When the pleasure is in the comparison

ONE

I just watched Seven Samurai (Japan, black & white, 1954), then The Magnificent Seven (1960).

It’s a big pleasure watching both, but each time it’s very different. Kurosawa’s movie looks very odd, because of the culture, the language and the well known Japanese actors’ intensity. The US one is much more easy and comfortable, with stars (Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner…).

But there’s a “side-pleasure” : you compare. The stories the paces, the ends, the bad guys, the fights…

TWO

Traveling! Tourists have many ways of being tourists : in a group, alone, moving around and visiting, or staying in one city (choose Paris, OK?) and walk “going whichever way the wind blows” (we say “le nez au vent” – nose in the wind).

It’s beautiful or not, deceiving or marvelous, you take pictures or you chat with your spouse. But you have to admit :

The pleasure, again, is in the comparisons game.

THREE

There’s a game I love : learning another language. It’s absolutely full of delights. Culturally. Translating. Discovering idioms. Trying to find out where translated words don’t really fit, match the other language. Finding similar words… or traitors (a library (bibliothèque) is NOT a librairie (bookstore) in France…).

It is, constantly, a game of comparisons.

FOUR

I strongly think that a big part of our inner life is linked to the world with the concept of Analogy. We endlessly get informations with our senses (about places, culture, and people, everything we meet) and then we braincompute them with what-we-already-know with analogy.

Then, we compare. Then, we decide.

This decision can be : run away, explore, smile, talk, anything.

OUTRO

Where else does it happen to you? Where could you trigger a “game of comparisons”? How is it an enrichment? Where is the effort? What about memories? Analogy with them?

Thanks for reading!

IMG_0523.jpg

 

Continue reading

The Plague of Traveling Horribilulum Types

Nahhh don’t worry, I’m not like that. Moreover I don’t care : I don’t travel, haha. I never took a plane! I know it’s sad. I will visit. One day.

OK now I put the

<Sarcasm Mode ON> :

When you travel you meet Types. Today let’s forget local idiots and focus on travelers.

  • Drivers don’t understand their motors are noisyboring and carry the possibility of accidents and consecutive deaths or unpleasant hospital sojourns
  • Photographers are worrying they have to find their frame and consecutively they never see anything – plus they bore friends and family in their living room when they’re back in endless photographic messexhibitions
  • Selfies idiots are just selfies idiots – OK put “I’m in Italy” on Facebook to say you’re happy there
  • Ignorants ignore history of the place they visit – it’s just “cool”
  • Mainstream tourists are horrible they wanna climb the Eiffel Tower but don’t know why it’s here – they see the Taj Mahal but ignore there are other great places in this city
  • Bus Tourists cattling in groups to see what “has to be seen” – take a pic!
  • Other types I’ll add later. You have any ideas?

<Sarcasm Mode OFF>

 

Nahh I love you, fellow travelers. You’re NOT like these, after all, right?

I don’t travel. But I know Paris a little. I have been rue Legendre (c’est aux Batignolles), completely ignoring that Manet lived there, in the same street, and met his friends in cafés around. Verlaine and Sisley lived Rue Nollet! And these friends talking about painting was made by Bazille rue de la Condamine. Well, I had a pizza here, once. Oh. My.

Next time I’ll sit on a bench near the church, at night, and talk with ghosts of Manet and his friend Baudelaire.

Stupid tourist me.

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupe_des_Batignolles

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartier_des_Batignolles

 

Have a nice day!

1200px-Eglise_Batignolles2.jpg

maxresdefault.jpg

l2ubvemc85801.jpg

 

Damn Mass Tourism Morons

France has an island near Italy called Corsica (La Corse). There’s a very well known GR Footpath, a trail named GR 20 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GR_20 – which needs half a month of backpacking, 7 hours a day. It’s fantastic, it’s hard, it’s beautiful. Guess what? It’s CROWDED. Like there’s tons of garbage because of idiots queuing near the Everest. The shelters are expensive, you have to book, and it’s like cattle of course…

Each summer, hundreds of greaaat people walk this one – though in France only, there are HUNDREDS of these trails – https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentier_de_grande_randonn%C3%A9e

Well, European morons do the same : they come to the USA to see “New York” and “Route 66“. All is organized for mass tourism there, hotels and restaurants, and it’s the same for the GR 20 (even if you can walk France on the GR 52 or the GR 128).

I’m a bookseller. I sell dozens of books about the GR 20. Not one for the 600 others ones. NONE.

The LAST things I want to see of America are New York City and the Route 66. I want to take the Route 80! And you won’t see me queuing in the GR 20!

Why this article? I don’t know. I’m just angry. How can people come to Paris and ignore Haussmann or the Orsay Museum, or even WHY the Eiffel tower was built?

Why do I want to kill these people near the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

Why
Are
People
So
…?

Bahhh forget it.

Thanks for reading!

Le-Point-de-Vue-unique-de-Martin-Parr-01-800x400.jpgLe-Point-de-Vue-unique-de-Martin-Parr-08.jpg

“Oh Fabiola!” – Tremendous Love & Speechless Shock are two Stendhal’s Syndromes

Stendhal was a French writer (1783-1842 – let’s say it was the time of Napoleon). He wrote great novels, but I want to talk today about two stendhalian concepts : Cristallization and what we call the Stendhal Syndrome.

The Stendhal Syndrome happens when a human being becomes speechless in front of too much beauty : overcome, overwhelmed by emotion in front, for example, of Art.

Wikipedia : The staff at Florence’s Santa Maria Nuova hospital are accustomed to dealing with tourists suffering from dizzy spells and disorientation after admiring the statue of David, the masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery and other treasures of the Tuscan city.

There is a Paris Syndrome too, of course, mostly happening to Japanese visitors, crushed by the City and its beauties (but also by the differences they find between their “idealized” vision of France and the reality). Yes, it’s like a “mega culture shock”. There’s a book (“Les Fous de l’Inde”) about a similar shock for India, felt by people from the whole Occident. A oceanic feeling leading to craziness. Embassies know this very well : they take care of people, and put them in planes to go back to normal life.

It’s interesting to study this and its source : Expectations? Tension between reason and feelings? Between brain and reality? What do you think? Have you been crushed by beauty one day? In front of a painting? A place? A light?

Cristallization has also been described by Stendhal. It is about love, of course! It’s when, in the beginning of a love story, the “marvellous” feeling cristallizes around every characteristic of the loved person, who is seen as perfect in every way, or as they say in wiki : a mental metamorphosis, in which unattractive characteristics of a new love are transformed into perceptual diamonds of shimmering beauty.

We have all probably been there : when we’re ready to love someone, when our “love” chooses a person, we open some gates and a big lake of sweet sugary love is poured, unleashed on the poor chosen “other”. Admiration, Acknowledgement, Hope and Delight are steps of the journey.

Of course, this is far from a balanced process of inventing a couple! You can watch out for disillusion. Cristallization often grows when the loved person is far (great for perfection, right?). This “love” generally explodes like a multicolor comet in front of reality.

Then remains possibilities : nothing, a friendship, a real love, an impetus to build something stronger, etc.

Thanks for reading!

IMG-20160708-WA0058.jpg

“Consider other doors, gallivanter!”

Sometimes you’re less interested by the works than by the theories, discussions, struggles, articles and letters by those who invented it or studied it.

Imagine you’re interested in cubism, or new wave music. You can study the paintings and listen to OMD’s albums, but you could also dislike all of it, and at the same time discovering plenty of good ideas and concepts in the articles, books, letters around these subjects.

Go to France, but visit other cities than Paris. Read a poet, but not his poetry. Focus on trains when you study WWII.

So what? Well, nothing more than :

“Consider other doors, gallivanter!”.

I’d go further : choose a field you really don’t want to like (pick one : Street Art, Turkish Music, history of the Loire Castles in France, early movies of Brian de Palma, African food, or Nicolas de Stael’s paintings), and you go girl!

You could be surprised. Or find harmonic links with what you like, concepts you could apply to your discipline, or other doors to even more interesting territories.

Thanks for reading!

nicolas-de-staecc88l.jpg