Category Archives: Quotations

Things people said.

Be Paint

… [Clement] Greenberg’s organizing idea was surprisingly simple: modern painting, having ceased to be illustrative, ought to be decorative. Once all the old jobs of painting—portraying the bank president, showing off the manor house, imagining the big battle—had been turned … Continue reading

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But Also Thank the Devil

The worst way to defeat a social or cultural ill is to declare war on it. The U.S. declares war on problems it can’t or won’t solve. The worst way to foster a social or cultural good is to declare … Continue reading

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And the Winner Is… Loss Vegas

“The vast majority of MLMs [multi-level marketing companies like Amway and Ambit] are recruiting MLMs, in which participants must recruit aggressively to profit. Based on available data from the companies themselves, the loss rate for recruiting MLMs is approximately 99.9%; … Continue reading

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Alice Neel: ‘Collector of Souls’

“I would say she was looking at two ghetto children from uptown and bringing out the beauty in us.” [Jeff Neal, on left in the portrait with brother Toby.] (John Leland, “Two Brothers Posed for a Portrait. One Lived to … Continue reading

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The ‘Open-(Ahem)’

The polite, socially acceptable name by which it’s currently known is the medlar. But for the best part of 900 years, the fruit was called the “open-arse” – thought to be a reference to the appearance of its own large … Continue reading

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Wide Load

Jason Farrago lavishes a container shipload of exegetical rumination on Julie Mehretu’s paintings. Lines accreted in an essentially radial configuration, with large arcs orbiting an absent central axis, and orthogonal spokes sprouting from the core. (The Mehretu black line is … Continue reading

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Story Power

There is one form of power that has fascinated me ever since I was a girl… the power of storytelling. In this May, 2019 essay, novelist Elena Ferrante writes that the “Decameron” by Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375) made a great impression … Continue reading

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The Humble Art

I support the premise, aspirationally, that translation “involves being a writer,” to quote this article. The premise piggybacks on something I took on board long ago — that the first asset of a capable translator is to write well in … Continue reading

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‘Ethics of Translation’ (?)

As a presumptive translator I’m nagged by a sense of straying where I don’t belong. Where is my writ to translate into a non-native language, for example? I didn’t suck Spanish from mother’s teat. How can I possibly match what … Continue reading

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‘Bad Boy’ Harpsichordist

Scott Ross moved to France when he was 12 years old. He studied harpsichord and organ at the Paris and Nice Conservatories, and in 1971 won the Bruges International Competition, in Belgium. Five years before dying of AIDS in 1982 … Continue reading

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