Paul Klee
Vojta Dukat

John Cage, Black Mt., NC, 1952, © Cy Twombly
Edward Hopper, Night on the El Train, 1918

Patrick Zachmann

FRANCE. Town of Marseille. 1984. Cité Bassens. “La terre rouge”.
Photograph of Samuel Beckett taken by a street photographer outside Burlington House in Piccadily, ca. 1954.





—Simon Leys, “Memento Mori,” the last essay in The Hall of Uselessness. Simon Leys was the pen name of celebrated sinologist Pierre Ryckmans, who died yesterday.

See The Sydney Morning Herald's obituary for Leys here and Ian Buruma’s comprehensive…

The Milliners - Edgar Degas  1882
An Old Woman - Vilhelm Hammershøi  1886
Lilian Bassman & Paul Himmel, 1951
Italo Calvino and Jorge Luis Borges
Calvino on Borges:
The last great invention of a new literary genre in our time was achieved by a master of the short form, Jorge Luis Borges. It was the invention of himself as narrator, that “Columbus’ egg,” which enabled him to get over the mental block that until nearly forty years of age prevented him from moving beyond essays to fiction. The idea that came to Borges was to pretend that the book he wanted to write had already been written by someone else, some unknown hypothetical author — an author in a different language, of a different culture — and that his task was to describe and review this invented book.
Part of the Borges legend is the anecdote that when the first extraordinary story written according to this formula, “El acercamiento a Almot√°sim” (The Approach to Al’Mut√°sim), appeared in the magazine Sur in 1940, it was in fact believed to be a review of a book by an Indian author. In the same way, critics of Borges feel bound to observe that each of his texts doubles or multiplies its own space through the medium of other books belonging to a real or imaginary library, whether they be classical, erudite, or merely invented.
What I particularly wish to stress is how Borges achieves his approaches to the infinite without the least congestion, in the most crystalline, sober, and airy style.
– Italo Calvino, lecture on Quickness, Six Memos for the Next Millennium quote source