For this period, detachment is the state of things. Easier, safer, recommended. No noisy, unmanageable, untidy passions. No individual cluttered urgencies with ends and tags askew. Each her own island country, complete and selfsufficient, an isolationist policy in place for all.
Jorge Luis Borges’s short story “The Library of Babel,” Aby Warburg’s Atlas Mnemosyne project, British cookery writer Elizabeth David’s A Book of Mediterranean Food and the series of 28 instructional cookbooks published by Time-Life in the early ’80s called “The Good Cook” have two things in common.
This story has been told before. It’s largely an urban romance, for a number of reasons. In one telling gold coins are involved and this implies structures…
For Picasso, the bombing of the Basque city of Guernica in April 1937 marked a new terrifying industrial and anonymous warfare, a warfare of the modern period. Keep Reading
“Staring at a fixed point on the wall, I occasionally have the feeling that I no longer know who or where I am. At such times, I experience the loss of my identity from a distance: I feel for a moment that I have become a complete stranger, this abstract personage and my real self vying for authenticity with equal strength.” —Max Blecher Keep Reading
What I responded to in Berger—because the manner of his writing and its meaning or subject were a coherent piece—was his disavowal, his disengagement with power, and here I include using language as an instrument of power… Keep Reading
Engaged with art writing as I am, it is with some nervous reluctance that I ask myself, what is it? What is it that art criticism, art writing is supposed to do? Keep Reading
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