Archive for Dante

EJN Remembrance #13: o dolce lume a cui fidanza i’ entro

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 21, 2010 by spinoza1111

Edward G. Nilges, “State of a Portrait of Edward Joseph Nilges as of 21 Sep 2010”, acrylic on oval canvas, 20 * 60 cm

Edward G. Nilges, “Detail of State of a Portrait of Edward Joseph Nilges as of 21 Sep 2010”, acrylic on oval canvas, 20 * 60 cm

Edward G. Nilges, “Computer-modified detail of State of a Portrait of Edward Joseph Nilges as of 21 Sep 2010”, acrylic on oval canvas, 20 * 60 cm

Edward G. Nilges, “Monochrome detail of State of a Portrait of Edward Joseph Nilges as of 21 Sep 2010”, acrylic on oval canvas, 20 * 60 cm

“O dolce lume a cui fidanza i’ entro
per lo novo cammin, tu ne conduci,”
dicea, “come condur si vuol quinc’ entro.

Tu scaldi il mondo, tu sovr’ esso luci;
s’altra ragione in contrario non ponta,
esser dien sempre li tuoi raggi duci.”

‘O sweet light, in whose help I trust
as I set out upon this unknown road,’ he said,
‘give us whatever guidance here is needed.

‘You shed your light upon the world and warm it.
Unless we find good reason to do other,
your rays must always be our guide.’

Dante, Purgatorio XIII, from The Princeton Dante Project

I have started adding the colour.

Psychoanalysis: considered futile and otiose. But when I listen to the pieties of a Tony Blair, I reflect that I got more done in my “psychoanalysis” (Rogerian analysis in the 1960s and 1970s) than Blair got in church.

The denial of the Shadow and, above all, the greasy way in which journalists talk about “faith” using a word uglified by the fact that their surface respect conceals contempt.

Psychiatry’s superego considered as part of the fundamental furniture of your head makes it possible to do things “out of the blue”:

I never done good things
I never done bad things
I never did anything out of the blue

David Bowie

A universal command to be egoistic and to adopt (cf Zizek) advertising as a phony superego creates addiction, because doing something in self-interest isn’t usually spontaneous.

The only really honest image above may be the monochrome.

The OD shirt must be unfinished, but beneath it the transition from earth to blue seems to work. The lettering of “O anima cortese Mantoana” needs work.

Edward G. Nilges 19 September 2010


EJN Remembrance #10: Ierusalèm col suo più alto punto

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2010 by spinoza1111

Edward G. Nilges, “State of ‘Portrait of Edward J. Nilges’ as of 4:00 PM, 15 September 2010”, Mars Black acrylic wash on canvas, oval 16 x 20 cm.

Edward G. Nilges, “Detail of State of ‘Portrait of Edward J. Nilges’ as of 5:00 PM, 15 September 2010”, Mars Black acrylic wash with white highlighting on canvas, oval 16 x 20 cm.

Edward G. Nilges, “State of ‘Portrait of Edward J. Nilges’ as of 7:00 PM, 15 September 2010”, acrylic grisaille on canvas, oval 16 x 20 cm.

Già era ‘l sole a l’orizzonte giunto
lo cui meridïan cerchio coverchia
Ierusalèm col suo più alto punto;

e la notte, che opposita a lui cerchia,
uscia di Gange fuor con le Bilance,
che le caggion di man quando soverchia;

sì che le bianche e le vermiglie guance,
là dov’ i’ era, de la bella Aurora
per troppa etate divenivan rance.

The sun was nearly joined to that horizon
where the meridian circle at its zenith
stands straight above Jerusalem,

and night, circling on the other side,
was rising from the Ganges with the Scales
she drops when she is longer than the day,

so that, where I was,
the white and rosy cheeks of fair Aurora
were turning golden with time’s ripening.

Dante, Divine Comedy, Purgatorio II (from The Princeton Dante Project)

“So I saw that when they awoke, they addressed themselves to
go up to the city; but, as I said, the reflection of the sun upon
the city (for the city was pure gold) was so extremely glorious
that they could not, as yet, with open face behold it, but through
an instrument made for that purpose. So I saw, that as I went
on, there met them two men, in raiment that shone like gold; also
their faces shone as the light.”

John Bunyan

A harrowing time for I knew that when you go from wash to grisaille you cease writing and start painting, and my ancestor emerged like a ghost.

The first illustration is the final state of the wash.

The second, is a detail of the eyes right after the first scumbling was added using white.

The third is where the painting is now.

A life organized by light a world lit by fire.

Perhaps a torn Italian propaganda poster on the back wall sketched in faintly of cultural monuments being destroyed by Italian bombing. Yes, it was all rather soulless. But as Adorno points out, in those situations you put your heart and soul into being an object, into being “soulless” for the duration. Iraq and Afghanistan vets speak of putting what they have endured and done behind a door. Works perhaps in the field but there are a lot of problems when they return.

In working to support your family in the corporation you perform the same operation: use your subject-hood to achieve subjectlessness by means of will-power. You get into coding that program, and you think of the Baltimore Catechism’s injunction that man love God with “his whole heart, and soul, and mind”.

And then after many years, you emerge, like Dante and Virgil at the exit of Hell and the entrance to Purgatory in the half light of dawn. A pearly grey world lit only by stars.

The old welfare state was committed to full employment. In my experience in the 1970s, it meant that nobody ever got fired at places like Encyclopedia Britannica, that middle managers had three martini lunches as in Mad Men. But: you also had a shot at using your passion for something important. I blew that shot, and then in 1980, Thatcher and Reagan withdrew the implicit committment.

Turned out that all my committment during the Carter years was like the service between wars of the hardass Colonel in The Thin Red Line, played by Nick Nolte: “poured out like water on the ground”, which was his motivation for driving his men in a WWI style attempt to take a Japanese position.

Whereupon I rejoice, and give thanks for my rude health and ability to paint.

Note on mashing up John Bunyan, that old Dissenter, and Dante, that Romish man, as above, and in using Vanity Fair in my (very free) translation of Dante: Bunyan was called the greatest writer of simple English prose by George MacDonald Fraser, who ought to know (he’s underrated).

Yet: Bunyan uses an “indirect” method. Like the Old Masters on the Continent of his time, Poussin and especially Rembrandt, Bunyan piles upon gorgeous prose effects as if to give the simple folk a pearl of great price, from the pain of Bunyan’s depression and alcoholism (I cannot think of the very name of his spiritual autobiography, God’s Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, without great emotion).

Bunyan uses English complex grammar to magnificent effect to get to a simple result, as simple as the gesture of forgiveness given the Prodigal in Rembrandt, a gesture built with piles of careful paint by the Hollander.

Rembrandt van Rijn The return of the prodigal son c. 1662. Oil on canvas 262 x 206 cm. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

But today, “simple” writing is supposed not to use Bunyan’s complex syntax. There is a deep contempt for understanding.

But I say, it takes what it takes.

My purpose in painting online is not so much to teach “technique”, since you can find people who, unlike me, stuck with art in a much more specialized way and know more.

It is instead to tunnel under the earth, like Milton’s Satan, Dante’s Vergil and Dante, or Hamlet’s father.

To be a worthy pioneer.

There is a deep contempt for labor afoot. I’ve worked for five years as a dedicated teacher six days a week, and it has been poured out like water on the ground. I wrote a lot of software as a mere employee, and it was poured out like water on the ground.

But I don’t care. Unum necessarium. My uncle was the better man and he was poured out like holy water on the ground. He’ll get this humble and unworthy memorial.

EJN Remembrance #8: O ben finiti, o già spiriti eletti

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 11, 2010 by spinoza1111

Edward G. Nilges, “State of a Portrait of Edward Joseph Nilges, ‘Anima Cortese’, as of 8:00 PM 11 Sep 2010”, charcoal on oval canvas 16 x 20 cm

Edward G. Nilges, “State of a Portrait of Edward Joseph Nilges, ‘Anima Cortese’, as of 8:30 PM 11 Sep 2010”, charcoal on oval canvas 16 x 20 cm

Edward G. Nilges, “State of a Portrait of Edward Joseph Nilges, ‘Anima Cortese’, as of 9:00 PM 11 Sep 2010”, charcoal on oval canvas 16 x 20 cm

“O ben finiti, o già spiriti eletti,”
Virgilio incominciò, “per quella pace
ch’i’ credo che per voi tutti s’aspetti,
ditene dove la montagna giace,
sì che possibil sia l’andare in suso;
ché perder tempo a chi più sa più spiace.”

‘O you who have come to a happy end,
spirits already chosen,’ Virgil began,
‘by that peace which, I think, awaits you all,
‘tell us where the mountain rises gently
so that we may begin the long ascent.
The more we know, the more we hate time’s waste.’

The “ink” (Mars Black wash) is just begun and shall demand invention given the limited precision of the 1942 photograph.

Barber’s Adagio appropriate for 11 Sep. I can’t seem to shake a new habit of writing dates with day first. The American way is to say September 11th.

Now there’s my father and a bit of me in the portrait. There was a well hidden gaiety or twerpiness in Edward J, which surfaces only in one photograph I saw, which my father and I don’t share. The “courteous Mantuan” eludes me, slipping in the sands or shadows of time, and I never knew him.

The youngest living person to have known him is pushing eighty. Only Walter Benjamin’s “angel of history” knows what he looks like, looked like after the last studio portrait was taken and he took ship for Europe.

To quote Dante makes the portrait automatically not one that would be used for further commemorations of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Although I wish those veterans well, there are many military artists far better able to do this than I. This is meant to be a “work” of “art”, but not I hope done out of vanity and self assertion.

No, it’s just that working on this while listening to Samuel Barber gives me peace, and will enhance my art wall. Don’t know if I would sell it, it’s kind of a personal or family heirloom, for one who has little from his family home. Other family members may not like it: my relationships with them are tenuous at best.

I’ve been acurst/blessed, marked/wounded all my life. I do stuff I think is great but seem to be a highly acquired taste, like absinthe or Campari.

But that is not the point. The point is that WWII was a mass of undifferentiated men and women who, in my Mom’s words, didn’t “go”, they were, she said with mysterious anger and intensity, “sent”.

At the link where he writes his recollections of Edward, my Dad makes a comment about Grandmother’s regrets that she took Edward J to wave the flag in patriotic celebrations of World War I. He remembers these regrets because he too hated the football coach patriots and even said to me that he wished he had forbid my GI kid brother to enter Scouting, when my kid brother was sent to Iraq.

But, Dad always voted Republican (he actually apologized to me for voting for Dick Nixon) and his essay on Uncle Ed ends with a conventional Latin tag that one would think Wilfred Owen would make him ashamed to use: “Dulce et decorum”:

To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

My Dad was active as a physician in anti-nuclear activism but his default role was to support society and the conservative norm. For this reason, he is as elusive as Edward J.

But: I was probably the last person in the West to learn the Latin tag not from the Wilfred Owen poem, which I read at 18, but straight from a Latin textbook in high school in 1963.

A painting in this, my pastiche as it were of the Old Master style, with preliminary drawings, lines, grisaille and “svelatura”, is appropriate to a “man” such as is almost extinct, like Richard Nixon’s eldest brother. The rest of us are works in progress, sketches, cartoons, and caricatures.

Taking Richard Yates very, very seriously: for the wife means it in Revolutionary Road when she says you’re not a man. Taking Hong Kong writer Martin Booth very, very seriously when in Gweilo, the author’s mother hisses at his father that he is a jackanapes in a fake Royal Navy uniform.

But: if 90% of the casualties in contemporary war are civilians, you don’t become a man in military service. The last men were, as Mom says, sent.

My former wife

“that wretched Anne, thy wife” – Richard III

just wanted a man. She got someone who’d shitcanned his goals and wanted to be a good corporate slave. She hardly ever saw me paint, and my kids, never.

Hmm the mouth is pretty, prissy, conventional. Edward J’s was humorous, straight and alive. This will be fixable at this stage, for a mouth is not a line, it is light and shadow.

EJN Remembrance #7: Te Decet Hymnus in Sion

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 10, 2010 by spinoza1111

Edward G. Nilges, “Cartoon for Edward Joseph Nilges”, pencil on paper, 7.5 cm x 12 cm, Sep 10 2010

Edward G. Nilges, “Study for Edward Joseph Nilges 1915-1945”, pencil, wash and fuser on paper, 7.5 cm x 12 cm, Sep 10 2010

Edward G. Nilges, “Study for Edward Joseph Nilges, Captain United States Army”, pencil, wash and fuser on paper, toned and white-shaded using Gimp, 7.5 cm x 12 cm, Sep 10 2010

Edward G. Nilges, “Te Decet Hymnus in Sion for Edward Joseph Nilges, 442 Regimental Combat Team ‘Nisei’, ‘Go For Broke'”, drawings using pencil, wash and fuser on paper, toned and white-shaded using Gimp, assembled using Microsoft Paint and Microsoft Office Picture Manager, Sep 10 2010

Mentre ch’i’ rovinava in basso loco,
dinanzi a li occhi mi si fu offerto
chi per lungo silenzio parea fioco.

Quando vidi costui nel gran diserto,
“Miserere di me,” gridai a lui,
“qual che tu sii, od ombra od omo certo!”

Rispuosemi: “Non omo, omo già fui,
e li parenti miei furon lombardi,
mantoani per patrïa ambedui.

Nacqui sub Iulio, ancor che fosse tardi,
e vissi a Roma sotto ‘l buono Augusto
nel tempo de li dèi falsi e bugiardi.

Poeta fui, e cantai di quel giusto
figliuol d’Anchise che venne di Troia,
poi che ‘l superbo Ilïón fu combusto.

Ma tu perché ritorni a tanta noia?
perché non sali il dilettoso monte
ch’è principio e cagion di tutta goia?”

While I was fleeing to a lower place,
before my eyes a figure showed,
faint, in the wide silence.

When I saw him in that vast desert,
‘Have mercy on me, whatever you are,’
I cried, ‘whether shade or living man!’

He answered: ‘Not a man, though once I was.
My parents were from Lombardy —
Mantua was their homeland.

‘I was born sub Julio, though late in his time,
and lived at Rome, under good Augustus
in an age of false and lying gods.

‘I was a poet and I sang
the just son of Anchises come from Troy
after proud Ilium was put to flame.

‘But you, why are you turning back to misery?
Why do you not climb the peak that gives delight,
origin and cause of every joy?’

Dante Divine Comedy

I decided to do another drawing which has opened up a can of worms, for the gracile genes of my patrilineal grandmother enter in to make my uncle less Eisenhower and his father, and I struggle against the strange or daemonic in this. “Male and Female he created them”. But it is all mixed together and the artist easily can offend. All I can say is that I’m aware of this.

Thinking of that scene in Angels in America where the Mormon grandmother comes alive in the diorama and says that the descendant would simply not understand “the pain”.

The Dante is the meeting of Dante and Vergil. It also appears in TS Eliot.

Robert Motherwell, Elegy for the Spanish Republic

While Edward was studying Fascism at John Carroll University with the holy monks, Robert Motherwell was realizing that the first use of civilian bombing and the failure to defend a legitimate League of Nations member in Spain meant that history had just shuddered into reverse.

But Catholics were fed, and in the 1950s I was fed, the usual diet of lies and cans of worms, that the holy nuns had been immolated inside churches as if that, if true, justifies lex talonis.

Nothing is sacred, nothing is what was called in Anglo Saxon “saelig” (silly blessed holy)? Perhaps, but then again I still see children being fussed over by Yuppie mamas in Soho. So I shall complete this painting Ins’allah.

EJN Remembrance #5: O anima cortese Mantoana

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 8, 2010 by spinoza1111

Edward G. Nilges, “Cartoon for Remembrance of Edward Joseph Nilges”, pencil and pen on paper, 7.5*10 cm. 7 Sep 2010″

“Là sù di sopra, in la vita serena,”
rispuos’ io lui, “mi smarri’ in una valle,
avanti che l’età mia fosse piena.

Pur ier mattina le volsi le spalle:
questi m’apparve, tornand’ïo in quella,
e reducemi a ca per questo calle.”

Ed elli a me: “Se tu segui tua stella,
non puoi fallire a glorïoso porto,
se ben m’accorsi ne la vita bella;

e s’io non fossi sì per tempo morto,
veggendo il cielo a te così benigno,
dato t’avrei a l’opera conforto.

Ma quello ingrato popolo maligno
che discese di Fiesole ab antico,
e tiene ancor del monte e del macigno,

ti si farà, per tuo ben far, nimico;
ed è ragion, ché tra li lazzi sorbi
si disconvien fruttare al dolce fico.

Vecchia fama nel mondo li chiama orbi;
gent’ è avara, invidiosa e superba:
dai lor costumi fa che tu ti forbi.

La tua fortuna tanto onor ti serba,
che l’una parte e l’altra avranno fame
di te; ma lungi fia dal becco l’erba.”

“There up aloft,” I answer’d, “in the life
Serene, I wander’d in a valley lost,
Before mine age had to its fullness reach’d.
But yester-morn I left it: then once more
Into that vale returning, him I met;
And by this path homeward he leads me back.”

“If thou,” he answer’d, “follow but thy star,
Thou canst not miss at last a glorious haven:
Unless in fairer days my judgment err’d.
And if my fate so early had not chanc’d,
Seeing the heav’ns thus bounteous to thee, I
Had gladly giv’n thee comfort in thy work.
But that ungrateful and malignant race,
Who in old times came down from Fesole,
Ay and still smack of their rough mountain-flint,
Will for thy good deeds shew thee enmity.
Nor wonder; for amongst ill-savour’d crabs
It suits not the sweet fig-tree lay her fruit.
Old fame reports them in the world for blind,
Covetous, envious, proud. Look to it well:
Take heed thou cleanse thee of their ways. For thee
Thy fortune hath such honour in reserve,
That thou by either party shalt be crav’d
With hunger keen: but be the fresh herb far
From the goat’s tooth.

Dante, Inferno XV

One of the occupational hazards of art is that damn’d pair of complementary vices: grandiosity and shame.

Vices sometimes come in pairs, even as the Spendthrift destroys what the Avaricious grasps, to no effect, for eternity, in Dante’s Inferno.

In art, there’s a complementary relationship between the overweening feeling of personal grandeur when you come up with something, and the fear that you may be as Dante was mocked or worse ignored. For just as nasty miserly Avarice “enables” the Spendthrift who, justly angry at having to live (or as a child, grow up in) the grey goo of the household in which fear of no-money rules, goes out to waste money at the bar, the grandiosity is also the fear. Father Zerchi reflects at the end of A Canticle for Leibowitz that “the itch” is ontologically more fundamental than the pain.

So: screw it. Cezanne just tramped about Aix until the guy dropped dead.

Screw it and do it. OK, here’s the “cartoon”, perhaps, for the EJN Remembrance painting: this, perhaps, what I shall project on the canvas to trace the lines. I have a very cool Korean projector for this. When you do it you MUST pay attention and be IMPROVING the lines, otherwise it preserves your mistakes.

Still too much of Edward Joseph’s father and Eisenhower.

He may resemble my grandfather for he was of Depression necessity a second or Vice-Regent father in the family system. About the only thing my youngest uncle remembers of EJN is the combat infantry badge of the junior officer, with what the junior officer must say to the men when under fire: “follow me”.

The key to Edward’s anima might be in the broad planes of his young face, like the plain of the Po onto which the US and Britain were trying to break out. My grandfather had rounded lumps of clay on his face but these develop in men with time and hunger. I may be seeing those in the blank spaces and they may disappear with shading. Therefore, the next step is another “wash” chiaroscuro drawing.

In the 1960s I did a couple of likenesses in art school. You always know when you turn the corner and capture a soul. It is a spooky moment.

I have given him his Captain (o my Captain) bars to avoid confusing the viewer although his Camp Shelby picture has his Lieutenant bars, since I shall inscribe the basics of his life on a scroll in the final painting.

US Army didn’t know what they had in him. He might have taken and held Arnhem with his seriously crazy Asians and ended the war. But as a Nilges, he wasn’t what you’d call “pushy” or self-advancing, just did the next right thing. May I emulate him, having strayed like Dante from the true way, o anima cortese Mantoana.

But most officers were like the corrupt bastards that changed Irving Kristol (conservative Bill Kristol’s father) from a socialist to a conservative: looking out for number one while talking about pro patria mori and constantly taking advantage of military socialism.

Edward was probably too self-effacing to make his way at low flag rank, although I like to think that Eisenhower would have liked to have him on his staff, and that he’d like Ike. But the officers around him would, I believe, infer from his gentle manners and Catholicism that he was “soft”.

Something, of course, that he’d disproved, quietly, even before Mt. Folgorito and the bitter woods, and disproved to the least of men: Asians whose parents were in concentration camps. Dare I think of five years apparently wasted teaching Hong Kong students, six days a week,

whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days and nights with brilliant eyes, meat for the Synagogue cast on the pavement,

with nothing whatsoever to show for it?

I do. The only good reason for reading military history is not, if George McDonald “Flashman” Fraser is correct, to say, as my parents said, that “you never had it so good, and this was because the soldiers of WWII were better men than you’ll ever be”. For upon being demobbed, Fraser realized that the real fun would start: flogging encyclopedias in Canada, and the daily calls and regulations of civilian life including its final Mt Folgorito, death. Trying to get Playboy, 20 years later, to publish Flashman at the Charge. Getting screwed in Hollywood with that disaster that was made of Royal Flash by that psycho Malcolm McDowell.

The saint, writes Zizek, does what she in her heart of hearts, wants. It is not, in the final analysis, self-abnegation as the holy sisters told us. The question is what you really want. I used to think unfiltered Camels were mighty tasty.

EJN #4: Remembrance: Plan for a History Painting

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2010 by spinoza1111

Edward G. Nilges, “Plan for a History Painting in Honor of Edward Joseph Nilges”. EGN drawings in pencil wash and charcoal scanned, modified and arranged using Gimp, Microsoft Paint and Microsoft Office Picture Manager, 6 Sep 2010.

O anima cortese mantoana,
di cui la fama ancor nel mondo dura,
e durerà quanto ’l mondo lontana,

l’amico mio, e non de la ventura,
ne la diserta piaggia è impedito
sì nel cammin, che vòlt’ è per paura;

e temo che non sia già sì smarrito,
ch’io mi sia tardi al soccorso levata,
per quel ch’i’ ho di lui nel cielo udito.

Dante, Inferno, 58-60

The Mantuan is Vergil, in Dante’s time the most admired poet of the ancient world, and Vergil accompanies Dante through Hell and the lower parts of Purgatory. Vergil is telling Dante how and why Beatrice, Dante’s love in heaven, has contacted Vergil, asking him to conduct Dante on a tour of Hell, Purgatory and Heaven.

Dante, nel mezzo del camin de nostra vita is full of anger and resentment at being a misunderstood genius passed over in favor of lesser men: that is as ever the way of the world. Beatrice considers Dante ready to face the worst (what would now be medicated as depression) in Vergil’s company: the prevelance of sin in our lives, or whatever name “sin” has these days such as alcoholism or just being a total prick in business.

Here is my (very) free transliteration of the translation at the Princeton Dante Project.

O Mantuan, courteous spirit,
Famous in this world and that to come,
My friend, no friend of Fortune,
My love, who is not loved by the world,
Is so hindered in his ascent of the desert mountain,
That in fear he turns aside.
And, from reports in Heaven,
I fear he commits the grievous sin
Nam’d Despair, that slough of Despond so near to Vanity’s fair.
Were it so I should be too late to help him,
Even as the frantic mother scrambles by the flood
Of Arno or of Po, when in spate it snatches her child,
Then should I, too, despair, but that I am in Heaven now.

Complex subjunctive grammar, which Dante uses and Shakespeare even more, corrected after first post.

Devil a doubt, my uncle read the Divine Comedy at John Carroll University if not Cathedral Latin School. My fifth grade favorite Nun, Sister Andrew, gave me a child’s version to read when she found me not paying attention in arithmetic, drawing a picture of heaven, of hell, and of purgatory. My Dad had an edition illustrated if memory serves by George Grosz.

I wish de Niro would get on making a film of Dante’s epic.

I realized last night that my goal in art is to be old masterish without in the slightest being like those clowns on You Tube who have far more training than I in the techniques from art skewl, but whose work is deadened by the effect of this training. I don’t wanna be traditional. I don’t wanna be modern. I really don’t wanna be postmodern.

No, I just wanna rip art a new asshole.

Pretense? Perhaps. But that’s art, as opposed to tautolology and technics. Your daemon, your anima, rips you a new asshole and then you rip art a new asshole. And you must always be pure in heart, ever reminding yourself that you are doing l’art pour l’art, not glory or chicks.

Robert Hughes, an art historian from Oz, decries art historical thinking in terms of -isms and movements, and although he’s a buffoon, he’s on to something. Picasso didn’t wake up in 1916 and say, hey, I’m a Cubist.

Instead, what I do is get charged up over a mental image with thoughts and feelings attached, and for me, that image is deeply layered even as “old master” paintings were done in layers. The “indirect” method of the great Masters gives me good goals even as did “structured programming” in computers, and, like “structured programming” when you discover that a general-purpose module is needed, I produce extra art product such as drawings and computer-modified images.

During my work sessions I am thinking but not in words apart from the occasional “cool”, or “o shit”. The thoughts can not be labeled emotions nor can they be called cognitive. It’s like cooking rice, which I want to get right before leaving Asia.

Right after Edward J. Nilges was killed, the cities of Italy to the north exploded in revolution against the Fascisti and the Germans. So, perhaps after all the American and British pressure DID help to win the war. But it remains the case that we’re all, like the Chorus in Henry V, ciphers in the great accompt.

I am thinking of how as a worker or job seeker I push microscopically on one end of a great Beast and out the other end, by a process that is hidden, the Beast delivers me my trivial addictions to air conditioning and food. Likewise, the war/postwar stories of Richard “Revolutionary Road” Yates are mostly about following the man ahead of you in predawn darkness and then returning to get a job in data processing whilst some woman holds your balls for you in a silken box.


She also keeps the cards that read
Have mercy on his soul

(Bob Dylan, Desolation Row)