Middle of life & Refusal of continuous evolving plan

“In the middle of the journey of our life”, writes Dante in the beginning of his Inferno.

Roland Barthes uses this to think about the feeling of being in the middle of our life.

After an event which determines the start of the second part of life, some rest then they go on, repeating what they did before, maybe slowly withdrawing from action. Acedia (Wiki : “a state of listlessness or torpor, of not caring or not being concerned with one’s position or condition in the world”) is not necessarily a bad thing.

Let me fall into a quiet clean living space

Others will feel the coming of the end of life – or at least, that they begin the second part – and choose, like after a tremor, to change something.

Life of course, but also elements of it, things like beliefs, methods, ways of writing are subject to mutations.

In fact, one can feel this need anytime, not “in the middle of life” (which becomes, then, one trigger).

Who never felt “la lassitude de n’être que soi”? The weariness of being only oneself…

Something suddenly has to be done (and we should probably also list the triggers). What’s and how is it discontinuous?

  • sinuous – bends
  • defectoring – big changes
  • lives using turnarounds – doing the contrary for certains things
  • metamorphosis – another skin, way of seeing things
  • displacements – moving places, moving where we act
  • growing by stages – learning, opening
  • risks – uncertainties, voluntary skidsideslips, waverings
  • seeking freedoms – explorations
  • re-inventions – mutations

and having said that, at the same time, staying truthful & faithful (to ourselves).

  1. Choose solutions
  2. Invent solutions

Thanks for reading!

Don’t ask me who I am and don’t ask me to stay the same.

M. Foucault

See also (Google it) “Becoming Deleuze”. For example :

“Becoming-” is a process of change, flight, or movement within an assemblage. Rather than conceive of the pieces of an assemblage as an organic whole, within which the specific elements are held in place by the organization of a unity, the process of “becoming-” serves to account for relationships between the “discrete” elements of the assemblage. In “becoming-” one piece of the assemblage is drawn into the territory of another piece, changing its value as an element and bringing about a new unity.

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“Two Birds”, and other “long-range laconic details”

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I took this picture, then, back home, I opened it on my Macintosh and discovered the two birds, which came as a little miracle. I thought the picture was good (roofs/landscape, the light, the funny road), but it became cool because of these two guys, right?

One could call this “small impressive things”. Borgès called it “long-range laconic details”…

We have in France an idiom for this, le je-ne-sais-quoi (“the I-don’t-know-what”), the little thing that can make something magic, and also can spoil everything. One philosopher even wrote a book about this “almost nothing” (V. Jankelevitch, Le je-ne-sais-quoi et le presque rien).

No doubt he was fond of music, which is almost a wizardry on this topic (thinking about unexpected (or hidden) dissonances or modulations).

It can blossom in many discreet things, purposed mistakes or strange seeds.

This is important in Arts, where perfection is often boring.

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

In a poem, a single word can be strangely placed (or repeated, like in Gertrud Stein’s, “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose”) and a sensation appears :

“Now listen! I’m no fool. I know that in daily life we don’t go around saying ‘is a … is a … is a …’ Yes, I’m no fool; but I think that in that line the rose is red for the first time in English poetry for a hundred years.”.

It can be a single phrase in a whole song. The example of J. Denver :

Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia
Mountain mamma, take me home
Country roads

Seems a simple song about nostalgia, but hidden in the song you find “Driving down the road I get a feeling/That I should have been home yesterday”, which colors it differently, right?

“Everything that goes wrong… goes right” is one cool secret.

Details, games of subtleties, purposed mistakes, flakes of gold, unexpected elements, all are “je-ne-sais-quoi”s which put the audience into a state I love.

Thanks for reading!

AUSTRALIA. Sydney. Hunter st, city centre. 2002
Trente Parke
  1. Strangeization Tool & Eyebrow Criteria
  2. Intentional Maladjustments & Braiding Assessments
  3. Wes Anderson, Edouard Manet and modernity
  4. The “Brushstroke Pattern” & Progress in Arts : Offering Awareness

To consider the world like something to decipher

“To consider the world like something to decipher”, says Gilles Deleuze, “to be mindful to signs is a gift”.

Decipher is a splendid word, right? What’s the engine?

  • We are structuralists (we find some knowledge on systematic structures)
  • We are phenomenologists (we find some knowledge on pure experience)

Hey, maybe we’re post-structuralists (doesn’t that sound good?)!

Here’s Wikipedia :

A post-structuralist approach argues that to understand an object (e.g., a text), it is necessary to study both the object itself and the systems of knowledge that produced the object.

 

So when we watch a person, an object, a text, as we globally function with analogies, we seek structures, skeletons inside. And then we watch something else…

Therefore if a new teacher enters the room, we quickly seek, we try to decipher if he’s a Type (an Archetype?) – is he a Boss, a Preacher, a Guide? Are his ways chaotic, structured? What’s his pace?

We seek structures, but also we notice. What do we notice? Signs.

What do we expect? What is disappointment, here? How do we offset against disappointment?

Proust says he has a burden : for him, things (persons, events, anything) HAVE TO recall him something else – or have to make him imagine something else.

Let’s call it the addiction of links.

All this, because we seek. We need to decipher.

Effort of the will is not enough – Deleuze mentions “Those truths of the intelligence that lack the claw of necessity”.

What do you think?

 

 

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Paul Valéry : Enjoy your hypotheses

Enjoy your hypotheses…

Valéry writes that one good part of the philosopher’s job is to not understand.

That makes sense and we like it, right?

Being able of being amazed by what is granted and ordinary for most people…

That’s what some photographers also do, I beg. Having new eyes.

But there’s more. What I like in this extract is this attitude, which is to voluntarily go and watch things we don’t understand at all, just to…

Enjoy your hypotheses…

We could go further : studying what we think we don’t like, for example, or too complex, or too far in the past (for literature), or… what else?

What’s that sect, made of people who like that, enjoying hypotheses?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Paul Valéry : « A difficulty is a light. An insurmountable difficulty…

Paul Valéry : “A difficulty is a light. An insurmountable difficulty is a sun”.

Une difficulté est une lumière. Une difficulté insurmontable est un soleil.

Yessss you could say it like that : “Challenges are good”, but P. V. is a poet, right?

This quote itself is an example of why I love this thinker. Two short sentences and here you are, wondering. “A sun?”. And this guy does this all the time…

Valéry’s notebooks are exhausting, because you never stop navigating into clouds of great ideas, seeds, impulsions for the mind.

 

Hmmm what do I get?…

  1. A way to apply Amor Fati, “I love what happens to me”.
  2. If it’s difficult it’s entertaining, challenging.
  3. It’s a light : if you incorportate the difficulty to your process, it can be a purpose, a support, a help for life map drawing.
  4. Then it’s really a “light” : a difficulty in a process shows you something, a way, a path.
  5. You can’t touch the sun, nor contemplate it, but it can be a center, a warmth provider, a milestone.
  6. People will ask you why you do it; then they ask you how.
  7. Does the process change you (the light)? Forever (the sun)?
  8. Are diffculties surprises? What is a map? How do we find/draw it?
  9. What if the difficulty come from inside you?
  10. A fool fails because he doesn’t see what’s difficult. What is difficult forces you to think, therefore can make light bulbs appear in your head.
  11. How do YOU read it?

 

Let Jean de la Bruyère tell us the pre-final word :

Les miracles naissent des difficultés

Out of difficulties grow miracles

 

And Wittgenstein gives us a present for the end :

Nous attendons à tort une explication alors que c’est une description qui est la solution de la difficulté.

We are wrongly expecting an explanation, whereas the solution of the difficulty is a description.

 

Thanks for reading!

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Montaigne, skepticism & casual forms (does it work for bloggers?)

Skepticism questions the possibility of certainty in knowledge.

Montaigne was a French philosopher (1533-1592), his “Essays” (the word “Essai” in French means “attempts” or “tests”).

I know you won’t read Montaigne (988 pages in translated English, paperback, $27) – I once read an interview of Orson Welles who said it was the book of his life, and he had one copy next to his bed all along.

This guy was a mess, and he wrote his essays for years, in French (in this time, you had to use Latin if you were a serious scholar), like… thinking all along.

 

With the goal of describing man with complete frankness and using himself as his most frequent example, Michel de Montaigne first published his “Essays” in 1580. This collection of 107 chapters encompasses a wide variety of subjects – he saw the most basic elements of man as variety and unpredictability. “What do I know?” This embodies the spirit of the entire volume, for it reflects both the inquisitory search for intellectual knowledge as well as the more personal anecdotal quality of a work that has had an enduring impact on both French and English literature for hundreds of years.

 

He flits around, from a thought to another. No rigor, no plan. Really!

  • “I love the poetic gait, by leaps and gambols”
  • “I lose myself, more by permit than by inattention”
  • “My ideas follow each other, but sometimes from far away”
  • “Wisdom has its excesses, and has no less need of moderation than folly”

 

So : breathe! Life is short! Your blog is not perfect, it’s bricolage and brain odd jobs. Who cares? Share! If Montaigne can do it, you can do it!

Is this casualness French? Nope : wisdom & folly, there are everywhere, little soul, right?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Assemblage & consequences

There’s a “Deleuze and Guattari” Twitter account that I love.

Those two (a philosopher and a psychotherapist) wrote books like Anti-Oedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980) – which is the biggest seeds tank I’ve ever seen.

I love the Twitter account because they daily lay Deleuzian sentences like “A housewife sings to herself, as she marshals the antichaos forces of her work” – which you can take jargonistically humourously or try to link it to some truth.

(Which is always the same with these guys. You could be flabbergasted by 1000 Plateaus, a crazy & enthralling book, where delirious stands alongside genius).

Today I found this :

An assemblage is an increase in the dimensions of a multiplicity that necessarily changes in nature as it expands its connections

There’s a little pattern, a structure map here, if you puncture the gibber…

Assemblage? I thought about these houses in Seattle, de-foundationned and put on huge boats, sold and… deterritorialized (this to avoid awful prizes, which climb a lot because of Amazon).

Therefore a territory (a house) put on another territory (another terrain). With all consequences : is it fragilized? What about the light (the course of the sun)? Are there new foundations?

You’ll find also articles on the web about… floating houses. Big, normal, American size houses which you can move because they float on water. And there’s plenty of water in Seattle!

Assemblage. Where do you apply this? The building of a porch behind a house, of course, but in the spirit of mind? Or in Art? Assemblage of poetry and marketing? The beginning of a team, or a couple? Old and new architecture?

What do you put together? Things of same nature (is it a must?)? What does is bring? Do you make one thing from the twos? Or does a frontier, a line, stays as a mark, a scarf? What is graft? A transplant? What is dangerous? Rejections? What are the connections? Doors? Different natures of doors? Changing ones?

 

Have fun! Thanks for reading!

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A to B : Frontiers & Movements

Deterritorialization is a funny tool/dial to use!

 

Paths of Iron & Supple Escapes

“No one knows what the body can do”
Spinoza

 

Railroad. In French we say le “Chemin de Fer” : “Path of Iron”.

Deleuze, the philosopher, used to talk about a “between people geography”, links made of hard lines, supple lines, escape lines…

 

ONE

Well, that makes sense : we are surrounded by powers, who want us to stay on paths of iron, right? “Obey! Rules are made for you too! It’s dangerous outside!”.

But desires and grapes of possibilities transform our lives in (oh a new word!) an unremitting evolution of connections.

Paths of Iron are there : what you’re told to do (education, instruction, social obligations). We follow and we have to. Laws and contracts and pressures.

But we watch outside, by the window, we dream and play with possibilites. And about what the body can do…

 

TWO

Supple, subtle, little : now we talk about what happens “under”, in small moments : the small magic, the unpredictable.

In a company, under the schedules and duties, people (and bodies) never cease to dream, to change, to try, to escape control, to invent, to dig little tunnels. Lines of life! A smile, a gesture, tiny cracks (see the light?), a triangle of sun on a table, a seventeen words conversation…

Haecceity! A dance, or a resistance. Denying iron!

We are a group of different speeds and slownesses, an individual, a singularity, constantly inventing grapes of possibilities, a play of forces or encounters. Lines, new lines, inventions.

 

THREE

We can’t grow if we don’t escape, if we don’t walk out of the paths of iron. We all have our ways to do that : knowledge, hunting, exploring, trying…

One escape line can last one minute or two weeks or a life. An on our own becoming…

Fuir -> To Flee/To Leak – a #Deleuze word game

 

c’est toujours sur une ligne de fuite qu’on crée, certes pas parce qu’on imagine ou qu’on rêve, mais au contraire parce qu’on y trace du réel, et que l’on y compose un plan de consistance. Fuir, mais en fuyant, chercher une arme.

it’s always on an escape line that we create, not because we imagine or because we dream, but in the contrary because we trace some real life on it, and because we arrange a consistency. To flee, but in fleeing, to seek a weapon.

 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

(thanks to Pierre Ansay – may Deleuze’s tools spread)

 

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Everything that goes wrong…

Hi everybody!

I heard about a Tai Chi teacher, an old Chinese woman living in France, who used to say a mysterious sentence to the students.

“C’est ce qui ne va pas qui va”

…which sounds like a typical Oriental brain-teaser riddle like “Everything is in everything and reciprocally”.

What does that mean? How to translate it?

  • Everything that goes wrong goes right
  • This is what does not go that goes
  • Only wrong things are moving forward
  • What goes wrong goes right
  • What doesn’t go goes

 

This sentence is a bit like the Toltec thing. A few words compacted in a seed.

 

The first Toltec agreement says : “Don’t make assumptions”, and the fifth : “Be skeptical (use the power of doubt to question everything you hear)”.

I love that because it’s a loop, and it’s incoherent (to question everything is to make infinite assumptions). And in a way that’s life!

Also this : Ruiz’s agreements are injunctions, orders : Do this/Don’t do this. It’s very Occidental (we all this like this, right? : If this then that (consequences)).

“What doesn’t go… goes” is more Oriental. It’s an assessment, a fact, almost a report. An observation!

 

OK. When you think about it, it works! The perfect image of the grain of sand in the oyster : this makes a pearl.

Nietzsche is more lyrical : “One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.”

And also, in a way, it’s the Amor Fati wisdom, the love of fate. You can (and have to) decide that what happens… happens. It’s better to accept it. If it’s wrong, we can maybe decide it’s right :

…it’ll make you stronger, it’ll make you think, it’ll show you new path.

On our need to be disturbed…

“What goes wrong goes right”, hey, it’s the title of my future book, OK? Don’t steal it, please!

Have a nice day!

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Bothness, the Blindfolded Lynx Game

I got the spark (bzim) for this little article when I read a Edgar Wind quote, which offered images (among others) like :

  • a dolphin with an anchor
  • a turtle with a sail
  • a blindfolded bobcat

I found this in a Didi-Huberman small article, playing with dances of two concepts – which I like above all or almost.

Therefore I write all this to try to catch a blurry idea in my web, searching with words…

 

There’s a relation between “not knowing” and “knowing” : what is it made of, how does it move? Is there a frontier here? How does it move? If I increase my knowledge, do I lose something else?

Appearance/Disapperance as a dance, or a will – maybe like the fireflies, the lightning bugs in the night : they flickeremit signals.

To slow down to think about all things. To be fast to catch an event in flight.

 

festina lente : hâte-toi lentement : make haste slowly

 

DIALECTICAL Images : “involving the interaction of opposites”

A dolphin needs an anchor to experiment something. Like try to play badminton with your other hand (with a partner who does the same). It slows you. It triggers other things.

A turtle with a sail. Is she a dreamer? Does it give a 1% more power, sufficient to trigger a big something? What is a placebo? Can you be your own placebo? Meta?

A blindfolded lynx. He has to increase his other senses?

Bothness… Or a will to decrease something to win something else… It’s a way to find a way out, to open an oblique door…

 

Continue reading

There is no Sky of Ideas

Found this idea in a book about Deleuze. I share. Share, then.

 

This good old Plato had a funny idea.

To separate :

  1. the world of the perceptible in which we live
  2. the world of ideas where they are fixed for eternity

 

When we judge someone we compare a pure idea, an idea of perfection, with a reality.

Then we declare something.

Is what we see worthy of the general idea?

Well, then we can give a rating, a grade.

 

Problem is it doesn’t work like that.

There is no Sky of Ideas.

 

We all constantly want to escape that. We want to embark. We want to become. We search for sense, and meanings, and feelings. We dig. We watch. We cook and bake our life with what we find. We perpetually change. We hate to stay “the same”, to be put into boxes. We are alive and we want to try speeds and ways, to invent and to explore. We are simmering ourselves, and what we do… makes us understand a little more who we are and who we want to be; and this is called life.

 

There is no Sky of Ideas. Only possibilities.

Thanks for reading!

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Levi-Strauss & Derrida… for bloggers?

Here’s a little tale for your week-end…

Levi-Strauss, anthropologist, in The Savage Mind, talks about two ways, two “Types”.

  1. The Bricoleur, the DYIer who uses whatever he has in hand and imaginatively recombines them to create something new.
  2. The Engineer is more scientific, he has a project from A to Z, he uses rules and knowledge. He builds and he’s serious.

 

The Bricoleur is a savage mind, he steals, gleans, finds “things” and plays combinations games, tries, have fun. He’s casual, right? The Engineer is serious and follows something.

 

Derrida, philosopher, studied all this and wrote later that the “Engineer” is an ideal who doesn’t really exist. He can not be the master of all, he can not be at the origin of all his projects.

  • In a way, every Engineer is a Bricoleur, right?
  • Is the Engineer is a myth invented by Bricoleurs?
  • Are all Engineers Bricoleurs?

 

– Oh, well… I think I just bricoled this one… So sorry.
– No you’re not.
– …

 

 

Thanks for reading!

Bonne lecture et bonne journée !

 

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Instagram : penguinthemagpie

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Savage_Mind

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structure,_Sign,_and_Play_in_the_Discourse_of_the_Human_Sciences#Bricolage

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bricolage

Bricolage is a French loanword that means the process of improvisation in a human endeavor. The word is derived from the French verb bricoler (“to tinker”), with the English term DIY (“Do-it-yourself”) being the closest equivalent of the contemporary French usage. In both languages, bricolage also denotes any works or products of DIY endeavors

 

Levi-Strauss : 

[He or she] is adept at performing a large number of diverse tasks; but, unlike the engineer, he [or she] does not subordinate each of them to the availability of raw materials and tools conceived and procured for the purpose of the project. His [or her] universe of instruments is closed and the rules of his [or her] game are always to make do with “whatever is at hand,” that is to say with a set of tools and materials which is always finite and is also heterogeneous because what it contains bears no relationto the current project, or indeed to any particular project, but is the contingent result of all the occasions there have been to renew or enrich the stock or to maintain it with the remains of previous constructions or destructions.

 

the engineer is always trying to make his way out of and go beyond the constraints imposed by a particular state of civilization while the “bricoleur” by inclination or necessity always remains within them.

 

  • the “savage” is a bricoleur, assembling patchwork objects by adapting “the means at hand” (by adding, deleting, substituting and transforming them);
  • the “scientist” is an engineer, creating objects “out of nothing,” “out of whole cloth.”

 

Derrida : 

the odds are that the engineer is a myth produced by the bricoleur

 

 

 

A possible Machine-Manifesto for afrenchtoolbox

Here’s to the ones who dream
Foolish as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that ache
Here’s to the mess we make

She told me
“A bit of madness is key
To give us new colors to see

 

I could use a deleuzian concept for this blog : Machine… a word Gilles Deleuze used for S/Z of Roland Barthes, too. Those who know, will know.

My blog is a Machine, an entity which swallows things, ideas, concepts, memories, sights, life, quotes, website. Anything can enter my blog and will potentially come out a few paragraphs later like a little candypoo.

The machine itself is a bit quirky :

  • It’s changing all the time
  • It’s casual (because I’m an amateur, and… “I’ve seen things…”)
  • It’s multi-faceted
  • It contains plenty of little engines

 

Many little engines are indeed running in operation here.

  • Recycler (I use old letters, emails, diary, even my own blog)
  • Thief (I steal concepts from many books or articles, and I built up two bookshelves of “books with seeds” for this purpose).
  • Many mouths (sociology, music, art, psychology, parenting, etc).
  • Antennas. To guess.
  • Combiner that links ideas that should never be linked.
  • Microscope that searches tools, structures, patterns, skeletons.
  • Translation : I’m French and I write in English on purpose. Like a “necessary displacement”, an important decenterization. I needed it.
  • Collecting : I like to gather ideas like seashells, which will in the end draw something, globally.
  • Blender mixing concepts or domains to see what spillspurts out.
  • Frenchiness : I don’t work that much, I’m casual and I like to define my own rules. I’m disobedient. And certainly not steady. And I judge. Ohlalaaaaa.
  • A bunch of tools : a map drawer, a mirror, a fences jumper, a rules eroder, a veiled referencer.
  • Hydra : A child having fun. A storyteller. A thinker. A lover. A father. A bookseller.
  • Inchoater (“don’t finish, please, and let it opened”).
  • Grid : most of the time unappropriate, to see what it can see.
  • Energy. It’s been provided – at the beginning – by the golden knowledge that a splendid high-level of conversation can exist. It stayed in the machine, like a burning core. This core radioactivate a wave : SHARE.

 

This machine held me alive for a long time! Today it’s a part of me. A daily one. I’m this machine. I like to blog!

Most of the time, everything I put in it helps me to know who I am, what I want, what I’ve been through, what I wish, what makes me smiles.

This article was the meta-article of the month, yeyyyy.

Is your blog a machine too? What is YOUR machine made of? Do you need to decenter too? Why?

 

Have a great day!

 

Here’s to the mess we make

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Instagram : bodylanguage

 

Pecking ways & means of apprehend a work of art

#French #Blogging in #English : un Songe

Finder Keeper Sharer, “What is my blog about?”

 

 

Everybody’s talking about “golden voices”. But don’t you hear, when Emma Stone speaks at the beginning of the clip, that her voice is made of silver?? There’s a veil. It’s silver. Period.

Examining a problem with Valéry

In found this very little structure in Paul Valéry’s notebooks. I cut, bolded and translated my way. As it’s a “tool”, Mr Valéry won’t be angry (and well, he died in 1945). Where would we apply this screwdriver? How do I say “I will can”, in English? I’ll be able to? Hmm?

 

The spirit won’t be in a hurry to imagine what is necessary to considerate a problem.

it will examine, not caring about time & duration of the process.

Aware of the remarkable contrast between 1/ promptness, impatience and worries of the “heart” and 2/ this slowness, made of criticism and hope.

This lateness, this delay – which can can unlimited – has an effect : to transform the problem.

The transformed problem will be able to transform the questioner…

 

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 Also :

“To overcome one’s talents.

My skills unplease me.

My easy bores me. 

My difficult drives me”.

 

“The beginning of all changes, the first step, consists in putting an end to a false activity” Zizek

The beginning of all changes, the first step, consists in putting an end to a false activity

S. Zizek

I like this quote (I did my best for the translation), because it shows what could be “another window”. Every book, every wise person, every self help quote will say : Do the first step, or don’t talk -> act, or dare, or move out of your comfort zone, etc… This one is like a… smart preamble.

Therefore it’s a little tool for us. Each time we know we have to move forward, maybe we have to think about it.

What is a false activity? Are we lured? Who judges that? How can I know? Instinct or Reason? How will we stop it? Is it the condition for a start? What if this activity was important?

Where to apply this tool? Job? Couple? Life? Hobby? Sports? Creativity?

How, then, will the “change” expected by Zizek unfold? Taking the place of the false activity? Growing from it? Seeing things which where hidden by its falsity?

What else?

Thanks for reading!

 

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What I read

What do I read? What am I reading? I don’t know. Not novels in any case. Not anymore. Shortly, I’d say they fall off my hands – because of “I feel the author behind the story” thing – but that’s another story.

 

Nietzsche had a great mustache, right? This dictionary is like an infinite reservoir of ideas. I open it at a random page from time to time. Even if you’re not a scholar, but just a seeds seeker. I don’t need more than five minutes to find a brilliant idea.

This Goya‘s biography is perfect. It’s written by a great Spanish writer. I learn a lot about painting, Spain in 18th Century, Art, cities, history, and… a great personality!… Another universe is good to explore from time to time.

Billeter wrote these three little essays about translations. It’s a field I really always love to dig in. It’s about Chinese-French translations, and it’s full of delightful subtleties… This “Art” requires to activate thin and precise tools of the mind…

Arthur Miller went to China in the eighties to direct of one of his plays (Death of a Salesman). He wrote his diary about all of it. The play is considered one of the best American plays of the XXth Century, and the book is really delicious : intelligence at work. Cultural differences, directing a play, meeting professionals…

The Pléiade of Paul Valéry is exhausting. 1700 pages (and it’s a half of his “Notebooks”!) of good ideas (sorted by topics : eros, poetry, conscience, arts, etc). Brief notes, ideas, concepts, etc. This poet was a huge thinker. He amazes me with his original intelligence. Each paragraph (OK : almost) has the power to drop you in a pool of ideas. He taught me this huge thing : “To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees.” (think : labels, photography, poetry, invention, serendipity, refining intelligence… : see?).

Paul Jorion is a Belgian economist, and he has big common sense. This diary is very, very smart. The kind of bulblights which give smiles.

OK I’m fond of Proust, but sometimes you don’t want to plunge into the “too great” In Search of the Lost Time. I just pick up these essays, then. Lighter. Ideas everywhere, like seeds in the wind. This man had many brains. He is exhausting, generous, and you have to run (to try) to follow. This is a great experience though. You’ll know very few humans in your real life capable of that generosity : enlargingactivating your brain.

Koolhaas is a architect-thinker. This should just be enough to make you salivate, right?

Yalom (the psychiatrist) wrote a few novels, but here it’s an essay. NO mercy for anybody : he talks “at his level”. It’s wise, hard, and exhilarating!

I have this little book about Caillebotte, an impressionist painter, for me a genius of light. If you want to study a good example of “what is new” in Art, try Manet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustave_Caillebotte

François Jullien is a French philosopher. Obsessed by China (again?!) he invented concepts based on the fertile differences between occident and this country. I wrote many times about him : The Propensity of Things – for example. He’s a tools provider.

Reading the diary of Gide is like watching a brain at work. He sees, he writes, he travels, he thinks, wonders, doubts. This diary is like… adorable, dense, and always surprising.

Duras was a great French writer, with a real strange gorgeous style. I love her excesses. She’s weird, paradoxical and marvellous. She talks here about her life, her choices.

Deleuze is always not far from my shelves. For me he is the best French philosopher, full of ideas, new concepts and a bit of searchy craziness and virtuosity of the mind.

Charles Juliet is a French writer. He’s dark but quiet, calm, precise, shy, humble. His diaries are like hugging you – with acuteness. He also is a tracker (of himself, of other’s tropisms too).

Edward Said astonished me with this idea of the “Late Style” – what great artists do when they are after maturity. It’s GREAT and the preface ditto (can I say that?).

Bryson borrowed a car, travelled across the USA, wrote this little book about “everything OMG” he saw. It’s hilarious!

Roustang is an hypnotherapist and wrote this whole book about the contrary of every self help book (which all say : move your ass). “Know how to wait”. Hmmm?

 

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Thanks for… reading!

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Event VS Structure

“Event VS Structure” – This is a title, right?

A philosophical problem I pick like a screwdriver, to examine it.

  1. A Structure, it can be a rule, a law, a “it’s the way things are”, a habit, a skeleton under things, an axle, a map, a followed road.
  2. An Event is what suddenly happens, it’s life, it’s a surprise, an accident, a happiness, a present, a mishap, a disturbance, a movement, a change.

 

This article is an invitation. The game will be : choose your structure, and invent an event :

Where do they touch? Is it good, bad? What happens? Can an event change a structure, or entertain it? Destroy it? What then? Is a new structure needed? Is there a thirst for other events? What is a suite of events? Can a structure hide another one? What triggered the event? Another structure? Can a structure contain an inner “events invention”? Do you have to protect the structure against events? Are there Metastructures? Do a structure USE events to grow, to increase knowledge, to breathe life in? What is a mutation? What is a call for event?

Structure : Battle? Symphony? Plan? Marriage? Company? Life? Body?

Suddenly, an Event. Mutation, change, disease, sudden victory, cut, inspiration, meeting another structure, thoughts, failure, ending, bend, ideas…

Does an event have a structure?

 

What do you choose to study?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : anapaula

 

From frowny eyes to hilarity : When you have to “find the fun” – Cioran & Bernhard

Emil Cioran was a Romanian writer and philosopher. He is famous for writing books such as The Trouble with Being Born. As you can guess, it’s very tormented and pessimistic.

William H. Gass called Cioran’s work “a philosophical romance on the modern themes of alienation, absurdity, boredom, futility, decay, the tyranny of history, the vulgarities of change, awareness as agony, reason as disease”.

Thomas Bernhard was a Austrian “novelist, playwright and poet”. His style is mainly about monologues reported to a listener (you?). It’s very intense, full of anger and a bit disturbing. His books’ titles are like Extinction or Concrete.

“Bernhard’s prose is lapidary and translucent in its vocabulary, but sinuous and formidably dense in its phrasing”.

 

Yes, you can take all this very seriously.

I’ve known a couple of young men who read Cioran as an obsession, like a Master of pessimism : “The fact that life has no meaning is a reason to live –moreover, the only one.”. And why not?

And I admit I read my first Thomas Bernhard with frowny eyes. “Very often we write down a sentence too early, then another too late; what we have to do is write it down at the proper time, otherwise it’s lost.”

 

Then… you grow up, you study the way they write (one in archipelagos, the other one in words rivers), you begin to notice their ways, their exaggerations, their… wizardry, their understanding, their contradictions.

Then you smile.

Then you LAUGH…

I agree, it’s a strange laugh. It would be a bit short to say it’s sarcastic, because it’s not. Sometimes humor sticks out with a whole harp of powers. You laugh but you think, you laugh but you sob, you laugh but you have empathy, you laugh but you’re deeply moved, you laugh and you want to get out of your house to run like hell out in the streets, full of seeds, anger, and new ideas…

You just needed to make progress until you have the capacity to “get it”.

 

Where does it happen, when you have to “find the fun”? How would you make it? When do things have like this, many doors? Why should humor move with this flag : “This is humor”?? Can (and do you need to) you invent and trace humor on something which is “obviously” not funny?

Isn’t it a lesson? Like… maybe we have to find a possible way to laugh after our months of deep despair?
Thanks for reading!

Have a nice day. Pardon my Frenchenglish, oui ?

 

Hey, it’s my article N600!

 

 

 

 

“Add some light in places”, or why to intellectualize will never kill the magic!

This is an old pattern many people use, like an old, useless dusty tool. This one says something like :

In front of beauty, don’t intellectualize too much or else you’ll lose the magic

 

In sex, art, photography, any place where magic is found, of course we can say that wizardry exists because it unfolds out of the words’s limitations.

Even in fields like poetry or novels (where words are used), able to catch you with style and stories, and bring you in the domain of dreams.

And I’m the first to tell – and repeat – here in this blog, that it is wise to stay out of words, these weak labels, in many articles about how photographers or painters don’t like to explain, etc.

In front of beauty, don’t intellectualize too much or else you’ll lose the magic

Peel and decorticate magic, and you kill the goose (with the golden eggs, etc).

Well : Okey!

I’d add this word : BUT. Or this word : ALSO.

But, also, and nevertheless, there are days you wanna do it.

Analyze the magic of a novel. Dissect a music track. Have a precise conversation about sex. Use the pause button on your remote control to understand how a scene is edited. Read articles about masterpieces, and prefaces of old classics. Stop eating this delicious meal and try to find how it’s been cooked. Wonder how your love story is evolving…

This IS what intellectualizing is, it brings knowledge, shows you new paths, increases your intelligence, draws new maps, enlightens your universe, gives you more energy to explore, to dive deeper the next time you’ll plunge into your next “not thinking too much” moments…

Do you really think it “kills the magic”?

What if it rather adds some light in places?

Thanks for reading!

 

#layers
#layers

“Become who you are”, is it what Pindar said?

A kid is watching a sculptor working. Days after, he comes back and is in a awe in front of the completed statue, asking to the artist : “How did you know there was a man into it??”.

Pindar was a Greek poet (he died in 443 BC). I don’t know his work BUT I always meet his silhouette, his tone, his quotes, in texts from authors I like  – this pattern, indeed, could become an article one day…

Today I met Pindar in a dictionary about Nietzsche, who wrote to Lou Andreas Salomé : “Become who you are”.

Pfff…

This really sounded like a stupid smart ass self-help quote, almost written in capitals before an ugly sunset above a road (symbol!) cutting a field in two, eeek!

But if Nietzsche studied Pindar, well…

What did Pindar say, really? Wikipedia proposes these :

  • Become such as you are, having learned what that is
  • Be what you know you are
  • Be true to thyself now that thou hast learnt what manner of man thou art
  • Having learned, become who you are

Ohlalalaaaa!

In my French book and on the web, I found :

  • May you become who you are by learning
  • Be as you learned to know you
  • Become what you are by learning who you are

These are 6 different ways to translate Pindar! The pack just threw a fistful of seeds on your table. And I prefer the last one already…

Man could study diaries and interviews of thinkers, or great artists and writers, trying to find what they said about this idea of “becoming themselves”. It could sound… mundane, but I think it could be interesting. For example, many artists say at the end of their life that “Less is More”, right? What other pattern do we often find?

It’s a strange idea, right? As if, like a sculptor with a big block of wood, we were all spending our lives trying to find what man or woman was hidden in the block, already here…

Is it only “by learning who you are”? How so? What do we win when we do that? Are we stronger, smarter? What’s the horror in not becoming the real one? What if we were mistaken all along? Working in a bad manner? What happens when you discover it in the middle of your life? What if we had “many” us to discover? Facets? Is it some work really to discover and become who we are, or are we, like some, the prey of destiny, accidents and betrayals?

Here I ask my readers : what do you think about this idea, which seems mundane and worldly-wise at the same time? For you, is it an empty concept or a good seed for thinkers?

Thanks for reading!

 

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