a few masters : Puccini, Chekhov, Faulkner, Borges, Jünger. Who are yours?

I know Manon and La Bohème by heart, and pretty well some of other Puccini’s operas, like Tosca or Butterfly, and one third of Trittico. Each time I listen to a part of Turandot I’m floored… but I keep it for later!

Chekhov wrote hundreds of short stories. I have shelves of that guy! But I never read “everything”. It’s the same for Jünger or Borges, or Faulkner.

  • Keep the pleasure to discover something new from a Master you love.
  • One day it’s maybe to late : you’re dead. Or you’re not interested any more.
  • You sometimes don’t remember if you read this or that. Even better, right?
  • There’s a middle choice : listen or read once, and then wait for years.
  • Years after, you read or listen… another way.
  • Choose an infinite area. Restaurants in Paris for example. Hmmm?

Thanks for reading!

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The Ravel’s Bolero Syndrome : when you know someone from ONE thing only

Some names are well known for only ONE work, one event, one place.

Dorothea Lange is well known for “this” picture only. Maurice Ravel is linked for ever to his Bolero. The city of Agra with the Taj Mahal. The Korgis have a great hit : “Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime”. Where’s the rest?

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I call it The Ravel Syndrome. The structure is : “Something is known for ONE thing and the rest is globally ignored”. It’s not necessarily one work, it can be one domain : for example, Chekhov is very well know for his theater, and nobody knows his short stories.

This dial should lead us to take the wheel, think, and explore. Lange probably took other good pictures, Ravel composed a great Daphnis & Chloe and his concertos for piano are fantastic, Agra is full of great other places to visit. The Korgis, well, I don’t knowww (there are pages of lists of “One Hit Singers” on the web)…

There are two lessons to get from this :

  • This flaw could be called “Hit Laziness”. Let’s enter the house and discover the other rooms, why not try to see what the artist has behind his “hit”. Maybe treasures?
  • “Someone is known for ONE thing and the rest is globally ignored” can be very cruel. I think of Monica Lewinsky, which is probably a much more interesting person than this label you just put on her, in your mind. Hmmm?

 

Thanks for reading!

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Chekhov, Fellini and Sisyphus’ lesson : “Slide, mortals, don’t bear down”

Our need of consolation and comfort is huge, but you know, we all have to stand up and go on living. The Sisyphus myth is a great one to help us :

He was punished by gods by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it come back to hit him, repeating this action for eternity. Camus, the French philosopher, wrote an entire book about this, as a metaphor of the absurdity of human life, but he wrote also :

“one must imagine Sisyphus happy”

There’s another sentence I like, in French it’s : “Glissez mortels, n’appuyez pas” – “Slide, mortals, don’t bear down”. It’s maybe a way to say “Don’t be so serious”, but also “Taste life as it comes”, or maybe “Smile, whatever happens”, and also “Dance with what you get (the ice), and stop WANTING this or that”. Slide means also : light and fast. Casual ? Oh, you knoooowww, I’m French, so I fancy to add this one too 🙂

It’s so short and great :

“Slide, mortals, don’t bear down”

In Fellini’s movies, it’s the way Mastroianni wanders into life and interact with people. Elegant, but casual too. In Chekhov, it’s a way of saying without really saying “we all fail, that’s life, we do what we can”, maybe we should have, but we did not. In Tennessee William’s work, it’s in the style and the way he constructs stories : he DARES, he’s cool, he’s almost dangerous. I found it also in the way you can examine some complex Art pieces, from opera to modern music : if you’re too serious, you’re bored. Have a drink, smile and maybe add a little frenchiness to it. Slide, mortals, don’t bear down…

Tool : Find yours. It’s an elegant way to be there without being there really. A casualness, a lightness, a way to smile, a way to dare, also, a way to say “no” to be totally serious. This is not THAT important…

In a way, Sisyphus tells many things : smile, breathe, dance, adapt, be flexible, listen, stand up, be a dolphin. And get up and push and roll your rock up. Move forward too.

Sorry for my English, good people. If you find strong mistakes, just let me know, OK ?

#streetphotography #streetart

Adding from the Other Side – An Interesting Braid Part 2

Reason & Pleasure : An Interesting Braid was about mixing Reason & Pleasure; it was about music, but it works anywhere.

We all have a core, an axis, a skeleton. It’s what we ARE, when we were born and culturally.

A good philosophical activity is to know ourselves better (draw your map), but also to progress by adding things from the “other side”, growing in directions we did not use much. It means : try.

If you’re a loner, it’s maybe to meet people and learn from them. If you’re very masculine you maybe have to explore your feminine brain. If you’re wise and a rules follower, you’ll love to live a little more on the wild side. Etc.

Sylvain Tesson is a well known french writer, a traveller. He wrote many books about his adventures around the planet. But one day he stopped his ass in a little house near the Lake Baikal, in Russia, in Winter. And it’s great because… it’s the contrary of “what he does” ! What is interesting here is not the “winter stuck in Russia”, but the fact that it’s written buy a traveller.

Jünger says that it’s embarrassing to see the efforts of a Master when he goes out of his domain of mastery… Maybe it is. Maybe also it’s moving, interesting, and making him more human, too. The guy tried!

Tool :

If “More of the same thing” fails, try to do the contrary. You will maybe fail, but you will learn. Our need to be disturbed is there. This tools simply says :

Do the contrary of what you do, go to the other side, see what you can learn, see what you can bring home.

 

Thanks for reading!

#unclevanya #chekov #juliannemoore #answerisno

Exploring movies from Tennessee Williams’s plays…

Once you decided to go under the surface of “news”, there are many ways to explore the movie history. I once imagined I explored a year of cinema : let’s begin with 1960. Let’s watch Psycho, l’Avventura, La Dolce Vita, Elmer Gantry, Exodus and The Magnificent Seven…

There’s another way. Which is to find the author. My best choice (from far) has been Tennessee Williams. You can watch : A Tramway Named Desire, The Night of the Iguana, Suddenly Last Summer or Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Rose Tatoo, This Property is Condemned or Baby Doll (there are more, but these are masterpieces).

Check the Internet Movie Database !

For a month, forget Netflix and shows. Watch these movies. Read about T. Williams, his life, etc. You’ll plunge, then, in a strange world with a taste of the South.

Something between William Faulkner and Anton Chekhov. One days I read that these two were, for him, the two best writers of history.

There is no “tool”, here. Just a map. An idea. Make a step aside. Stop reaction on “what they propose you”. Choose your territory.

Moite, complexe, adulte : it’s clever-South, clammy adult movies for adults… You’ll have problems to go back to average shows, I can promise you…

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