L'ombelico di Svesda



Gianni Berengo Gardin

Venezia, Piazza San Marco, 1959
Venezia, Piazza San Marco, 1959

Gianni Berengo Gardin #1
Gianni Berengo Gardin #8
Gianni Berengo Gardin #6
Gianni Berengo Gardin #2
Gianni Berengo Gardin #9
Storie di un fotografo, Gianni Berengo Gardin a Milano | Linkiesta.it


Viskningar Och Rop

Sussurri e grida
Film drammatico, molto drammatico, Sussurri e grida di Ingmar Bergman, del 1972, affronta il tema della vita e della morte e per farlo, si avvale del ritmo lento delle riprese, di dialoghi toccanti e toccanti silenzi, della meravigliosa fotografia di Sven Nykvist, valsagli un oscar. Una casa, una donna provata da un lungo periodo di malattia, tre sorelle, lo spettro di una madre presente nei ricordi, una domestica. Tante le reminiscenze, gli anni che rendono irreversibile il tempo stato al cospetto del quale l’urgenza, l’imminenza della morte, tutti ricongiunge e tutti separa.

‘La prima immagine ritornava sempre: la stanza rossa con le donne vestite di bianco. Succede che alcune immagini ritornino in modo ostinato, senza che io sappia cosa vogliono da me. Poi scompaiono, ritornano di nuovo e sembrano sempre le stesse. Quattro donne vestite di bianco in una stanza rossa’.
Ingmar Bergman

Some Girls

14th studio album by The Rolling Stones, released in 1978
BBC – Music – Review of The Rolling Stones – Some Girls: Deluxe Edition.


Una delle krautrock band più influenti degli anni ’70, i Can nascono a Cologne e si affermano nel panorama musicale europeo come gruppo d’avanguardia fusion capace di grande estro e maestria.
Di recente il German Rock Museum ha dato modo alla band di portare all’attenzione del pubblico tutto il materiale da loro prodotto e registrato tra il 1969 e il 1977. L’esperimento segna la nascita e il lancio di un nuovo progetto musicale, un cofanetto delle meraviglie contenente all’interno 3 cd di tracce rare e pezzi inediti. Millionenspiel e Dead Pigeon Suite fra questi. Your next psychedelic freak out
Can, The Lost Tapes
BBC – Music – Review of Can – The Lost Tapes.

Ooh La La

Final studio album by English blues rock band Faces, released in 1973
Italian comedian Ettore Petrolini in the cover

Lady Love

Lady Love, off Bridge Of Sighs by Robin Trower, 1974

In the mood for love: Ed van der Elsken’s Love on the Left Bank | Sean O’Hagan | Art and design | guardian.co.uk

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Ed van der Elsken‘s groundbreaking book of photographs, Love on the Left Bank, first published in a small edition in 1954, has been reprinted by the small British publisher, Dewi Lewis. This is a cause for celebration. It is a classic of its kind – grainy, monochrome cinéma vérité – and one of the first photobooks to record the nascent flowering of rebellious youth culture in Europe.

Set in and around the hinterland between Odéon and St Germain-des-Prés, shot in black and white, the book is an impressionistic narrative that centres on a fictional character, Ann, a beautiful and enigmatic bohemian, and her circle of vagabond friends, who haunt the bars, cafes and clubs of the area. Van der Elsken’s camera trails Ann as she works as an exotic dancer, drinks, flirts, fights, sleeps, falls in and out of love.

Ann is actually the legendary bohemian figure Vali Myers, a self-exiled Australian artist, who was friends with Cocteau and Genet, and, by way of van der Elsken’s evocative portraits of her, later became a muse for the teenage Patti Smith. When the two eventually met in New York in the early 1970s, Myers tattooed a lightning bolt on Smith’s knee, while Smith described her as “the supreme beatnik chick – thick red hair and big black eyes, black boatneck sweaters and trench coats”.

Love on the Left Bank is actually narrated by a relatively minor character called Manuel, a young Mexican on the run from his own demons, who falls for Ann and whose thoughts form the text that accompanies the pictures. The text, van der Elsken makes clear from the start, “is entirely fictional and is not related to any living person”. The story of Manuel’s unrequited love for Ann creates another layer of mystery, adding to the sense that this is a snapshot not just of a time and place, but of a mood, maybe even a collective state of mind. That mood could be described as the beatnik sublime, and van der Elsken captures the first stirrings of a kind of youthful non-conformity that would become much more familiar – and ritualised – in the coming decades.

The intimate portraits of Ann – daydreaming, dozing, stirring a coffee – are the still moments in an otherwise impressionistic, often frenetic, narrative. The characters in the book are constantly on the move, from cafe to bar, nightclub to jazz club, the streets of St Germain-des-Prés alive with young people in search of the next nocturnal high. The supporting cast of real-life characters includes Jean-Michel, Benny and Pierre, who look like stylish proto-punks and drift in and out of trouble without much thought for the consequences, getting drunk, getting high and, at one point, getting arrested for brawling on the street. Like Brassaï before him, van der Elsken is drawn to the symbolic as well as the impressionistic: in one portrait of Ann, she leans against a wall on which the word Rêve (Dream) has been painted: shades of the Situationist slogans that would transform Paris during the student uprising of 1968.

In one series of fly-on-the-wall photographs, van der Elsken captures Jean Michel teaching a girl to “smoke hashish in the right way … the cigarette not held in the mouth, the smoke inhaled together with air from the cupped hands”. Jean Michel Mension would later become one of the main protagonists of the 1968 student uprising, a member of the Letterist International, to which the legendary Situationist activist and thinker, Guy Debord, also belonged. Legend has it that the back of Debord’s head can be seen in one of the many bar scenes in the book.

Ed van der Elsken’s Love on the Left Bank is important for many reasons, then: as an early reflection of youth cultural ennui, disaffection and rebellion; as a glimpse of a particular place and time when Parisian culture, specifically its youth culture, was on the cusp of a great sea change; as one of the first visual narratives that walks the line between fly-on-the-wall reportage and created narrative.

Vali Myers went on to become an opium addict, then an artist of some repute. She lived for a time in her own personal “Garden of Eden”, a small house with a rambling garden in Positano. She is the subject of four films, one, Death in the Port Jackson Hotel, made in 1971 by van der Elsken. She died of cancer, aged 72, in 2003 in her native Melbourne. In a newspaper interview, given from her hospital bed, she said, “I’ve had 72 absolutely flaming years. It [the illness] doesn’t bother me at all, because, you know love, when you’ve lived like I have, you’ve done it all.”

Van der Elsken went on to produce several brilliant books and to embrace colour photography in order to capture the vitality of his native Holland, but he was never at ease with the world of commercial photography.

Love on the Left Bank, his first and most groundbreaking book, remains his most beautifully realised body of work. He died of cancer, aged 65, in 1990. He once said, “I report on young, rebellious scum with pleasure … I rejoice in everything. Love. Courage. Beauty. Also blood, sweat and tears. Keep your eyes open.”

via In the mood for love: Ed van der Elsken’s Love on the Left Bank | Sean O’Hagan | Art and design | guardian.co.uk.

Production and Metaphysics*

In the background Sodom and Gomorra still burn. Lot and his daughters could escape in time before the inferno began. Lot’s wife was not that fortunate: she was transformed into a pillar of salt because she looked back, against God’s command. She can be seen standing on the wooden bridge.

As Lot has no male children, his daughters decide to help him. They make him drunk with lots of wine. The children that were conceived that night would become the ancestors of the Moabites and the Ammonites, neighbours of Israel.

via Lucas van Leyden: Lot and his Daughters (oil paint).

There is a work by a primitive painter in the Louvre, whether known or unknown I cannot say, who will never represent a major school in art history. The artist’s name is Lucas van Leyden and to my mind he invalidates the four or five hundred years of painting coming after him, rendering them useless. The painting in question is entitled Lot and His Daughters, a biblical subject in the style of the period. The Middle Ages certainly did not interpret the Bible as we do today and this painting is a strange example of the mystical inferences which can be deduced from it. In any event, its phatos is noticeable even from a distance, since it affects the mind by a kind of sticking visual harmony, intensely active in the whole work yet caught at a glance.
Even before we have made out the subject, we get the feeling something important is happening and it seems the ear is as affected by it as the eye. A tremendously important mental drama appears accumulated there, like a sudden cloud formation which the wind or some more immediate fate has blown there to assess their thunderbolts.
And, in fact, in the painting the sky is dark and overcast, but even before we can make out that this drama originated in the heavens, took place in the heavens, the strange colouring and jumble of forms, the impression emanating from it at a distance, all foretells a kind of natural drama, and I defy any other artist of the Golden Ages to offer us anything like it.
A tent is pitched on the shore, in front of which Lot is seated, wearing a breastplate and sporting a fine red beard, watching his daughters parade before him as if he were a guest at a prostitutes’ banquet.
And in fact they strut about, some mothers, others Amazons, combing their hair or fencing, as if they had never had any other object than to please their father, to serve as his creatures or playthings. Here we see the deeply incestuous nature of this old subject which the artist has developed in sexual imagery, a proof that he has fully understood all its deep sexuality in a modern way, that is to say as we would understand it ourselves. A proof that its deeply sexual but poetic nature did not escape him any more than it did us.
On the left of the painting, slightly in the background, a black tower rises to fantastic heights, its base supported by a network of rocks and plants, twisting roads marked by milestones, with houses dotted here and there. And by an apt perspective effect, one of these paths which had been threading its way through the maze stands out at a given spot, crosses a bridge, is finally caught in a shaft of that stormy light spilling out between the clouds, in which the region is fitfully bathed. In the background, the sea is very high besides being extraordinarily calm, considering the fiery web seething in one corner of the sky.
Sometimes, when we are watching exploding fireworks, some details of the landscape stand out against the darkness in the ghostly light, in the nocturnal gunfire of shooting stars, sky rockets and Roman candles; trees, tower, mountains and houses appear in relief before our eyes, their colour and appearance for ever remaining associated in our minds with a notion of ear-splitting noise. There is no better way of conveying how the various aspects of the landscape conform to this fire revealed in the sky than by saying that although they possess their own colour, in spite of everything, they remain related to it like muted echoes, like living points of reference born within it, put there to allow it to exert its full destructive power.
Besides, there is something horribly forceful and disturbing about the way the painter depicts this fire, like active, changing features in a set expression. It makes little difference how this effect is achieved, it is real. One has only to see the painting to be convinced of it.
In any case, this fire, which no one will deny gives one the impression of an evil intellect emanating from it, by its very violence mentally serves to counterbalance the heavy material solidity of the remainder.
To the right, on the same perspective level as the black tower, a narrow spit of land surrounded by a ruined monastery juts out between the heavens and high seas.
This spit of land, however near it may appear to the shore where the Lot’s tent is pitched, still leaves room for a vast gulf where an unprecedented maritime disaster seems to have taken place. Ships broken in two but not yet sunk are propped on the sea as if on crutches, while the water round about them is full of their uprooted masts and broken spars.
It is hard to say why such an impression of absolute disaster emanates from the sight of one or two shipwrecked vessels.
It seems as though the painter knew certain secrets about linear proportion and how to make it affect the mind directly like a physical reagent. In any case this impression of intellect spread abroad in outdoor nature, especially the manner of portraying it, is apparent in several other details on the canvas, such as the bridge standing out against the sea, high as an eight-storey house, with people filing across it, like Ideas in Plato’s cave.
It would be untrue to claim that the thoughts emerging from this painting are clear. At all events they are of a grandeur to which we have become totally unaccustomed during the last few centuries by painting that was merely painting.
In addiction, Lot and his daughters suggest an idea of sexuality and reproduction, and Lot seems placed like a drone, to take improper advantage of his daughters.
This is almost the only idea in the picture.
All the other ideas are metaphysical. I am sorry to have to use that word, but that is what they are called. And I might even say their poetic greatness, their tangible effect on us arises from the fact that they are metaphysical, that their mental profundity cannot be separated from the painting’s formal, external symmetry.
Furthermore there is an idea of change in the different landscape details and the way they are painted, their levels annulling or corresponding to one another, that leads us into the mind in painting the same way as in music.
There is another idea about Fate, revealed not so much by the appearance of that sudden fire as by the solemn way in which all forms are arranged or disarranged beneath it, some as of bent beneath a gust of irresistible panic, the others motionless, almost ironic, all obeying a powerful intelligent consistency, seemingly nature’s mind externalized.
There are also ideas on Chaos, the Marvellous and Balance. There are even one or two on the importance of Words, this supremely anarchic, material painting seeming to establish their futility.
In any event I must say this painting is what theatre ought to be, if only it knew how to speak its own language.
Text entirely taken from ‘The Theatre and its Double’, by Antonin Artaud, 1978
Off Production and Metaphysics*


March 31 is Cesar Chavez’s birthday and a holiday in California, Colorado and Texas.

When Chavez died on April 23, 1993,  staff writer George Ramos wrote The Times obituary published the next morning. He wrote:

Cesar Chavez, who organized the United Farm Workers union, staged a massive grape boycott in the late 1960s to dramatize the plight of America’s poor farmhands, and later became a Gandhi-like leader to urban Mexican-Americans, was found dead Friday in San Luis, Ariz., police said. He was 66.

Authorities in San Luis, a small farming town on the Mexican border about 25 miles south of Chavez’s native Yuma, said the legendary farm workers’ leader apparently died in his sleep at the home of a family friend.

“He was our Gandhi,” said Democratic state Sen. Art Torres, a prominent Chicano politician from Los Angeles’ Eastside, upon hearing news of Chavez’s death. “He was our Dr. Martin…

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Il Budda delle Periferie, Hanif Kureishi

Questo di Kureishi è un libro che mi porto dietro da quasi dieci anni e a cui sono molto affezionata. Per diverse ragioni. Perch’è ambientato a Londra negli anni ’70, racconta bene la periferia e le difficoltà di chi vive a casa propria ma è ospite di un paese altrui, è divertente, creativo, c’è dentro tanta musica e mi è sempre stato vicino. Ogni tanto mi piace aprirlo e leggerne una pagina a caso.

A differenza di loro, papà era stato mandato in Inghilterra dai suoi genitori per studiare. La madre aveva sferruzzato, per lui e per Anwar, parecchie maglie di lana terribilmente ispide e li aveva salutati a Bombay raccomandando loro di non diventare, per nessun motivo, dei consumatori di carne di maiale. Come Gandhi e Jinnah prima di lui, mio padre era destinato a ritornare in India trasformato in un distinto avvocato inglese e in un capace ballerino. Quello che papà non sapeva, partendo, era che non avrebbe più rivisto il volto di sua madre. Questo era indiscutibilmente il grande dolore della sua vita, e credo fosse la ragione per cui si sentiva irrimediabilmente attratto da donne che si prendevano cura di lui, donne che poteva amare come avrebbe dovuto amare la madre a cui non aveva mai scritto una sola riga.
Londra, la Old Kent Road, fu uno shock culturale per entrambi. La città era umida e piovosa, la gente li chiamava ‘Sunny Jim‘, non c’era mai abbastanza cibo e papà non riuscì mai ad abituarsi ai toast unti. “Assomigliano al muco del naso,” diceva rifiutando la principale base di sostentamento della classe lavoratrice. “Pensavo che avremmo mangiato roast beef e Yorkshire pudding tutti i giorni”, si lamentava. Ma c’era ancora il razionamento, e l’area era disastrata per i bombardamenti subiti durante la seconda. Mio padre rimase stupito e rincuorato alla vista degli inglesi in Inghilterra. Non aveva mai incontrato un inglese povero – uno spazzino, un commesso, un barista. Non aveva neanche mai visto un inglese che si ficcasse il pane in bocca con le mani, e nessuno gli aveva mai detto che gli inglesi non si lavano regolarmente perchè l’acqua era fredda, quando non mancava del tutto. E quando cercò di parlare di Byron nei pub locali nessuno lo avvisò che non tutti gli inglesi sapevano leggere, e che non tutti erano necessariamente pronti ad ascoltare da un indiano lezioni sulla poesia di un pazzo pervertito.
Fortunatamente Anwar e papà avevano un posto in cui stare, dal dottor Lal, un amico del nonno. Il dottor Lal era un orrendo dentista indiano che sosteneva di essere amico di Bertrand Russell. Pare che a Combridge, durante la guerra, un solitario Bertrand Russell avesse confidato al dottor Lal che la mesturbazione rappresentava la risposta alla frustrazione sessuale. La grande scoperta di Russell era stata una rivelazione per Lal, che sosteneva di avere trovato la felicità da allora in poi. Bisognava iscrivere questo risultato tra i grandi successi di Russell? Forse se il dottore fosse stato meno diretto nel parlare di sesso ai suoi due giovani e sessualmente attivi ospiti, papà probabilmente non avrebbe mai incontrato mia madre e io non mi sarei innamorato di Charlie.


Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1969
Guerrero Province, Mexico, 1963
Western Skies Motel, Colorado, 1978
America, 1956
Utah, 1960
Reflection - 42nd Street, NY, 1952
New York, 1962
Billboard Painter, NY, 1952
Reflection, 3rd Avenue, 1952
New York, 1972
Bridge Reflection, Venice, 1955
Doge's Palace, Venice, 1955
Mandala Mudra Prayer Beads, India, 1974
Autumn Maple Leaves, Kyoto, Japan, 1981
Kumano Waterfall, Japan, 1983
Japan, 1983

In every artist there is poetry. In every human being there is the poetic element. We know, we feel, we believe. As knowers we are like the scientist relating through logical determination. As feelers, we are like poets relating the unrelated through intuition. As believers, we are only accepting our human limitations. The artist must express the summation of his feeling, knowing, believing through the unit of his life and work. One cannot photograph art. One can only live in the unity of his vision, as well as in the breadth of his humanity, vitality and understanding.
There is no formula – only man with his conscience speaking, writing and singing in the new hieroglyphic language of light and time.
via E r n s t H a a s | philosophy

Cronaca Annunciata Di Un’ Epifania D’Amore #2 La Ragazza con la Pistola

m’ero scordata di questo film 🙂
La ragazza con la pistola, Mario Monicelli, 1968
Cronaca Annunciata Di Un’ Epifania D’ Amore #1 Thriller


‘Alas, what has happened to me is like nothing anyone has ever known: beyond understanding, beyond compassion, beyond comedy, though there are those, i know, who claim to be on the brink of some conclusive scientific explanation; and those, my faithful visitors, whose compassion is deeply felt, sorrowful and kind; and there are still others — there would have to be — out in the world who cannot help but laugh. And I, at times, am one with them: I understand, I have compassion, I see the joke.’

Mettiamola così: un giorno come un altro vi svegliate, vi alzate dal letto, andate in bagno, vi specchiate nella toilette del lavandino, e scoprite, con orrore, di esservi trasformate. Non vi è ancora chiaro in cosa, ma certamente in qualcosa di molle. E rosa. Una specie di fungo, a cappella stretta e chiusa.
Fate per portarvi le mani alla bocca, ma non avete braccia. Abbassate lo sguardo ai piedi, ma non avete piedi. Avete due sacche, al posto dei piedi. Due sacche gonfie e piene. E non avete gambe, siete un tutt’uno di carne moscia e grinze. Un pene, signore. Non agitatevi, potreste eiaculare
La domanda: Che fate? Voi, donne, che fareste se mai un giorno vi trasformaste in un pene? (Si, è ammesso importunare le vecchine del centro geriatrico locale, ma solo se le vecchine vi provano gusto. E si, sono ammessi blitz nei monasteri e alle poste. A rischio i Lesbian Clubs)
L’ho chiesto ad alcune amiche
‘Oh mio Dio ah ah ah’- Federica
‘you ok Laurjutka?’- Tatijana
‘E’chiaro, mollo tutto e parto alla ricerca della mia Vagina’- Lidia
‘Offro il mio seme alle donne single che vogliono avere un bambino’- mia sorella
‘Mi spaccio per leghista e infiltro a palazzo chigi come spia dei Vespri- Svesda
‘Me la godo’- io. Voglio sapere com’è, come ci si sente quando si è eccitati e si sta per venire. Dentro una donna. Dentro un uomo. Dentro una bocca, dentro l’acqua, in ascensore, in coda al traffico, davanti a un tramonto, mentre si sogna.
How does it feel like? Che pacchia
Il 18 Febbraio 1971 David Kepesh si trasforma in un seno e l’episodio in un romanzo breve di Philip Roth che a me non è piacito e ho rischiato più volte di abbandonare; il fatto viene rivelato a pag.12, senza phatos nè suspance. Il resto del romanzo è l’elucubrazione di un uomo in crisi, che desidera copulare ma non può e per questo si sente frustrato, quanto se non più di una donna che non riesce ad avere un orgasmo da penetrazione. (Benvenuto nel club, prof). David Kepesh ci prova in tutte le maniere, facendosi massaggiare il capezzolo e perfino strofinandolo agli orifizi genitali dell’amante e del corpo infermieristico che lo assiste nella clinica dov’è ricoverato sotto osservazione. Niente però sembra soddisfarlo abbastanza quanto il rimpianto di un’eiaculazione.
Nelle intenzioni di Roth questo romanzo doveva essere un omaggio alla metamorfosi di Kafka e forse un tentativo di emulazione all’ironia di Gogol, sebbene, a mio parere, l’inefficacia delle digressioni e le tante citazioni.
Questa una bella recensione
The Mookse and the Gripes » Philip Roth: The Breast.

I am a breast. A phenomenon that has been variously described to me as ‘a massive hormonal influx’,’an endocrinopathic catastrophe,’ and/or ‘a hermaphroditic explosion of chromosomes’ took place within my body between midnight and four A.M. on February 18, 1971, and converted me into a mammary gland disconnected from any human form, a mammary gland such as could only appear, one would have thought, in a dream or a Dali painting. They tell me that I am now an organism with the general shape of a football, or a dirigible: I am said to be of a spongy consistency, weighing in at one hundred and fifty-five pounds (formerly I was one hundred and sixty-two), and measuring, still, six feet in length. Though I continue to retain, in damaged and ‘irregular’ form, much of the cardiovascular and central nervous system, an excretory system described as ‘reduced and primitive’-tubes now help me to void- and a respiratory system that terminates just above my midsection in something resembling a navel with a flap, the basic architecture in which these human characteristics are disarranged and buried is that of the breast of the mammalian female.
The bulk of my weight is fatty tissue. At one of my ends I am rounded off like a watermelon; at the other I terminate in a nipple, cylindrical in shape, projecting five inches from my ‘body’, and perforated at the tip with seventeen openings, each about half the size of the male urethral orifice. I am told that these are the apertures of the lactiferous ducts. As I am able to understand it without the benefit of diagrams- I am sightless- the ducts branch back into lobules composed of cells of the sort that secrete the milk that is carried to the surface of the ordinary nipple when it is being suckled, or milked by mechanical means.
My flesh is smooth and ‘youthful’ and I am still a ‘Caucasian’, they say. My nipple is rosy pink in color. This last is thought to be unusual in that in my former incarnation I was an emphatic brunette. As I told the endocrinologist who made this observation, I myself find it less ‘unusual’ than certain other aspects of the transformation, but then I am not the endocrinologist around here. The wit was bitter, but it was wit at last, and it must have been observed and noted that I was making an ‘adjustment’ to my new situation.
My nipple is rosy pink in color- as was the stain I had discovered at the base of my penis upon stepping into the shower the night this all happened to me.
In that the apertures in the nipple provide me with something remotely like a mouth and ears- at least I am able to make myself understood through my nipple, and, faintly, to hear what is going on around me- I myself had assumed at first that it was my head that become my nipple. The doctors, however, hypothesize otherwise, at least as of this month.
With little more evidence, I would think, to support this conjecture over any other, they now maintain that the wrinkled, roughened skin of the nipple- which, admittedly, is exquisitely sensitive to touch like no tissue on the face, including the mucous membrane of the lips- was formed out of the glans penis. So too the puckered pinkish areola that encircles the nipple and contains the muscle system that stiffens the nipple when I am aroused, is said to have metamorphosed from the shaft of the penis under the assault (some say) of a volcanic secretion from the pituitary of ‘mammogenic’ fluid. Two fine long reddish hairs extend from one of the small elevations on the rim of the areola. ‘They must look strange. How long are they?’
‘Seven inches exactly’
‘My antennae.’ The bitterness. Then the disbelief.
‘Will you pull on one of them, please?’
‘If you like, David, I’ll pull gently.’
Dr.Gordon wasn’t lying. A hair on my body had been tugged. It was familiar sensation, and it made me want to be dead.
Of course it was days after the change had taken place before I even regained consciousness, and another week before they would tell me anything other than that I had been ‘very ill’ with ‘an endocrine imbalance,’and even then, I howled so wretchedly in rediscover each time I awoke that I could neither see, smell, taste, or move, that I had to be kept under heavy sedation. When my ‘body’ was touched I did not know what to make of. The sensation was, unexpectedly, soothing and pleasant, but of an undifferentiated kind, reminding me of water lapping over the skin more than anything else. One morning I awakened to feel something strange happening to one of my extremities. Nothing like pain, yet I screamed, ‘I’ve been burned! I was in a fire!’
Text entirely taken from The breast, by Philip Roth, 1972


All images by John H Hutchinson
Soho, London, 1973 | Retronaut.


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Queste foto. Ne ho scoperto l’autrice,Irina Ionesco, francese di origini rumene, per aver letto della figlia, Eva Ionesco, al suo debutto cinematografico ne L’inquilino del terzo piano, di Polanski, 1976.
Pare le foto della Ionesco duramente criticate per alcune ragioni che questo articolo dell’Independent spiega, ripercorrendo l’affascinante  biografia dell’artista
Irina Ionesco: from erotica to fashion at 74 – Art – Arts & Entertainment – The Independent.
Possibile anche Ellen Rogers abbia tratto ispirazione dalla Ionesco per realizzare le sue foto.


‘Nobody lives on the third floor right. The owner is a certain Monsieur Foureau, who is said to live on an estate at Chavignolles, between Caen and Falaise, in a farm of thirty- eight hectares, with a sort of manor house. Some years ago, a television drama was filmed there, under the title The Sixteenth Edge of This Cube; Remi Rorschach took part in the shooting but never met this owner.
Nobody ever seems to have seen him. There is no name on the door on the landing, nor on the list fixed on the glass pane of the concierge’s office door. The blinds are always drawn.’

Se per qualche ragione vi foste trovati a Parigi intorno alla fine degli anni ’70, e in cerca di Trelkovski, L’Inquilino del Terzo Piano (forse perchè vi doveva una scommessa, o quasi certamente perchè eravate voi a dovergli più di qualcosa), allora avreste fatto bene a cercarlo in Rue Simon-Crubellier. Sottoscrive Perec, al terzo piano di Rue Simon-Crubellier, numero 11, non vive nessuno, ma il sospetto di un omicidio. Lo stesso filmato da Roman Polanski due anni prima l’uscita del romanzo ‘La vita, Istruzioni per l’uso‘,? Sarebbe azzardato credere Trelkovski l’inquilino mancante a chiudere il ‘tour’ e rendere possibile il Percorso del Cavallo tracciato da Perec attraverso questo romanzo?

Knight's Tour. Image credit Wikipedia. Click on

Prendete una scacchiera e sfidate un cavaliere in una crociata, in palio la soluzione a un quesito matematico: come attraversare la scacchiera partendo da D7, compiere una sola volta tutte le mosse di gioco, visitare tutte le case della scacchiera, quindi concludere il tour in F7, esattamente nella casa vicina a quella di partenza.
Poniamo Perec abbia utilizzato una scacchiera 10×10, pari ai 10 piani in Rue Simon-Crubellier, e alle dieci camere in ciascuno dei piani. Una camera un capitolo, un capitolo una storia, una storia una mossa del cavaliere. 99 personaggi, ognuno con un passato diverso e un futuro in comune; 99 storie nella storia, una sola mossa mancante a rendere possibile una sfida letteraria quasi riuscita.
La sfida in questione rientra nell’ambizioso progetto visionario lanciato dalla Oulipo, una sorta di circolo, una confraternita del Merlot, fondata nel 1960 da Raymond Queneau e François Le Lionnais, che riunisce scrittori e artisti per lo più francesi (Italo Calvino un infiltrato speciale) cui obiettivo è quello di realizzare un’opera attraverso precise regole, coordinate stilistiche, poste a soluzione di un problema matematico, un lipogramma (di Perec anche La scomparsa, del 1969, un romanzo scritto senza la vocale ‘e’, e Le ripetizioni, un romanzo scritto di sole vocali ‘e’), palindromi, anagrammi.
Ne La vita, istruzioni per l’uso, la toponomastica esistenziale tracciata da Perec definisce una dimensione in cui convergono e si intersecano Arte, Storia, ‘Umanesimo’e Scienze. Ho ammirato con stupore e meraviglia la maniera in cui Perec dà respiro al romanzo affascinato dal potenziale visionario delle parole, delle immagini, dei colori, dei suoni, dei ricordi. Dev’essere stato un bel viaggio.
Mi rendo conto leggere questo romanzo è una sfida. Perec è un autore pretenzioso. Pretende noi si venga informati bene circa i fatti. Pretende noi ci si dedichi esclusivamente alla lettura del testo, in totale isolamento e regressione spazio temporale da ciò che ci circonda.

Sophie Calle (born 1953) is a French writer, photographer, installation artist, and conceptual artist. Calle's work is distinguished by its use of arbitrary sets of constraints, and evokes the French literary movement of the 1960s known as Oulipo. Her work frequently depicts human vulnerability, and examines identity and intimacy. She is recognized for her detective-like ability to follow strangers and investigate their private lives. Her photographic work often includes panels of text of her own writing (WK)

Del resto l’intero appartamento in Rue Simon-Crubellier sembra esistere nello spazio in una dimensione propria di trascendentale realizzazione causale e implicativa, rimandata al passato, interposta nel presente, e convergente nel futuro. Nel romanzo niente viene lasciato al caso, ogni attimo assemblato, composto entro un’unica cornice, un preciso ordine stabilito, la perfetta realizzazione di un puzzle umano e vivente, ricostruito minuziosamente attraverso una progressiva esarazione delle storie perchè ‘la storia’ centrale abbia a realizzarsi nell’insieme.
To begin with, the art of jigsaw puzzles seems of little substance, easily exhausted, wholly dealt with by a basic introduction to Gestalt: the perceived object – we mai be dealing with a perceptual act, the acquisition of a skill, a physiological system, or, as in the present case, a wooden jigsaw puzzle – is not a sum of elements to be distinguished from each other and analyzed discretely, but a pattern, that is to say a form, a structure: the element’s existence does not precede the existence of the whole, it comes neither before nor after it, for the parts do not determine the pattern, but the pattern determines the parts: knowledge of the pattern and of its laws, of the set and its structure, could not possibly be derived from discrete knowledge of the elements that compose it. That means that you can look at a piece of a puzzle for three whole days, you can believe that you know all there is to know about its colouring and shape, and be no further on than when you started. The only thing that counts is the ability to link this piece to other pieces, and in that sense the art of jigsaw puzzle has something in common with the art of go. The pieces are readable, take on a sense, only when assembled; in isolation, a puzzle piece means nothing – just an impossible question, an opaque challenge. But as soon as you have succeeded, after minutes of trial and error, or after a prodigious half-second flash of inspiration, in fitting it into one of its neighbours, the piece disappears, ceases to exist as a piece. The intense difficulty preceding this link-up – which the English word puzzle indicates so well – not only loses its raison d’etre, it seems never to have had any reason, so obvious does the solution appear. The two pieces so miraculously conjoined are henceforth one, which in its turn will be a source of error, hesitation, dismay, and expectation.
The role of the puzzle-maker is hard to define. In most cases – and in particular in all cardboard jigsaw – the puzzles are machine-made, and the lines of cutting are entirely arbitrary: a blanking die, set up once and for all, cuts the sheets of cardboard along identical lines every time. But such jigsaw are eschewed by the true puzzle-lover, not just because the solutions are printed on the boxes the come in, but because this type of cut destroys the specific nature of jigsaw puzzles. Contrary to a widely and firmly held belief, it does not really matter whether the initial image is easy ( or something taken to be easy – a genre scene in the style of Vermeer, for example, or a color photograph of an Austrian castle) or difficult ( a Jackson Pollock, a Pissarro, or the poor paradox of a blank puzzle). It’s not the subject of the picture, or the painter’s technique, which makes a puzzle more or less difficult, but the greater or lesser subtlety of the way it jas been cut; and an arbitrary cutting pattern will necessarily produce an arbitrary degree of difficulty, ranging from the extreme of easiness – for edge pieces, patches of light, well-defined object, lines, transitions – to the tiresome awkwardness of all the other pieces (cloudless skies, sand, meadow, ploughed land, shaded areas, ect.).
Pieces in a puzzle of this kind come in classes of which the best-known are
the little chaps
the double crosses
and the crossbars
and once the edges have been put together, the detail pieces put in place – the very light, almost whitish yellow fringe on the carpet on the table holding the lectern with an open book, the rich edging of the mirror, the lute, the woman’s red dress – and the bulk of the background pieces parcelled out according to their shade of grey, brown, white, or sky blue, then solving the puzzle consists simply of trying all the plausible combinations one by one.
The art of jigsaw puzzling begins with wooden puzzles cut by hand, whose maker undertakes to ask himself all the questions the player will have to solve, and , instead of allowing chance to cover his tracks, aims to replace it with cunning, trickery, and subterfuge. All the elements occurring in the image to be reassembled – this armchair covered in gold brocade, that three-pointed black hat with its rather ruined black plume, or that silver-brained bright yellow livery – serve by design as points of departure for trails that lead to false information. The organized, coherent, structured signifying space of the picture is cut up not only into inert, formless elements containing little information or signifying power, but also into falsified elements, carrying false information; two fragments of cornice made to fit each other perfectly when they belong infact to two quite separate sections of the ceiling, the belt buckle of a uniform which turns out in extremis to be a metal clasp holding the chandelier, several almost identically cut pieces belonging, for one part, to a dwarf orange tree placed on a mantelpiece and, for the other part, to its scarcely attenuated reflection in a mirror, are classic examples of the types of traps puzzle-lovers come across.
From this, one can make a deduction which is quite certainly the ultimate truth of jigsaw puzzles: despite appearances, puzzling is not a solitary game: every move the puzzler makes, the puzzle-maker has made before; every piece the puzzler picks up, and picks up again, and studies and strokes, every combination he tries, each hope and each discouragement have all been designed, calculated, and decided by the other.

Avendo letto questo romanzo in inglese, mi sono concentrata più sul vocabolario e meno sull’ architettura della trama e il procedimento logico di progressione al vertice finale e conclusivo del testo. E’stato bello abbandonarsi all’evasività della lettura, carezzevole e pigra, ma è stato specialmente faticoso trovare il tempo e la concentrazione necessari a leggere Perec fra le righe e con la dovuta attenzione.
Non ho le competenze tecniche necessarie ad analizzare il romanzo dal punto di vista estetico, figurativo e stilistico, ma credo di aver individuato una sostanziosa quantità di suggerimenti, tecniche di componimento, tendenziosità allo spettacolarismo dei dettagli, che potrebbero tornare utili nell’organizzazione di un testo narrativo, per esempio.
Perec è insieme architetto e portinaio, poeta ed esteta, matematico e pittore. Perchè no, a suo modo un voyeur, e Parigi sullo sfondo la cornice di un’epoca.
Cercando delle immagini dello scrittore da inserire nel post, ho trovato quest’articolo meraviglioso che commenta, dal punto di vista estetico, le opere realizzate da Bartlebooth : Life A User’s Manual – Evening All Afternoon. Non mi permetto di rubare l’originalità delle considerazioni poste dall’autrice a commento delle opere, per questo ve ne consiglio la lettura.
E voi che mi dite, piaciuto?
Chi di voi vorrebbe aggiungere particolari alla descrizione del romanzo? A quali coinquilini vi siete affezionati, quale quadro vi ha suggestionati e impressionati maggiormente.
Volendo prendere a esempio il romanzo e improvvisare un esercizio di scrittura, potremmo anche noi catalogare degli oggetti, e sulla base di un finale, costruire un racconto che li comprenda
Ho per le mani una raccolta di storie, Last Night, a mio parere assai noiosa, dello scrittore americano James Salter. Si tratta di una coincidenza soltanto se avendone aperto a caso una pagina, è venuto fuori questo finale, tratto da Platinum, che recita
‘Tahar made another gesture of slight annoyance. For him, it was only the beginning.’

Non vi nascondo ho spedito all’inesistente indirizzo del palazzo, uno scarabocchio di Londra, realizzato a matita su un foglio A4
Monsieur Gaspard Winckler,
here a view of London I was working on a whole night
in solitude and ecstasy
Cheers from Hyperuranian
A breve posterò il calendario delle altre letture; perchè mattoni, ho considerato i libri più voluminosi da inserire alla fine, in modo da iniziare a leggerli, a poco a poco, già da adesso.
Vada per Il Seno di Philip Ruth, come lettura di febbraio?
Avrei voluto postare qualcosa lo scorso venerdì, in occasione della Giornata della Memoria (la madre di Perec fra le vittime della Shoah), ma sono stata via una settimana e ho avuto poco tempo a disposizione. Dal profondo un pensiero di pace, e un augurio. Che gli orrori del passato non abbiano a ripetersi nel futuro, come già nel presente e, purtroppo, ancora.
Buona Domenica a noi tutti

‘Look with all your eyes, look’
(Jules Verne, Michael Strogoff)

About the Art Of The Novel

Invito Milan Kundera a uno shisha hour in una coffeehouse in Nowhere Street. L’appuntamento è alle diciotto, ma io mi presento in anticipo di mezz’ora; al mio arrivo, Kundera siede già al tavolo che ho riservato per noi, fuori in un Vasto Giardino, come piace a lui . Sorseggia maroccam mint tea, gioca a scacchi contro Il Turco. Un vecchio grammofono polveroso suona un pezzo di Lady Gogo.
Perchè so Kundera un appassionato di jazz, mi presento all’appuntamento con in mano un vecchio vinile dei Soft Machine. Seven, del 1974. Mi dico sorpresa di essere arrivata in ritardo, pur essendo in anticipo. Kundera sorride, si compiace della mia apprensione, e invita a sedere di fianco al Turco.
Chiedo a Kundera se al momento sta leggendo niente di interessante, e questi mi risponde ‘Smatrex M-788NK, Il manuale delle istruzioni’ (per chi non lo sapesse ancora, lo Smatrex M-788NK è un androide di ultima generazione, CGV di precisione, FVB 77 a raggi UV, KMb1 ad alta risoluzione, NGU2 termoregolabile, connessione YVeta a FGH78 e 678 uscite BX, che oltre a funzionare da apparecchio telefonico, stira, cucina, lava, e si ricarica nel microonde in appena un nano-secondo)
La provocazione è sottile e allude al catastrofismo teoretico mosso da Husserls e posto a dibattito da Kundera nel primo capitolo del saggio ‘The Art Of The Novel’ , del 1988.
In una celebre lettura del 1935, Edmund Husserl parla di una crisi dell’umanità europea che ha influenzato negativamente le arti. Secondo il padre della fenomenologia, questa crisi è iniziata nell’Età Moderna, con Galileo e Descartes, e l’acquisizione, da parte dell’uomo, di un primato sulla natura
“Once elevated by Descartes to ‘master and proprietor of nature’, man has now become a mere thing to the forces (of technology, of politics, of history) that bypass him, surpass him, possess him. To those forces, man’s concrete being, his ‘world of life’ (die Lebenswelt), has neither value nor interest: it is eclipsed, forgotten from the start.”
“The rise of the sciences propelled man into the tunnels of specialized disciplines. The more he advanced in knowledge, the less clearly could he see either the world as a whole or his own self, and he plunged further into what Husserl’s pupil Heidegger called, in a beautiful and almost magical phrase, ‘the forgetting of being’.
“Indeed, all the great existential themes Heidegger analyzes in Being and Time- considering them to have been neglected by all earlier European philosophy– had been unveiled, displayed, illuminated by four centuries of the novel (four centuries of European reincarnation of the novel). In its own way, throught its own logic, the novel discovered the various dimension of existence one by one: with Cervantes and his contemporaries, it inquires into the nature of adventure; with Richardson, it begins to examine “what happens inside”, to unmask the secret life of the feelings; with Balzac, it discovers man’s rootedness in history; with Flaubert, it explores the terra previously incognita of the everyday; with Tolstoy, it focuses on decisions. It probes time: the elusive past with Proust, the elusive present with Joyce. With Thomas Mann, it examines the role of the myths from the remote past that control our present actions. Et cetera, et cetera.’
Secondo Kundera, anticipatore dell’Età Moderna non è solo Descartes, ma anche Cervantes
‘Perhaps it is Cervantes whom the two phenomenologists neglected to take into consideration in their judgment of the Modern Era. By that I mean: if it is true that philosophy and science have forgotten about man’s being, it emerges all the more plainly that with Cervantes a great European art took shape that is nothing other than the investigation of this forgotten being.’
[3.]’As God slowly departed from the seat whence he had directed the universe and its order of value, distinguished good from evil, and endowed each thing with meaning, Don Quixote set forth from his house into a world he could no longer recognize. In the absence of the Supreme Judge, the world suddenly appeared in its fearsome ambiguity; the single divine Truth decomposed into myriad relative truths parceled out by men. Thus was born the world of the Modern Era, and with it the novel, the image and model of that world.
To take, with Descartes, the thinking self as the basis of everything, and thus to face the universe alone, is to adopt an attitude that Hegel was right to call heroic. To take, with Cervantes, the world as ambiguity, to be obliged to face not a single absolute truth but a welter of contradictory truths (truths embodied in imaginary selves called characters), to have as one’s only certainty the wisdom of uncertainty, requires no less courage.
What does Cervantes’ great novel mean? Much has been written on the question. Some see in it a rationalist critique of Don Quixote’ s hazy idealism. Others see it as a celebration of that same idealism. Both interpretations are mistaken because they both seek at the novel’s core not an inquiry but a moral position.
Man desires a world where good and evil can be clearly distinguished, for he has an innate and irrepressible desire to judge before he understands. Religions and ideologies are founded on this desire. They can cope with the novel only by translating its language of relativity and ambiguity into their own apodictic and dogmatic discourse. They require that someone be right: either Anna Karenina is the victim of a narrow- minded tyrant, or Karenin is the victim of an immoral woman; either K. is an innocent man crushed by an unjust Court, or the Court represents divine justice and K. is guilty.
This ‘either- or’ encapsulates an inability to tolerate the essential relativity of things human, an inability to look squarely at the absence of the Supreme Judge. This inability makes the novel’s wisdom ( the wisdom of uncertainty) hard to accept and understand.
[4.]’Don Quixote set off into a world that opened wide before him. He could go out freely and come home as he pleased. The early European novels are journeys through an apparently unlimited world. The opening of Jacques le Fataliste comes upon the two heroes in mid- journey; we don’t know where they’ve come from or where they’re going. They exist in a time without beginning or end, in a space without frontiers, in the midst of a Europe whose future will never end.
Half a century after Diderot, in Balzac, the distant horizon has disappeared like a landscape behind those modern structures, the social institutions: the police, the law, the world of money and crime, the army, the State. In Balzac’s world, time no longer idles happily by as it does for Cervantes and Diderot. It has set forth on the train called History. The train is easy to board, hard to leave. But it isn’t at all fearsome yet, it even has its appeal; it promises adventure to every passenger, and with it fame and fortune.
Later still, for Emma Bovary, the horizon shrinks to the point of seeming a barrier. Adventure lies beyond it, and the longing becomes intolerable. Within the monotony of the quotidian, dreams and daydreams take on importance. The lost infinity of the outside world is replaced by the infinity of the soul. The great illusion of the irreplaceable uniqueness of the individual- one of the Europe’s finest illusion- blossoms forth.
But the dream of the soul’s infinity loses its magic when History (or what remains of it: the suprahuman force of an omnipotent society) takes hold of man. History no longer promises him fame and fortune; it barely promises him a land- surveyor’s job. In the face of the Court or the Castle, what can K.do? Not much. Can’t he at least dream as Emma Bovary used to do? No, the situation’s trap is too terrible, and like a vacuum cleaner it sucks up all his thoughts and feelings: all he can think of is his trial, his surveying job. The infinity of the soul- if it ever existed- has become a nearly useless appendage.’
Non c’è grandezza nelle miserie della vita, nè possibilità di fuga dal mondo. La realtà manca di poesia, gli uomini di coraggio. Don Chisciotte è stato arrestato alla frontiera, K. processato in televisione, Winston Smith ingaggiato alla conduzione di un nuovo reality show. ‘How to make money’ figura ancora al primo posto nella classifica dei libri più letti in formato digitale.
Chiedo a Kundera che ruolo avrebbe la letteratura in tutto questo, quale sarebbe la ragione d’essere di un romanzo
‘The sole raison d’etre of a novel is to discover what only the novel can discover. A novel that does not discover a hitherto unknown segment of existence is immoral. Knowledge is the novel’s only morality.’
Kundera si prende sul serio.
Delle volte mi chiedo come sarà la letteratura del futuro ( non intendo la sci-fiction). Il linguaggio di ciascuno di noi si evolve ogni giorno arricchito di parole nuove, un vocabolario criptato a noi fino a prima di adesso del tutto sconosciuto e in alcuni casi ancora incomprensibile. La realtà muta di forma e sostanza, e noi con essa, in un processo di metamorfosi sociale e culturale, perpetua e incoercibile. Ci si incontra e innamora su internet, si comunica by email, si viene assunti su Skype, licenziati su Facebook, mollati su Twitter. Chiedo a Kundera come immagina la letteratura del futuro, quali i conflitti, le tensioni ideali rispetto al contesto storico, i dialoghi, l’atmosfera, i luoghi. Ma Kundera non mi ascolta neanche più, ha appena scoperto di avere Hungry Bird nel telefonino.
Quanto al Turco, sparito. Con la gynoid seduta al tavolo di fianco al nostro.

Texts entirely taken from ‘The Art of the Novel’, Milan Kundera, 1988
Paris Review – The Art of Fiction No. 81, Milan Kundera.

Block, off Seven, Soft Machine, 1974

The Nerve Meter by Antonin Artaud via The Poetry Foundation

An actor is seen as if through crystals.
Inspiration in stages.
One musn’t let in too much literature.

I have aspired no further than the clockwork of the soul, I have transcribed only the pain of an abortive adjustment.
I am a total abyss. Those who believed me capable of a whole pain, a beautiful pain, a dense and fleshy anguish, an anguish which is a mixture of objects, an effervescent grinding of forces rather than a suspended point
—and yet with restless, uprooting impulses which come from the confrontation of my forces with these abysses of offered finality
(from the confrontation of forces of powerful size),
and there is nothing left but the voluminous abysses, the immobility, the cold—
in short, those who attributed to me more life, who thought me at an earlier stage in the fall of the self, who believed me immersed in a tormented noise, in a violent darkness with which I struggled
—are lost in the shadows of man.
In sleep, nerves tensed the whole length of my legs.
Sleep came from a shifting of belief, the pressure eased, absurdity stepped on my toes.
It must be understood that all of intelligence is only a vast contingency, and that one can lose it, not like a lunatic who is dead, but like a living person who is in life and who feels working on himself its attraction and its inspiration (of intelligence, not of life).
The titillations of intelligence and this sudden reversal of contending parties.
Words halfway to intelligence.
This possibility of thinking in reverse and of suddenly reviling one’s thought.
This dialogue in thought.
The ingestion, the breaking off of everything.
And all at once this trickle of water on a volcano, the thin, slow falling of the mind.
To find oneself again in a state of extreme shock, clarified by unreality, with, in a corner of oneself, some fragments of the real world.
To think without the slightest breaking off, without pitfalls in my thought, without one of those sudden disappearances to which my marrow is accustomed as a transmitter of currents.
My marrow is sometimes amused by these games, sometimes takes pleasure in these games, takes pleasure in these furtive abductions over which the sense of my thought presides.
At times all I would need is a single word, a simple little word of no importance, to be great, to speak in the voice of the prophets: a word of witness, a precise word, a subtle word, a word well steeped in my marrow, gone out of me, which would stand at the outer limit of my being,
and which, for everyone else, would be nothing.
I am the witness, I am the only witness of myself. This crust of words, these imperceptible whispered transformations of my thought, of that small part of my thought which I claim has already been formulated, and which miscarries,
I am the only person who can measure its extent.
Antonin Artaud, “The Nerve Meter” from Selected Writings of Antonin Artaud (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1976).
via The Nerve Meter by Antonin Artaud : The Poetry Foundation.

Dennis Stock

Paris, Cafe de Flore, 1958.Dennis Stock
USA. A couple with a child, 1952. Dennis Stock
James Dean, 1955. Dennis Stock
James Dean, 1955. Dennis Stock
Arthur Miller, 1956. Dennis Stock
Bill Crow with his bass, Times Square, 1958. Dennis Stock
Miles Davis, 1957. Dennis Stock
Thelonious Monk in performance at Town Hall, New York, 1957. Dennis Stock
San Diego coastline, 1968. Dennis Stock

USA. California. 1968. Venice Beach Rock Festival. Dennis Stock
California Trip, 1968. Dennis Stock
A surfer at Corona del Mar, California, 1968. Dennis Stock

“Art is a well-articulated manifestation of an aspect of life. I have been privileged to view much of life through my cameras, making the journey an enlightened experience. My emphasis has mainly been on affirmative reactions to human behavior and a strong attraction to the beauty in nature.”

Dennis Stock
[via Magnum Photo]

Louis Stettner

Manhattan from the Brooklyn Promenade - 1954
Elbowing an Out of Town Newsstand - 1954
Lower Second Avenue, New York - 1954
Window Cleaner, Midtown, New York - 1953
Woman at a Demonstration, Midtown - 1976
Texans on Fifth Avenue - 1975
World Trade Center - 1978
Diner, 14th Street, New York - 1952
Subway Series - 1946

via Louis Stettner.

Off Seven Day Weekend, by New York Dolls.The tracks were recorded at Planet Studios in 1973 although the collection was not released until 1992 (wk)

Love is Alan Shacklock’s guitar in this stunning cult tune by Babe Ruth
taken from their fist album First Base,1972

There are no wrong notes-Miles Davis
taken from the Bitches Brew sessions,1970

La Di da, La Di da, La la

Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in Annie Hall,1977

Il Cammino incomincia e il Viaggio è già finito

Il caso ha voluto ch’io trovassi un vecchio film di Pier Paolo Pasolini,Uccellacci e Uccellini (in inglese tradotto Hawks and Sparrows) alla videoteca della bioblioteca vicino casa.Il film,del 1968,si avvale dell’interpretazione di Totò e Ninetto Davoli(al suo debutto) nell’intenzione di Pasolini,padre e figlio,l’uno saggio,l’altro ingenuo.
Di questo film Pasolini dirà essere una favola con nascosta una buona novella,direi un affresco surreal-fiabesco a scopo educativo;Totò e Ninetto camminano per dei borghi di periferia,grumi di cemento e rovine,quando un corvo si fa loro incontro. Il corvo,come lo stesso Pasolini avrà da avvisarci,rappresenta un intellettuale di sinistra,un Marxista,di prima della morte di Palmiro Togliatti(di cui verranno proiettate le immagini del funerale). Il corvo si presenta dicendo di essere uno straniero che viene da lontano,la sua patria è Ideologia,i suoi genitori Dubbio e Coscienza;questi racconterà loro una storiella,la storiella di due frati francescani incaricati da San Francesco del compito di convertire gli uccelli,i prepotenti falchi prima,gli umili passerotti dopo.Ecco Totò e Ninetto vestire adesso i panni di Frate Ciccillo e Frate Ninetto.I falchi resisteranno con scherno alla conversione,ma riconosceranno la buona novella e l’amore come fine e mezzo della vita,i passerotti,invece,daranno a Frate Ciccillo qualche grattacapo;questi non si accontenteranno di una buona novella,chiederanno da mangiare.Amareggiato dall’impossibilità di convertirli,Frate Ciccillo,insieme con Frate Ninetto,farà ritorno da San Francesco.Lungo la via del ritorno un falco si avventerà contro un passerotto,sbranandolo. Sconvolto da tanta aggressività,Frate Ciccillo mortificherà se stesso al cospetto di San Francesco,frustrato dalla cattiveria dei falchi.Dirà:
Falchi e passerotti adorano il Signore,ma il fatto è che fra di loro si”sgrugnano”,s’ammazzano e che ci posso fare io se esiste la classe dei falchi e dei passerotti che non possono andare d’accordo fra di loro?”(alludendo al capitalismo e alla classe proletaria)
Ma il Santo gli risponderà:
-“Bisogna cambiarlo questo mondo.Un giorno nel mondo un uomo con gli occhi azzurri verrà e dirà: “Sappiamo che la giustizia è progressiva e sappiamo che man mano che progredisce la società,si sveglia la coscienza della sua imperfetta composizione e vengono alla luce le contraddizioni stridenti e imploranti che affliggono l’Umanità.Non è forse quest’avvertenza,della disuguaglianza fra classe e classe,fra Nazione e Nazione,la più grave minaccia della Pace? Andate e ricominciate tutto da capo,in Lode del Signore”.
Consapevoli dell’ undicesima tesi su Feuerbach di Karl Marx, i due frati si metteranno in marcia nuovamente.Da questo punto inizia la seconda parte del film; Totò e Ninetto incontrano una piccola carovana di attori girovaghi che inscenano la nascita di Roma (ma nel film questo non è propriamente chiaro). Uno degli attori venderà a Totò un rimedio contro i calli,che poi scoprirà essere una pomata antifecondativa.E’chiaro qui Pasolini utilizza questo rimedio per richiamare al controllo delle nascite,una maggiore consapevolezza sessuale e il problema della sovrappopolazione mondiale.
“Una bocca in più da sfamare è una creatura in più da offrire in pasto alle miserie del mondo.”
La scena più toccante vede Totò e Ninetto in una cascina; i due l’avranno raggiunta per riscuotere un debito.La famiglia che ci vive vive di stenti e la donna che accoglie i due dice di non esserle rimasto più nulla e di non avere più nulla da dare da mangiare ai suoi bambini. Totò gli risponde,da piccolo borghese,che gli affari sono affari;il corvo gli ricorda che i pesci grandi mangiano i pesci piccoli e tant’è Totò verrà mangiato da un pesce ancora più grosso di lui,un ingegnere,che lo metterà alle ginocchia per un debito che-a sua volta-Totò non può pagare.
La scena finale vede ancora Totò,Ninetto e il corvo, camminare per un sentiero di campagna.I tre incontrano una bella donna,Luna,una prostituta di cui approfittano Totò prima e il figlio dopo.L’episodio è di lettura a un provvedimento di Fidel Castro richiamato a risolvere il problema della prostituzione. Il corvo avrebbe molto da dire a proposito,ma non lo fa, piuttosto rimanda alla sua petulanza e a quanto dev’essere noioso sentirlo blaterare. Totò,stanco appunto di tanti discorsi,decide di tirargli il collo e mangiarlo insieme col figlio.”I maestr sono fatti per essere mangiati in salsa piccante,allora forse si diventa un po’maestri se stessi“.E fine del film.
In uno dei commenti al film di Pasolini,questi avrebbe detto:
“Uno spettro si aggira per l’Europa, è la crisi del marxismo. Eppure bisogna a tutti i costi ritrovare la via della rivoluzione, perché mai come oggi il marxismo si è presentato come unica possibile salvezza dell’uomo. Esso salva il passato dell’uomo, senza il quale non c’è avvenire. Il capitalismo dice di voler salvare il passato, in realtà lo distrugge: la sua conservazione è sempre stata una manutenzione da museo, cretina e distruggitrice. Ma oggi la rivoluzione interna del capitalismo rende il capitalismo così forte, da fregarsene del passato. Egli può ormai permettersi di non rispettare più i suoi antichi pretesti, Dio, la Patria, ecc. La reazione si presenta ormai come partito giovane, dell’avvenire. Prospetta un mondo felice in mano alle macchine e pieno di tempo libero, da dedicare all’oblio del passato. La rivoluzione comunista si pone invece come salvezza del passato, ossia dell’uomo: non può più promettere nulla se non la conservazione dell’uomo.”
Emblema del pensiero politico e della lotta intellettuale pasoliniana.
Il dibattito,credo-me lo direte voi(io manco dall’Italia da diversi anni,ormai,e di proposito ho preso le distanze dalla sinistra,dalla destra,dal centro,da qualsiasi apparato politico-se mai ne esiste ancora uno) è ancora vivo.In giro per l’Europa la politica è affare privato.Sono poche le persone che ne parlano e quelle sono invasate,a dire della gente disinteressata al fastidio di doverne sentire i soliti discorsi. Ci si lamenta,questo tutti i giorni,ma non esiste una vera consapevolezza circa il potenziale rivoluzionario di ciascuno(e con questo intendo la capacità di dire NO a chiare lettere. NO al minimo della paga.NO alle 15 ore di lavoro mal pagato.NO allo sfruttamento. SI ai diritti del lavoratore.) c’è piuttosto un adagiarsi,perchè è così che va e così che deve andare.E del resto a entrare in gioco è la stessa sopravvivenza di ciascuno.
-Vuoi lavorare e alle mie condizioni?
-Ne farei a meno,ma ne ho bisogno.
-Dunque lavora! Lavora sei giorni su sette,produci dodici,tredici ore al giorno.E non lamentarti.Lavora a testa bassa e bocca chiusa!
-Senza se e senza ma.O così,o niente.
E questo è quanto. Miseria. Ecco cosa.Annullamento,regressione,cattività.Malessere.Da strozzarci i corvi e mangiarseli a morsi,pur di non sentirselo ripetere-impotenti e frustrati,sempre di più,ogni giorno che passa.Di generazione in generazione.