Author Archives: JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.

Hardcore Arabic: ‘Treble Formation’

The language has astonishing sweep and granularity that are explicit and penetrative to a degree redolent of lore and legend. The open-sesame to Arabic’s magic for this English speaker is Wright’s majestic grammar. (1) Here, of an early morning on … Continue reading

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View from the Low Side of Town

My illustration is an abstraction derived from the layout of structures and spaces on my squat down by the Big Muddy. The turgid Waddy Loopy is a conduit of Texas Hill Country drainage that lumbers past me on its way … Continue reading

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The Charm of Sharm Is Lost Upon the Gentleperson from Sweden

“It’s like being in Las Vegas, but somehow worse.” (Swedish COP27 Delegate) It’s possible the fossil-lobby-infested, desultory yak-a-thon held at a glittering tourist watering hole in The Tonino Lamborghini International Convention Center — let me repeat that for its delicious … Continue reading

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‘A Writer Who Composed Prose Like Poetry’

Considering the toll it takes on me to construct a writing boiled down to within an inch of its life about something I think, punctuate it punctiliously, then figure out too late what I’ve said, much less thought, if anything, … Continue reading

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‘It’s More Than It Initially Appears’

The comment attributed to a museum director about Jennifer Guidi’s painting reminded me of Mark Twain’s remark that Wagner’s music is “better than it sounds.” “I’m thinking of color as a way to connect — a way to engage — … Continue reading

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Rough Handling of Paint

[His] early Sugar Bowl, Pears and Blue Cup (1865-70)… shows Cézanne seeing and painting in a relatively traditional way. Apart from the rougher handling of paint, it is a close relative of traditional scenes like Harmen Steenwyck’s… (Matthew Wilson) I … Continue reading

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The Zephyr Soughs My True Love’s Name: Saoirse… Saoirse… Saoirse…

Step aside, Italian. Fair English, most mellifluous of tongues, is queen of poesy and opera. (c) 2022 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

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‘O Thou There, Who Barkest at the Bènū ‘s Sīd’

Below is jargon improvised for gauging how a translation navigates its source text. Note how the verbiage is strewn with hedging adverbials, conceding a priori that the labels are judgments, which by definition are subjective, privative, compromised, blinkered and fallible. … Continue reading

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Shades of Ribald Theobald’s Piebald Cow Pies

“I don’t know, I find it vaguely therapeutic to express myself on Twitter. It’s a way to get messages out to the public.” (Elon Musk) (John Cassidy, “Elon Musk Just Highlighted His Biggest Dilemma at Twitter,” The New Yorker, 10-31-22) … Continue reading

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The Case for Rhythm and Emptiness

Brazilian artist Maxwell Alexandre speaks of how exposure to Kerry James Marshall’s painting made him aware of “an absence of representation. You would ask a Black kid to draw a person and he would draw a white person… Just by … Continue reading

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