Monthly Archives: June 2014

Two women

On the left, Vincent van Gogh, Mousmé, 1888, National Gallery of Art, Washington. On the right, Stephen Chambers, Woman (Green Background), 2006, private collection, London; currently on display at the Pera Museum, Istanbul, where I saw it on Saturday, June 21, 2014, and made the (slightly tilted) photograph on the right below.

A10433.jpg

The van Gogh image, I downloaded from the National Gallery website. I cropped and resized the Chambers image to be the same height as the van Gogh; then I juxtaposed the two with convert +append van-gogh-la-mousme.jpg chambers-woman.jpg two-women.jpg

I did not know of the artist Stephen Chambers before. The green background of his Woman, and her expression, caused me to think of van Gogh’s Mousmé. The Mousmé’s head is round, but her dotted skirt is as flat as the blouse of the Woman.

Interconnectedness

Note added January 13, 2019. This essay concerns a letter I once wrote about

  • teaching;
  • the infinitely large and small, as contemplated by Pascal in that one of the Pensées headed Disproportion de l’homme;
  • Zen Buddhism.

Since the ideas of Collingwood often dominate this blog, one may ask why they influence me. My old letter provides some evidence, since I wrote it before I had read anything by Collingwood but The Principles of Art.

The present essay has the first of this blog’s several mentions of the slogan verba volant scripta manent, which may not mean what we tend to think today.

The indicated pensée happens to allude to the definition of God as une sphère infinie dont le centre est partout, la circonférence nulle part; this definition is not taken up here, but it is in later posts, apparently without recollection of its use by Pascal.


When do our thoughts progress, and when do they only confirm what we have always thought?

In December of 1987, I was between college and graduate school. I was living with my mother in Virginia, doing some tutoring at my old high school, waiting for inspiration about what to do next. Inspiration did come in the course of the following year, when I was working at an organic farm in West Virginia. I was going to apply to graduate schools in mathematics or philosophy (earlier I had considered also physics); then, in a dream, I understood that I had to do mathematics. Continue reading

NL VIII: “Hunger and Love”

Index to this series

§1

Collingwood recognizes the two kinds of appetites named in the title of the chapter.
Continue reading

June in the New World

This is about our first visit to the US since the death of my mother. The visit culminated in a memorial observance on a wooded hillside at my cousin’s place in West Virginia. Before going there, Ayşe and I stayed with friends in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington. We made some visits to my mother’s currently unoccupied house in Alexandria. Unfortunately we had little time for much else; at least we could not plan on anything else. I have no intention of recounting the whole trip, but will have some things to say about the photos below. Continue reading