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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Paul Valéry with Stendhal : Shunning the poetic style & Unreached cruxes

Let’s listen and daydream with Paul Valéry‘s seeds (sorry for my English, it’s pretty hard to translate this sharp spirit)…

ooo

“Mais la vérité et la vie sont désordre; les filiations et les parentés qui ne sont pas surprenantes ne sont pas réelles”.

“But the truth and the life are messy; the filiations and the kinships which are not surprising are not real”.

ooo

List of what Stendhal hated the most in his life :

…pettiness, absence of all whims, terror of opinion, terror of loving what we love, traditions, the little city, the local vanity, inflicted mediocrity…

ooo

“Spéculation sur le lecteur futur” : Speculation on the future reader

…is maybe what bloggers do, hmm? I’m not really read now but one day I will…

Something in the way we write (dry, fast, casual) implying an unknown person who will read it one day…

Paul Valéry about “writing for someone”?

ooo

About Stendhal’s style :

  1. Negligences, the willpower of negligence, disdain of all formal qualities of style.
  2. Diverse pillagings and quantities of plagiarisms : the essential for the accused is to become infinitely more interesting than his victims – “from other’s bleak possessions, he rebuilds work one can read, because it’s weaved with a certain tone.”

Oohhh that’s baaaad, right?

ooo

  • “Fuir le style poetique, et faire sentir qu’on le fuit”
  • “To shun the poetic style, and make feel that we shun it”

ooo

“Nous savons bien qu’on ne se dévoile que pour quelque effet”

“We know well that we unveil ourselves only for some effect”

ooo

There are two ways to falsify : to embellish, and the application to sound true.

ooo

“La confidence songe toujours à la gloire, au scandale, à l’excuse, à la propagande”

“A confidence always dreams for glory, scandal, excuse, or propaganda”

ooo

Fears : fictional and wished

ooo

The “worse” is the food of critical temperaments

ooo

Those who want to detect, define and administer the whole social filth

“Toutes les fois que nous accusons et que nous jugeons, le fond n’est pas atteint”

“Each time we accuse and judge, the crux is not reached”

ooo

To live. To appeal. To be loved. To love. To write. Not to be duped. To be myself. To achieve…

ooo

Hmm : pick one, write an article, OK?

Have a nice day!

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The Cahiers/Notebooks of Paul Valéry are a unique form of writing. They reveal Valéry as one of the most radical and creative minds of the twentieth century, encompassing a wide range of investigation into all spheres of human activity. His work explores the arts, the sciences, philosophy, history and politics, investigating linguistic, psychological and social issues, all linked to the central questions, relentlessly posed: ‘what is the human mind and how does it work?’, ‘what is the potential of thought and what are its limits?’

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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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.

Proust & Valéry : Tropisms Unfolding

Proust is really different. This writer in France is really a milestone : long, hard to read, but magnificent like a cathedral for those who dared to explore his huge masterpiece.

Therefore there are two kinds of French people : those who read Proust and those who did not, or abandoned the discipline.

Today I talked with a Proust lover, and we agreed on this :

Proust was a blogger

Well : the way he explores the human mind and its tropisms (which are the “very subtle movements of the human mind”), like a… craftsman goldsmith, a jewels maker, is exhausting : on each page you’ll find ideas for one single evening of conversation (with a real conversation lover, I mean).

(I know : there are few)

Then we talked about Paul Valéry, who does the same in his Carnets (Notebooks), but not in the “novel” form : only thinking and explaining.

Both of them are craftsmen, goldsmiths, jewels makers. They find ideas so subtle and delicious that you have to stop and smile and think for a few hours. Intelligences of the highest range…

One (Proust) unfolds this in long (I mean : LONG) phrases running for pages in gorgeous French. It’s like spreading out in the novel, it’s so good that it can hurt you. YES : “that” good.

The other one (Valéry) works on jewels. He makes very very small paragraphs, a few lines, that makes you stop and think the whole thing :

Oh my God he’s so right I’ve never seen it written so well before!

Finding seeds, delicate ideas. Offering them to the audience, one in complex magnificent buildings made of words, the other in small boxes containing a splendid marvel.

Two ways, to means. Try both, if you dare!

Thanks for reading!