Not Dark Yet

Shadows are fallin’ and I’ve been here all day
It’s too hot to sleep and time is runnin’ away
Feel like my soul has turned into steel
I’ve still got the scars that the sun didn’t heal
There’s not even room enough to be anywhere
It’s not dark yet but it’s gettin’ there.

Well, my sense of humanity has gone down the drain
Behind every beautiful thing there’s been some kind of pain
She wrote me a letter and she wrote it so kind
She put down in writin’ what was in her mind
I just don’t see why I should even care
It’s not dark yet but it’s gettin’ there.

Well, I’ve been to London and I been to gay Paris
I’ve followed the river and I got to the sea
I’ve been down on the bottom of the world full of lies
I ain’t lookin’ for nothin’ in anyone’s eyes
Sometimes my burden is more than I can bear
It’s not dark yet but it’s gettin’ there.

I was born here and I’ll die here against my will
I know it looks like I’m movin’ but I’m standin’ still
Every nerve in my body is so naked and numb
I can’t even remember what it was I came here to get away from
Don’t even hear the murmur of a prayer
It’s not dark yet but it’s gettin’ there.

Bob Dylan

A priceless gift or grand theft Pablo?

Electrician is under scrutiny after producing 60 million euros worth of Picasso works

EL PAÍS – By ANTONIO JIMÉNEZ BARCA

For more than 40 years, a retired electrician living in a small village in southern France has been storing 271 authentic Picassos with an estimated worth of more than 60 million euros. After trying to get them authenticated in Paris, he and his wife now find themselves accused of theft by the artist’s family, while the artworks have been seized and are being kept in storage at a police station that specializes in art crimes, until a judge reaches a verdict.

The story began on January 14 of this year, when Claude Picasso, the painter’s son and the administrator of his legacy, received a surprising letter at his Paris office. A man named Pierre Le Guennec was asking him for a certificate of authenticity for 26 previously unknown Picasso artworks. The petition included several photographs of mediocre quality of the art in question. Then, on April 30, Claude Picasso received another batch of bad photos and another letter assuring him that these were also the work of Picasso. He was asked once more to provide a certificate of authenticity.

According to the newspaper Libération, which broke the story, Picasso’s son was intrigued by the missives, and got in touch with Le Guennec – who is aged 71, and lives in Mouans-Sartoux, a village in Côte d’Azur – to ask him for a face-to-face interview. Claude told him that he could not establish the real origin of the paintings, or indeed their value, unless he saw them in person.

On September 9, Le Guennec and his wife showed up in Paris with a suitcase. To the amazement of Claude Picasso, as well as several art experts in the room, the couple pulled out notebooks filled with drawings; lithographs; ink portraits of Picasso’s first wife, Olga Khokhlova; Cubist collages that were in themselves worth ¤40 million; watercolors from his “Blue Period;” sketches of hands; caricatures; and landscapes. All of the works were produced between 1900 and 1932, the artist’s most productive and innovative period.

After examining the contents of the suitcase for three hours, the team of experts concluded that nobody in the world could have imitated so many techniques so perfectly, and that they were indeed faced with an unexpected mountain of authentic “picassos” that nobody else knew existed. And then came the inevitable question. How did Le Guennec happen to have come by all this material?

Le Guennec said that during the last three years of Picasso’s life – he died in 1973 – the Frenchman had put in the electrical wiring in the artist’s homes in Cannes and Mougins. The electrician said he installed several burglar alarms, among other things. The work inside the suitcase was a gift to him from Picasso shortly before his death, he said. But Le Guennec told the police another version of events, according to Libération. On that occasion he said that it was Picasso’s last wife, Jacqueline de Vallaurais – who died in 1986 – that had given him the gift.

Picasso’s six heirs have now decided to initiate legal proceedings against the electrician, whom they accuse of theft. The artist’s family figures it is impossible for Picasso, who was obsessed with keeping everything, to have given away such a vast amount of his own work – most of it undated, some of it incomplete, and none of it dedicated.

Claude Picasso, born of the relationship between the artist and Françoise Gilot, told Libération: “He always kept everything: metro tickets, the tickets to a play or a bullfight… Even the string around the mail he received each day… He thought that everything might be useful. Nearly 200,000 objects of his have been preserved and inventoried. […] For him to just give a gift like this does not make any sense. All that was part of his life. He was generous. But he always dated and dedicated his presents. And Jacqueline might have given away a postcard or a book, but all that… It’s out of place.”

For now, the police have the artistic treasures under lock and key, in the central offices of the branch of the force in charge of cultural goods trafficking, in Nanterre. As for the electrician and his wife, they are facing a long legal battle with Picasso’s heirs.

The hyphothesis of the lawyers as to why the couple may have waited until now to reveal their haul of artworks is simple: to avoid a jail sentence, given that the statute of limitations for the alleged theft will have expired.

“Before anything else happens, we must recover these works for the sake of art history,” one of the Picasso family lawyers is quoted as saying in Libération.

Related: (Le Figaro)(FR) The unpublished notebooks Picasso

WSJ: Review Round-up: ‘Phas Gaya Re Obama’

Le Louvre to create new attractions

Le Figaro FR (English Translation)

Henri Loyrette, president and CEO explains how he intends to accompany the increase in attendance at the museum.

Patron of the Louvre for nearly ten years, Henri Loyrette charge of an institution whose success is undeniable. His challenge, he says, is that the public can see the Mona Lisa in good condition but is also curious about other works. His season of exhibitions devoted to the eighteenth century is this incentive to explore, while the white cards (à Patrice Chéreau right now) used to reach a wider audience.

LE FIGARO. – With more than 8.6 million visitors, the Louvre displays a record attendance. Would it be possible to do more?

Henri LOYRETTE. – Having more visitors is not an end in itself. But an increase in attendance is always a cause for satisfaction. This shows that the museum is in a good momentum and he knows renew its offer. We conducted a study which shows that our audiences are loyal visitors. It appears several times in the Louvre in the same year, because there’s always something.

This “microwave” poses does not have problems …

The Louvre is a palace, but he is perfectly capable of accommodating 8.6 million people, or 30,000 per day, provided they are not all in the same place and same time. However, some spaces, like the Denon wing where the Victory of Samothrace, the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, are overloaded at certain times of the year. We sometimes have a problem of distribution of flows. I will therefore like to encourage visitors to focus their attention elsewhere. Some attractions, like the Crown Jewels, will be moved to other rooms. The path of the masterpieces offered by our audio guides, has already been reviewed. The Louvre’s collection go well beyond the Mona Lisa.

Le Grand Louvre, with its Pyramid, 20 years ago. How has it changed?

It is an undeniable success. I had another Louvre, where it was thought that the number of 4 million visitors was up. With this project, we doubled the area and gave an incredible boost to the museum. Between 2001 and 2008, the number of visitors grew by 70%! Obviously, some areas, including the Pyramid, are victims of their success and are now undersized. We will rethink welcome, and the information given at the entrance and inside the rooms. We must multiply the points of information, while creating new attractions. This is the condition for the Louvre tomorrow. This project moves us already and for the next three years.

Like most large public museums, your budget for 2011 is down. What consequences will this have?

France suffered a serious crisis and we share our efforts. A savings plan has been implemented, leading to a tightening of spending. Given this, we had to do with 5% less in 2009 and again in 2011 another 5 percent lower in 2011. Our grant investment will decrease it, a quarter, and we must comply with the obligation not to replace a retiring two.

To address these constraints, we will raise the price of the ticket from 9.5 to 10 euros and continue an active policy of patronage. For several years, patrons follow us: Recently, they must, among other things, the ceiling Cy Twombly, les vitraux de Morellet, la renovation of rooms art of the eighteenth century or the season Patrice Chéreau. However, it must properly fund the 40 posts required for the future Department of arts de l’Islam, scheduled for 2012. When I arrived at the Louvre, only 75% of rooms were open, lack of staff. Today, they are almost all. It would be unthinkable to go back.

With historian Marc Fumaroli, you propose an exhibition on the revival of taste for the antique eighteenth century, with its variations and oppositions. Is not it risky to bet on a very classic?

There was no exposure to the eighteenth century for a very long time. To assemble, we relied on the latest research in the history of art. We have chosen to show how ancient, much better known after the archaeological discoveries at Herculaneum and Pompeii, and publishing of large illustrated books, then the issue is a debate that runs throughout Europe. Different aesthetic designs are born and compete on a political and ideological. We show that the simplistic oppositions of art history – transition from Rococo to Neoclassical – hid developments infinitely more varied. We had the ambition to synthesize them.

What surprising aspects of this eighteenth century do we find?

We make up the emergence of the neoclassical expression much earlier in time, from 1720, whereas traditionally it is situated around 1770. We highlight a few major figures not seen enough today, as the sculptor Edme Bouchardon. We also discuss the cons-currents inspired by the Baroque mannerism and the taste sublime.

Thus, we present artists such as Briton James Barry and the American Benjamin West, not as it normally does, as eccentric, but by placing them in the great movement of positioning in relation to art ancient. Another example: we are facing two artists never close to each other, Fuseli, the celebrated painter’s Nightmare, and David. These two artists who were at the same time in Rome.

Why do you spend a season in the eighteenth century? For, besides “The ancient dream, you have an exhibition on the Age of Enlightenment at the Louvre (Sully wing), another on catalogs and inventories of antiques of the era (Chapel Room). From 28 January, we will discover the amazing work of the sculptor Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. Finally, the auditorium of the cinema program, concerts and lectures on the Enlightenment.

The conclusion of “The ancient dream” is the Louvre itself! Indeed, the museum opened its doors in 1793. For the first time were confronted on a massive scale the ancients, with the masterpieces of ancient sculpture, and modern, with the most famous artistic productions since the Renaissance.

Catalogs and inventories of antique eighteenth may, in turn, be considered what will lead to the Louvre and more broadly based history of art. Furthermore, I would remember – we too often forget – that the Louvre is also a major research center. It turns out that we are working on renovating the rooms of the decorative arts of the eighteenth century. However, any relocation requires reflection. Shows that you just mentioned are involved. With them, the whole time that we reconsider. This allows us to point out what is missing in our collections and building acquisition projects.

With carte blanche to present to Patrice Chereau, and soon to JMG Le Clezio, these major themes monopolize the business of the institution. Is it detrimental to the eclecticism of the programming?

I do not think. This year, before the eighteenth century and Patrice Chereau, we have had exhibitions of Russian art, in Arabia, but also contemporary art. But I like the idea a great theme: this is a way to order things. Internally, it promotes cross-departmental, and this results in a more holistic, multidisciplinary topics. Finally, it is a way to attract a wider audience for events that, singly, may seem too sharp.

Born in controversy, museum victim of its success

Twenty years after the inauguration of the Grand Louvre, the pyramid is the symbol, it is hard to remember the incredible controversy that has surrounded the announcement. The book by former Culture Minister Jack Lang, traces the “battle” of the Louvre, which lasted several years and exceeded the left-right divisions. The project (double surfaces, introduction of an underground, single entry under the Pyramid) hardly accepted by the Commission of Historic Monuments, 23 January 1984, a heated debate snaps.

At its front, France-Soir: “The new Louvre already scandal,” while an editorial by Jean Dutourd squeaks: “Poor France!” Le Canard chained mocks the work of “Uncle Khamon” Le Quotidien de Paris peak “pride, excess” of the president, while Le Figaro Magazine campaigned. It denounced the choice of architect IM Pei, who is outside any formal competition. A committee Anti-Grand Louvre turns up under the aegis of Michel Guy, former Secretary of State for Culture.

“As a cathedral”

The wave “anti” is largely driven by finance union head, who must leave the premises of the Louvre to settle eventually in the new Bercy in the twelfth arrondissement of Paris. In 1986, political alternation. The new finance minister, Edouard Balladur and Alain Juppe, in charge of Budget, return to their neighborhoods in the Richelieu wing!

“History will record that the project had support, including all the museum’s curators,” says Maryvonne de Saint Pulgent, former director of Government and author of the heritage of culture (1999).

The conservatives, who feel cramped, signed an open letter in support of Pei. The composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, the artist Pierre Soulages or director of the National Museum of Modern Art, Dominique Bozo, give voice to defend the work. Jacques Chirac, mayor of Paris, speaks of a high quality project. Finally, the Minister of Culture, Francois Leotard, confirms the Grand Louvre, which he estimates to cost 3 billion francs.

From the commencement of work, the public flocked to see the excavations and eventually approve. On March 12, 1989, the Pyramid and the Cour Napoléon is opened, without arousing the same passion. A few months after the removal of Finance in November 1993, the Richelieu wing was inaugurated in the presence of Edouard Balladur became the meantime, Prime Minister.

Today, with 60,000 square meters, the world’s largest museum hosts nearly 8.6 million visitors. The collections shown doubled. Guided tours, audio tours, children’s workshops, lectures and films have done their entry. Shops including a McDonald’s challenged along the way that leads to the rooms, and the Pyramid is a mecca for the great patron festivities. Outside, tourists are posing at his feet.

But the Louvre is a victim of its success. The noise is deafening at times, and the dense crowd in front of the crates. Difficult to leave his coat, or seeing the Mona Lisa properly on some Sundays. The direction of the Louvre has promised to review the conditions for receiving the public and, especially, to rethink the information given to it. Le Grand Louvre is like a cathedral: the main work will never end, “Judge Mary Saint Pulgent.

Darren Aronofsky On Budgets, Bad Apples, And ‘Black Swan’

NPR -By Linda Holmes (Listen To The Story)

Filmmaker Darren Aronofsky is getting significant Oscar buzz for his new film Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman as a very troubled ballet star. On today’s All Things Considered, Aronofsky talks to Robert Siegel about filmmaking in general and Black Swan in particular.

If it’s been a while since you checked in with Aronofsky, you might have been surprised to hear that he was making a movie about ballet. His previous project, after all, was the brutal film The Wrestler, for which star Mickey Rourke received an Oscar nomination.

As the director says, however, there are things that unite the dancers and wrestlers he places on screen: “Both films are about performers and performance.”

While you’ll hear in the interview about Black Swan‘s limited budget (he points out that $13 million really isn’t that much), you’ll also learn a little about the way those close to a filmmaker do their part to pitch in. Having his family help out on the set is, as Aronofsky explains, a tradition that started back when he made his first film, Pi, on a relative shoestring:

There was only eight people on the crew, so we really needed as many people as we could get. My mom did catering every day with her best friend, my Aunt Jo, and my dad filled in a few — when we needed another extra, he showed up in a suit and slicked back his hair and carried a suitcase.

But whether working with big budgets or small, Aronofsky works with some tortured, sometimes unpleasant main characters.

Asked about the fact that Portman’s Nina isn’t treated with great sympathy in Black Swan, he says:

Movies have really turned our heroes into one-dimensional characters, and you sort of really have to love these characters in most films. And I just — people aren’t really that way, and so this dancer is filled with ambition and stress, and she’s trapped, and she’s a prisoner. I was able to go there partly because I know people love Natalie Portman. So I got the sympathy votes very early from her, so I was comfortable with her pushing away.

But in the end, as much as he speaks enthusiastically about his films, look to this quintessentially independent director to deliver a ringing endorsement of his field. Aronofsky admits to having mixed feelings, even about the indie arena:

I’m on the fence with it. I used to be really encouraging, telling people, “Just go make the most original thing you can, the thing you think is best for your friends.” And I still — I teach, and I still talk about that. … [But] with the economic realities, there’s less money around; it’s a really tough time. But then again, for $2,000 you can buy cameras now that give any camera that Hollywood’s using a run for their money. And so you can make a small, interesting little film. So I don’t know. But it is buying a lottery ticket; I guess it comes down to persistence. If you really, really want to do it and you really want to work hard, there’s probably a future.

That is, you will note, quite a number of repetitions of the word “really.” Apparently, for that future to emerge, this particular director thinks you really, really have to want it.

LOA: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Bob Dylan: Desolation Angels led to “Desolation Row”

Way of St. James

The Way of St. James or St. James’ Way (Spanish: El Camino de Santiago, Galician: O Camiño de Santiago, French: Chemin de St-Jacques, German: Jakobsweg) is the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried.

The Way of St James has existed for over a thousand years. It was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times, together with Rome and Jerusalem, and a pilgrimage route on which a plenary indulgence could be earned; other major pilgrimage routes include the Via Francigena to Rome and the pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

Legend holds that St. James‘s remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain where he was buried on the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela. There are some, however, who claim that the bodily remains at Santiago belong to Priscillian, the fourth-century Galician leader of an ascetic Christian sect, Priscillianism, who was one of the first Christians to be executed .

The Way can take one of any number of pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela. Traditionally, as with most pilgrimages, the Way of Saint James began at one’s home and ended at the pilgrimage site. However a few of the routes are considered main ones. During the Middle Ages, the route was highly traveled. However, the Black Plague, the Protestant Reformation and political unrest in 16th-century Europe led to its decline.

By the 1980s, only a few pilgrims arrived in Santiago annually. Since then however the route has attracted a growing number of modern-day pilgrims from around the globe. The route was declared the first European Cultural Route by the Council of Europe in October 1987; it was also named one of UNESCO‘s World Heritage Sites.

Whenever St James’s day (25 July) falls on a Sunday, the cathedral declares a Holy or Jubilee Year. Depending on leap years, Holy Years occur in 5, 6 and 11 year intervals. The most recent were 1982, 1993, 1999, 2004, and 2010. The next will be 2021, 2027, and 2032.

The pilgrimage to Santiago has never ceased from the time of the discovery of St. James’ remains, though there have been years of fewer pilgrims, particularly during European wars. During the war of American Independence, John Adams was ordered by Congress to go to Paris to obtain funds for the cause.

His ship started leaking and he disembarked with his two sons in Finisterre in 1779, where he proceeded to follow the Way of St. James in the opposite direction, in order to get to Paris overland. He did not stop to visit Santiago, and came to regret this during the course of his journey. In his autobiography, he gives an accurate description of the customs and lodgings afforded to St. James pilgrims in the 18th century, and mentions the legend as it was then told to travellers:

“I have always regretted that We could not find time to make a Pilgrimage to Saint Iago de Compostella. We were informed, … that the Original of this Shrine and Temple of St. Iago was this. A certain Shepherd saw a bright Light there in the night. Afterwards it was revealed to an Archbishop that St. James was buried there. This laid the Foundation of a Church, and they have built an Altar on the Spot where the Shepherd saw the Light. In the time of the Moors, the People made a Vow, that if the Moors should be driven from this Country, they would give a certain portion of the Income of their Lands to Saint James. The Moors were defeated and expelled and it was reported and believed, that Saint James was in the Battle and fought with a drawn Sword at the head of the Spanish Troops, on Horseback. The People, believing that they owed the Victory to the Saint, very cheerfully fulfilled their Vows by paying the Tribute. …Upon the Supposition that this is the place of the Sepulchre of Saint James, there are great numbers of Pilgrims, who visit it, every Year, from France, Spain, Italy and other parts of Europe, many of them on foot.”

Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society,

 

Today tens of thousands of Christian pilgrims and other travellers set out each year from their front doorstep, or popular starting points across Europe, to make their way to Santiago de Compostela. Most travel by foot, some by bicycle, and a few travel as some of their medieval counterparts did, on horseback or by donkey (for example, the British author and humorist Tim Moore).

In addition to people undertaking a religious pilgrimage, there are many travellers and hikers who walk the route for non-religious reasons: travel, sport, or simply the challenge of weeks of walking in a foreign land. Also, many consider the experience a spiritual adventure to remove themselves from the bustle of modern life. It acts as a retreat for many modern “pilgrims”.

Analyzing Literature by Words and Numbers

NYT – By PATRICIA COHEN

Victorians were enamored of the new science of statistics, so it seems fitting that these pioneering data hounds are now the subject of an unusual experiment in statistical analysis. The titles of every British book published in English in and around the 19th century — 1,681,161, to be exact — are being electronically scoured for key words and phrases that might offer fresh insight into the minds of the Victorians.

This research, which has only recently become possible, thanks to a new generation of powerful digital tools and databases, represents one of the many ways that technology is transforming the study of literature, philosophy and other humanistic fields that haven’t necessarily embraced large-scale quantitative analysis.

Dan Cohen and Fred Gibbs, the two historians of science at George Mason University who have created the project, have so far charted how frequently more than two dozen words — among them “God,” “love,” “work,” “science” and “industrial” — appear in British book titles from the French Revolution in 1789 to the beginning of World War I in 1914…

Mr. Cohen and Mr. Gibbs’s “Reframing the Victorians” study is one of 12 university projects to win a new digital humanities award created by Google that provides money along with access to the company’s powerful computers and databases.

Some scholars are wary of the control an enterprise like Google can exert over digital information. Google’s plan to create a voluminous online library and store has raised alarms about a potential monopoly over digital books and the hefty pricing that might follow.

But Jon Orwant, the engineering manager for Google Books, Magazines and Patents, said the plan was to make collections and searching tools available to libraries and scholars free. “That’s something we absolutely will do, and no, it’s not going to cost anything,” he said.

One criterion in choosing projects to finance, he added, was whether they were going to create new data sets and computer codes that other researchers would find useful.

Mr. Gibbs and Mr. Cohen’s searches of book titles represent only an initial swipe at the data. Step 2 is canvassing the full texts. The professors will also have the ability to zero in on details, specific titles and passages.

Their starting point was an earlier work that focused on the written word as an entry point into the era: Walter E. Houghton’s “Victorian Frame of Mind, 1830-1870,” a landmark book published in 1957 that has shaped generations of scholarship, even as its conclusions have been challenged. Mr. Houghton sought to capture what he called a “general sense” of how middle- and upper-class Victorians thought, partly by closely reading scores of texts written during the era and methodically counting how many times certain words appeared. The increasing use of “hope,” “light” and “sunlight,” for instance, was interpreted as a sign of the Victorians’ increasing optimism…

Culinary art museum

EL PAÍS – VICENTE MOLINA FOIX

The death of the novel was followed by the death of theater, easel painting, and tonal music. Now comes the demise of plain Spanish cookery — roast suckling pig, grilled blood sausage. The auteur chef is the artist of modern life; and the restaurant, understood simply as a place to eat well, is on the way out.

Ferran Adrià, the Spanish auteur chef par excellence, has said this clearly enough, announcing the closure of his restaurant elBulli and its planned reopening, after three years of “profound reflection,” as a Creativity Center.

Adrià was the guest artist at the Documenta festival in Kassel in 2007. He has given courses at Harvard, and last year was the object of Food for Thought, Thought for Food — one of the most portentously vacuous books ever published, though its compiler-authors are, I believe, intelligent men.

Emboldened, perhaps, by the book and by the proliferating seminars and academic chairs of gastronomy, Adrià said recently that “normally no one argues with a scientist about his theories and equations, but in cooking everyone has an opinion.”

I recall Adrià’s words whenever a friend (usually female) invites me to eat in one of these temples of nouvelle cuisine, and, after the stiff bill has been paid, the friend asks me what I thought of the dishes — so exquisite, so recherché.

Out of prudence, or courtesy if she has paid, I say nothing. One no longer has the right to opine about the thickness of the sauce on the meatballs, the degree of salt in the cod, the sweetness of the rice pudding… The cook, who used to be a mere artisan, is now an artist, and advances his pretension to be a scientist.

Are we looking at the birth of an innovative sensuality of taste that my own palate, boorish and antiquated, is incapable of appreciating? The idea has occurred to me, suggested by a feeling that comes over me in connection with some (not all) exhibitions of the plastic arts, some novels and essays touted as a break with the past, and some films that, laden with prestigious prizes, arrive from Greece, Iran or Sundance.

And while a certain degree of sham is common to certain cuisines and certain vanguard arts, cooking does not really enter into the same sphere of jurisdiction as these arts. Whatever the auteur chefs and their house writers may tell us, eating is not yet an activity of the transcendental spirit.

Ferran Adrià has more than once been accused of using dangerous “molecular” ingredients, and a reputed German critic, Jörg Zipprick, has denounced the elBulli wizard’s systematic use of colorants, emulsions and polysaccharides that might cause intestinal cancer. Adrià has denied this, and the natural suspicion is that we are looking at a reactionary call to return to the beaten path.

I am the first to admit the value of a healthy diet, Mediterranean or otherwise, but I fail to see how a laboratory treatment of cabbage, so that it arrives on the table with “floating pumice” effects, constitutes any progress over dipping a chunk of bread into the broth at the bottom of a bowl of tripe and chickpeas.

Not to mention the loss of easy conviviality in favor of the experimental gravitas proper to these centers of high culinary art, where you have to wait years for a reservation, as for the Bayreuth festival. The very idea of eating under an artist’s eye gives me cramps, and whenever one of these great chefs, with the best of intentions, emerges from his kitchen to receive the applause of his guests, I think of the nightmare of being in a public library where 15 or 20 people are reading the latest Spanish novels, and a noted author appears, wanting to know what you think of the use of the narrative second person in chapter three, all without punctuation and with abundant footnotes, in his recent book.

Vicente Molina Foix is a writer.

“Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.”

Oscar Wilde   “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

end 😉

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