26 May 2008

Deep Tropical Paintings by Pellet

Filed under: Fiction — ktismatics @ 11:52 am

When I posted on Deep Tropical Ciné-Musique I said I wished I had images from Christian Pellet’s paintings to put up. Christian was kind enough to send them to me. He says that the files weren’t in good shape, so the images aren’t quite as crisp as they are in the book.



  1. John, this looks marvelous, thank you!

    I just wrote Christian to try to get you the cine-portrait of ‘Last Year at Marienbad’. In my cataloguing of possessions this morning, I found a medium-sized print of that one, and it has an absolutely stunning cinema-onto-the-page look because of the way Christian has outlined the two figures. I hope he’ll also send the ‘Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte’ one, because those two are probably my favourites. The paintings in ‘Day of Cine-Musique’ have taken me longer to understand, those in ‘Deep Tropical’ I loved instantly.


    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 26 May 2008 @ 12:50 pm

  2. I had similar reactions to the two sets of paintings, Patrick. I don’t have images from “Day of” so it’s hard for others to make the comparison, but I wonder how you would characterize the differences. In part it’s the relationship between the images and the text, but in both cases the connection is tenuous or conceptual. What else do you see?


    Comment by ktismatics — 27 May 2008 @ 7:24 am

  3. The paintings are very good, having also a strange sense of hyper-reality that seems to draw on the best American tradition in this regard. In the ”real” they seem also to find a quirkiness (notice the slightly neurotic tension of the woman in the second row) and a peculiar sense of humor. The colors somehow make me think of L.A., though it could be stuff that Jonquille fucked into my brain. L.A. seems to have bright Spanish colors, as in Almodovar’s films.


    Comment by parodycenter — 28 May 2008 @ 3:36 am

  4. (notice the slightly neurotic tension of the woman in the second row)

    You mean the woman on the right, dressed in black? She is one of the few figures in this series who is looking at the viewer, and I agree that she conveys tension. And yet she, like the others, presents a composed air, almost statuesque in her isolation. Are these people serene, or are they drained of affect? In group compositions none of the people look at each other. There are no backgrounds to distract our attention from these figures — or rather, the backgrounds consist entirely of color — abstract backgrounds. It’s in contrast with this abstraction perhaps that the figures themselves stand out as almost hyperreal. But the backgrounds, as you say PC, are bright, calling attention to themselves in their own right, foregrounding the abstraction. In discussing “Days of Cine-Musique” I alluded to Robbe-Grillet in the way Patrick used repetition of events to convey, paradoxically, a sense of timelessness. This series of paintings by Christian reminds me of Alain Resnais’s film version of Robbe-Grillet’s Last Year at Marienbad, in which individual human beings through composed, classic isolation and eternal repetition take on the gnostic transcendence of demiurges. You mention the “peculiar sense of humor” — to me its the mundanity of these godlike characters, contrasting with the usual classic beauty of godlike beings.

    The exception is the last painting in the series. The background is abstract like the others, but the color is subdued, nearly white. The woman on the left looks and points at the woman on the right, who is looking at the man, who is looking obliquely at us. This composition has an Escher-like spatiality: the woman on the left’s right hand is closest to the viewer, yet she and the other woman stand behind the man. The arrangement of figures, the gestures, the facial expressions all suggest more interpersonal drama than do the rest of the paintings. The print of this painting is the very last thing in the book. Its caption, taken from Patrick’s text, is this: “Most of what he had to say remained unspoken.”

    I just compared the images I put up on the post, which is the entire set Christian sent me, with the “Deep Tropical Cine-Musique” book, and I see that Christian left one out of the set. Near the midpoint of the book there’s a diptych of a naked woman posed full-frontal against a red background. In the left pose the woman is missing a hand and a foot; on the right both feet are gone. In both poses she’s missing her head and neck, like the panel on the far right of the seven-panel painting of a woman in various stages of undress, also posed against a red background. The caption in the book for this missing image: “Philosophy fails more often than not.”


    Comment by ktismatics — 28 May 2008 @ 4:39 am

  5. I alluded to Robbe-Grillet in the way Patrick used repetition of events to convey, paradoxically, a sense of timelessness.

    I was talking about the woman in the orange sweater against a red background, she impresses the most; there is a tension in her expression and a sense of humor related to her long, bird-like neck. I recognize that face from somewhere.The characters are Woody Allenesque, probably from New York – neurotics.

    I think what you’re talking about in the rest of the comment is the PoMo flatness (the background and the figure are on the same plane), but I didn’t think of Escher – his work is more ”intellectual” than this – I think of Almodovar, and also of Lynch (maybe due to the way Lynch flattens out his characters). What I am thinking about is how these characters indeed somehow stand out even though they are completely drained of character, through their gaze or a slight tension in their pose.


    Comment by parodycenter — 28 May 2008 @ 4:50 am

  6. I agree that in IE Lynch also uses repetition to convey a gnostic timelessness, with Laura Dern’s multiple personality syndrome conveying paradoxically the sense that a single being permeates variety of manifestation. IE also calls attention to backgrounds (visual and sonic), partly as a source of abstraction, partly to set up a Gestalt-like oscillation of attention between figure and ground, inside and outside. This sets up the Mobius-like function you’ve pointed out before: the same plane, but with a twist that makes outside and inside two sides of the same surface. I don’t think the Mobius action is implied in Christian’s paintings: these are more representations of the eternal realms.

    The Madonna clip — “we’ve only got 4 minutes to save the world,” but they don’t seem to take any action other than singing their song. Is this performance supposed to save the world? Or is it through watching this video over and over, the eternal return and the cumulative attention, the depth thereby bestowed on this flat cultural product, that the world is saved?


    Comment by ktismatics — 28 May 2008 @ 6:00 am

  7. I don’t think the Mobius action is implied in Christian’s paintings: these are more representations of the eternal realms.

    No they don’t although it’s strange you associated MC Escher, who first played with the Moebius strip. In the paintings the Uncanniness is more in the way the characters are, like, deliberately not saying anything: as Serbian director Kusturica would say, ”a fish is mute, because a fish knows everything.” or maybe better to say in their muteness, their blankness, you sense an abyss so deep that it’s safer to keep quiet. But it’s not a psychotic impression, as in catatonia, rather that another invisible layer is present. Maybe the impression comes from the interruption of movement, that tension I noticed: as if it was interrupted the moment the woman was going to say something. I remember Patrick mentioned Hable Con Ella in the second book, this reminds me of that movie (and of Almodovar in general).


    Comment by parodycenter — 28 May 2008 @ 6:31 am

  8. “we’ve only got 4 minutes to save the world,” but they don’t seem to take any action other than singing their song.

    what i find great is that the clip self-detonates (it lasts 4 minutes) and in the last freeze-frame you see a ripple which penetrates the body, as if to suggest that in that slit, in that in-between space, certainly of some McEscheresque space, there might be salvation, or perhaps that the salvation is in its constant deferral as you say. I am sure Madonna partook due to some kablablistic motivation, I just saw in a recent docu that she’s heavily into the Kablabla stuff and that’s all about parallel realities as you know.


    Comment by parodycenter — 28 May 2008 @ 6:34 am

  9. “I was talking about the woman in the orange sweater against a red background, she impresses the most; there is a tension in her expression and a sense of humor related to her long, bird-like neck. I recognize that face from somewhere.The characters are Woody Allenesque, probably from New York – neurotics.”

    I thought you might be talking about her, and she is very special, the caption that goes with her has to do with a kind of oversoul power she has over the book. The real person I have not met, although I could have, but before that I had spoken to her on the phone, and she has a grace that is most remarkable. When I was getting in touch again with Christian after almost 8 years of no communication, it was her voice that was the moment which made the transition. The caption is ‘They heard the goddess sing a faint echo’.

    The tension you note is there, but she has absolutely NOTHING to do with Woody Allen’s grubby characters. She is French Swiss in the most highly refined sense–delicate, fragile, strong, sweet.


    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 28 May 2008 @ 8:25 am

  10. What I am thinking about is how these characters indeed somehow stand out even though they are completely drained of character, through their gaze or a slight tension in their pose.

    I don’t think they are completely drained of character, but rather the character is pointed and sharpened and sometimes made slightly malevolent, as with the girl with the black shoes. And although I won’t give the other names of the figures, A—– I don’t mind divulging at least by one initial: She is the girl in black, is perfectly vicious, preys on men, gets parties given for as reward for such predatoriness, and is an unconscionable bitch. She is also in the last painting on the right of the man. As you may notice, she also appears a great deal in her insolence in ‘Day of Cine-Musique’, busy with her work of emasculation quite as determined (but with less ‘social and humanitarian appeal to the exotic Caribbeans, Al Qaeda Belgians (see NYTimes today for this bitch, a new heroine for Arpege’) as Arpege to make sure that the least interesting people always get center stage.

    The figure captioned ‘Marie’ has another kind of tension, she is Danish and couldn’t be anything else I notice in the picture looking at it again today. She has the same kind of placid self-possession I’ve noticed among Danes, two sisters I knew in my own building here as well as all the great male ballet Danes I’ve seen, especially Peter Martins. Nikolaj Hubbe is a bit more sparkling in the face, but this tension is unlike the ‘goddess’s’ French Swiss tension. Christian used to talk about ‘we Swiss and our nervosite…you see how we have to have our pharmacies on nearly every block’. You can’t miss the handsome German woman standing by her husband. This is curiously out of character, because she is not quite so imperious nor a Valkyrie either. But in this pose, we therefore can play with a further fiction: She is in the commanding position in the painting (and it makes her look majestic despite the ‘debutante slouch’–couldn’t resist that), but in real life there has never been any question of ‘who wears the pants’.


    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 28 May 2008 @ 8:48 am

  11. “a kind of oversoul power she has over the book.”

    The tension of the woman on the right congeals into hardness; the one in the middle that we’re talking about now conveys attentive concern, but also sadness. Since you’ve not met her, Patrick, I guess you mean either than something in the mood of the painting pervades both your text and the series of portraits, or else the woman behind this painting provided inspiration in Christian’s work here.


    Comment by ktismatics — 28 May 2008 @ 8:52 am

  12. “She is the girl in black, is perfectly vicious, preys on men, gets parties given for as reward for such predatoriness, and is an unconscionable bitch.”

    Interesting — I was writing the previous comment about this figure before I refreshed the page and saw your remarks.


    Comment by ktismatics — 28 May 2008 @ 8:54 am

  13. “She is also in the last painting on the right of the man.”

    Her malevolence may account for the dimensionality of this painting and its divergence from the others. The woman on the left points an accusing finger at A, who in turn looks with disdain toward the man in the foreground, who in turn casts his perplexed and rather helpless gaze toward us. There’s a story in this painting, and a depth of interpersonal tension. This accusatory triad appears also at the very beginning of “Day of,” with the positions switched: instead of pointer-man-A from left to right, the “Day of” paintings have the sequence A-pointer-man. It’s a diptych: on the left panel the pointer is shadowy and points at the man, who looks at A, who in turn looks at us; on the right panel the pointer, now more substantially rendered, points at A, who looks at the man, who looks at us. If I were to interpret what’s going on here, I’d say that the left rendering is how the accusatory sequence seems to be, whereas the one on the right is how it really is. Another difference: in the “Deep Tropica” painting the pointer seems to be an adult woman; in the “Day of” the pointer looks more like a child.

    Note that the accusatory painting appears at the very end of “Deep Tropical,” and its counterpart diptych version is the very first thing in “Day of.” It’s as if this were a single book, linked together by these complementary paintings, rendered in the same style, with the same poses, of the same people…

    “You can’t miss the handsome German woman standing by her husband.”

    This painting looks Spanish to me — not from facial features, but in the angularity of the poses.


    Comment by ktismatics — 28 May 2008 @ 9:11 am

  14. in the “Deep Tropica” painting the pointer seems to be an adult woman; in the “Day of” the pointer looks more like a child.

    Yes–because she had not been discovered to be a child at first. She had had powers conferred upon her that she was glad to assume without really being able to embody them.

    The beautiful girl with the exquisite neck inspired both me and Christian, but there are reasons I could see her as a more magical figure than he would automatically. Speaking to her on the phone WAS meeting her, just like seeing ‘welcome to LA’, the movie, WAS going to LA the first time. She doesn’t even know that it was her strange beauty that was directly responsible for my second long period with Christian which led to all these collaborations.


    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 28 May 2008 @ 10:25 am

  15. I don’t think there’s much graciousness or particular beauty about your long-necked girl, I get more of a weird impression due to her elongated features. What she is in reality has nothing to do with my reception of the art-piece. Anyhow since she immediately stood out from the crowd by her character, and then you confirmed she was special, there’s clearly something about her, even as I may not be inspired to discover exactly what, as I don’t like overanalysis.

    Drained of character is indeed the wrong word, but the people do sort of look alike and you can’t say they stand out by their character, more in a certain dissonance discord whatever as in the contrast between the red background and the pink shirt guy who is looking away or looking to the side in the fifth row. I get a sense of neurotic tension, which is what made me think of Woody Alleen.

    The steely matriarch in the black dress is very good. She reminds me of the Lauren Bacall character in the New York uppity melodrama BIRTH with Nicole Kidman.


    Comment by parodycenter — 28 May 2008 @ 2:09 pm

  16. Oh yes and there;s something ALIEN about the characters, look at their hands, they are shaped like those of ET the extra terrestrial.


    Comment by parodycenter — 28 May 2008 @ 2:15 pm

  17. “as I don’t like overanalysis.”


    “which is what made me think of Woody Alleen… Oh yes and there;s something ALIEN about the characters”

    Woody ALIEN?


    Comment by ktismatics — 28 May 2008 @ 2:20 pm

  18. Both from Jonquille’s book, and from Pallet’s drawings, a get a sense of precarity, this is the word I was looking for; this is the kind of humor that is on the verge of turning to tragedy. The characters are doing as if all is ”normal” and ”fine”, but their hands are telling you that they’re holding something back. Jonquille’s writing conveyed an effervescence.


    Comment by parodycenter — 28 May 2008 @ 3:04 pm

  19. I liked the books, and I find pleasure in exploring them and talking about them. The writings and the paintings contain many hues and textures, affords many rewards to the attentive.


    Comment by ktismatics — 29 May 2008 @ 9:06 am

  20. Though less extreme, the faces in Christian Pellet’s paintings here are reminiscent of the work of Francis Bacon. The psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, in his 1971 book Playing and Reality, speaks in a Lacanian vein of the child seeing himself reflected in the face of his mother’s expression while she’s looking at him. Then (on pp. 155ff.) Winnicott speaks of Bacon,

    the exasperating and skilful and challenging artist of our time who goes on and on painting the human face distorted significantly. From the standpoint of this chapter Francis Bacon is seeing himself in his mother’s face, but with some twist in him or her that maddens both him and us… Bacon’s faces seem to me to be far removed from the perception of the actual; in looking at faces he seems to me to be painfully striving towards being seen, which is at the basis of creative looking.

    Winnicott describes a case study in which one of his patients refers to Bacon:

    The rest of the material concerned the environment provided by her mother when she was a baby, the picture being of a mother talking to someone else unless actively engaged in a positive relating to the baby. The implication here is that the baby would look at the mother and see her talking to someone else. The patient then went on to describe her great interest in the paintings of Francis Bacon and she wondered whether to lend me a book about the artist. She referred to a detail in the book. Francis Bacon ‘says that he likes to have glass over his pictures because then when people look at the picture what they see is not just a picture; they might in fact see themselves.’

    So I wonder whether, in his paintings, Christian was reflecting back the images of his models as he saw them in the distorting lens of his own perspective. Or was he somehow trying to present back to them the distortions with which these models already saw themselves? And I further wonder how Christian’s distorted mirroring technique relates to the text of the book that Patrick wrote.


    Comment by ktismatics — 23 September 2008 @ 8:29 am

  21. I am thinking of calling the 4th contributor ‘aka Robin M. Land’, an amalgam of the ‘parents of Desiree Von Phflapp’, because those are the two whose extreme several-years-long attack on the first chapter of the new book ‘Illegal Dances of New York City’ had to be beaten (and beat them I did, when no peace could be made) for me to go on and get this book ready for publication (once christian’s pictures arrived in copies this week, it was an absolute certainty: He is very shy while creating work, and I thought it was going to amount to sometning quite insuffficient, but after i saw them, I wrote him, ‘As Mae West might say, there’s NOTHING I like better than a man with a…Surprise Package…’) I think if frankly SUICIDAL that the obivous 4th pariticipant wants to be so obscure as some form of ‘distinction’ that he won’t even take credit for his work. Yes, I was sore way back in 2006 when Robin rejected my work after not even bothering to try with it,and we had a couple of minor online spats–but THREE YEARS of having to battle these crows about something on a blog that far back! That’s crackers. And the 4th contributor ends up having to pay in form of making a fine contributiion to this Evil Book himself. Absolute Poetic Justice. And Christian also has a portrait of Francesco Borromini that he’s just come up with, so the book will have a dual dedication. Borromini for the Baroque Obscenity of the book, and as before, Martha Graham for the ultimate in New York Dance, as well as her particular breadth of vision which was what sprang to mind while I was watching the WTC on fire and then fall on 9/11.

    The stupidity of those spats, saying ‘you’ll never get the book published’, disparaging everything in ‘my IKEA book’, which was the one you worked so beautifully on here, Day of Cine-Musique, is that the person inflicting them all on me I had only had the most minor difficulties with. He was someone whom, until very recently, I deeply admired and wanted to be close friends and more with. But he probably didn’t think I was ‘serious’ or ‘heavyweight’, because philosophers very often are not that adventurous in their physical life, even though he seemed to be more so. Right in front of my eyes, after trashing me for months while I was praising him, he ended up reducing himself to absolutely a Gregor Samsa in the last week or so. I’ve rarely, if ever, been so disgusted at someone’s self-loathing. And this ties in with the psychoanalysis. Sometimes you cannot even LOVE the self-loathing out of a determined self-loather; the one thing he truly does love is his private self-loathing. The problem with ‘loving self-loathing’, of course, is that it’s an oxymoron, paradox, etc., that simply does not allow room for contentment. So after you’ve given someone your whole self for a long time, and then they still act like a stupid fuckup, then you give up on them, and say, okay well thanks for all the Cock and the Book contributions, but if you really want to jump out the fucking window, don’t expect me to go with you.

    I do think part of maturity (I have this one, although not all that many, of course, unlike the self-loather, I want to keep the adolescence, it looks good and I like to look good, self-loathing makes you look like a panting, starving dog) is realizing when someone is a fucking HOPELESS CASE. They can still be brilliant and geniuses, but more than this you have to be YOU. People who won’t be themselves have to be content with living as servants to the rest of us, who are comfortable with our identities.


    Comment by Ray Fuller — 7 November 2009 @ 9:35 am

    • Since you had mentioned ‘maybe I will do a passage from my latest work’, I won’t just now, but wanted to just add to the foregoing that this book was intellectually, spiritually, psychologically very hard to get moving in the right direction. Once again, I find that writing about New York was a thousand times harder to do than writing about Los Angeles (and to a lesser degree, Tahiti), even though I lived here. But the thing I hadn’t yet said was that this is BECAUSE you do live the concept of ‘cine-musique’, which comes so naturally with Los Angeles, and find something less vaporous. The result is going to be much better than I thought, and is, I think worthy of this city. New York isn’t dreamy like Los Angeles. It was HARD to do this. But it has the stamp of New York on it already. And that very comparative ‘absence of dreaminess’ is why it was so hard: You want that, because it’s pleasant, New York may be a phantasm and an ‘impossible dream’ or the ultimate ‘perishable dream’ as Didion put is so well early on (there’s one incredible paragraph on New York she did, I’ll find it), but it does not soothe you or lull you in the different ways that Paris of California (apparently San Frnacisco too) do. It’s not ‘pure work’ like Chicago and it is romantic (I think Chicago generally is not considered to be especially romantic, has other virtues), but ‘theater’ and other ‘live performance’ like dance and just the Body Itself had to be concentrated on to force New York to reveal secrets it would not do even after 40 years of living here. As that journalist Tom Carson, with whom I was having the dialogue about L.a. and Didion said, ‘with L.A., all you have to do is show up’ and you immediately are part of what’s happening, a part of its creation. That is decidedly NOT the case with New York. You really do PAY DUES here for fucking years.


      Comment by Ray Fuller — 7 November 2009 @ 9:47 am

  22. ‘Illegal Dances of New York City’ — an engaging first chapter title.
    “Borromini for the Baroque Obscenity of the book” — I like that.

    “this book was intellectually, spiritually, psychologically very hard to get moving in the right direction.” — It pisses me off reading certain bloggers’ writing tips, accompanied by their seemingly effortless speed in churning out text, as if it’s all just a matter of self-discipline, stick-to-itiveness, making an outline, and so on. There are times when the juices are flowing, other times not. You might have to force your way through certain obstructions, but unless you find a rhythm and flow it’s going to turn out looking too much like work done for an assignment. Even that can prove inspiring though, just knowing you’ve somebody waiting for your work. Anyhow, I know what you mean about “hard to get moving in the right direction.”


    Comment by john doyle — 7 November 2009 @ 11:48 pm

    • Thanks, John, this got disappeared under the psychoanalysis discussion and I didn’t even see it. ‘Illegal Dances of New York City’ is the name of the whole book. The first chapter, the most controversial because I released some of it to certain parties early on, is called ‘Gotham Trace’, the second is called ‘Crebillon Fils’ Jonquille de Camambert’, the third is called ‘East Side Story: The Park Avenue Ballet’ and the fourth simply ‘Paintings’, and even has a lot of text specifically about Jack’s paintings and our sojourns throughout the city to find these images. On the other hand, Christian has taken passages and bits of my text from the first two chapters, which are the thorniest and most difficult and made witty images on top of the quotes he chose to illustrate.

      ‘just knowing you’ve somebody waiting for your work’

      But in this case nobody was, that’s why after the first one, rejected by Robin and roundly smashed by everyone who even heard about it except traxus and arpege, was not called for by Christian, and the second one, which if plainly demented in places, was written after Robin said NO and before I even approached Christian with the idea of yet another book, which was going to end up much larger than the other two. Christian also loves New York too, so this may be why I just kept at it, in the old-fashioned ‘starving artist garret’ way, and he finally bought it hook, line and sinker. You know, I really didn’t think he was going to bite this time. Never has any work I’ve done been accompanied by so much despair, and not just the hostile bloggers. But if I never wrote another book after this I could live with it, there is just something about the way I’m identified so closely with New York with everybody who knows me that would be such an unfinished sensation if I didn’t put my own stamp on it. I don’t mean my text (plus that of the Old Cuss, who seems a bit more willing to concede legal authorship, god, he’s ridiculous) alone, but the whole work of the four authors together is going to make this a very fine book.

      I recently (yesterday) put up some advice of my own to one of our London bloggers, regarding how to try to get the ‘bloggical’ sound out of the writing. He didn’t respond to this, which is fine. He’s going through yet more personal disasters and sometimes goes through periods of seeming ’emergency horribleness’ followed immediately by ‘obviously I had to take that down’. He did not have to take that down. I resisted my former ‘maternal instincts’ toward him (even though I basically think he’s an okay guy) and let him just deal with it. But when I talk about ‘writing out BY HAND’, I don’t necessarily mean that is for everybody, or that the result is always better, but you can definitely get a different sound and rhythm by doing it than letting the machine speed you through. Sometimes writing in pencil or pen makes you force the things out of your head, and lose some of them, and have to re-find them. That’s good. The machine is good too, but the problem is just that things all begin to have at least one thing in common–they can be too glib: Not too smooth, mind you, you can always smooth things out later (I do all the editing on the computer once I’ve typed up the handwritten manuscript), but simply too speedy, so that it’s quickly forgotten and DOES NOT STICK. that’s what too much use of the computer is doing–it’s causing much larger amounts of writing, and not much of it sticks. When I repeat certain of the chunks that the Old Cuss has written that are going into the book again, he sort of enjoys them, plays with them again. But the beauty of our friendship is that we both seem to have photographic memories, and can even remember literally every phrase the other wrote 5 years ago. We’re both a pain in the ass to each other, but it’s not ‘tragic’, for God’s sake. He’s basically a babe, just nuts, but then I am easy to perceive as another form of ‘being nuts.’

      Yes, all the ‘stick-to-ituitiveness’ and ‘outlines’ is really not that different from the Amazing Dave, just at a higher level of education. Academic writing you can do that way, according to Jodi, who churns out books pretty regularly, but she says it’s not all the creative. For the rest, you just have to ‘find the book’, and it may well kill you along the way. I had a much, MUCH easier time with ‘Day of Cine-Musique’, even though I took it seriously and was careful with it; but this one often reminded me of Capote’s several decades of writer’s block on ‘Answered Prayers’, and it’s possible that there’s been a propulsion from all collaborators that has forced this book into near post-production (since all the parts are in finished form, with probably a couple of more drawings from Christian), and when the Old Cuss’s contributions were first lifted, there was an extra added spark that sent Christian into making up a strict production schedule, which thus far we’ve adhered to. I have only the last, easy chapter to edit now, and that will only take a day or two. The BOOK III, the Park Avenue Ballet one, I will probably look at once more, but it’s basically in good shape. Plus there are photographs, that are different from the main paintings that go into this rather Proustian 3rd Book (mostly about events of the 70s in New York), and clips from old musical scores of my own in the BOOK II, the Jonquille one, that are from my old musical, written nearly to completion, but I had no idea how to do the networking to get it produced–so it ends up a kind of ‘closed play’ in the form of a book chapter.


      Comment by Ray Fuller — 10 November 2009 @ 10:20 am

      • Aha! Part of today’s strange and unexpected group of epiphanies is that by now I do not care if the Old Cuss never wants to claim his work. I am perfectly aware that he wants me to beg for it, and I’m never suited for that role. Not that I haven’t done it when I didn’t KNOW I was doing it, but since he was very much a part of the conspiracy to destroy everything the whole book stood for, we will just say ‘probably is Old Cuss, etc.’, because this ‘obscurity fetish’ becomes a total bore to me by now, and even all sexual fascination is totally vanished. I can see that to allow legal use (which he cannot provide on Dejan’s blog, even if were proclaimed there) would go against his desire not to be a part of this project. He does not want to be and basically agreed with the original refuser of the manuscript. Fuck this shit. He even also said that it would never be published, but it’s definitely going to be, whether or not he thinks this is worthwhile publishing. It’s certainly at least on as high a level as ‘lavishly illustrated travel books’ which have to be renewed annually (I’ll admit these are very well-done, but still, then I’m not the ungenerous one, nor the malign force, just ‘loose’). The use of these nuggets has a wonderful sparkling power against my much longer, originally hand-written rhapsodies, that are like bombs thrown against my texts that explode without destroying the rest. The author does not like my old-fashioned ego-author way anyway, thinking these are the ‘slums of the creative ego’. So ‘more power to him’, we are fine with our gentrification of his anonymity. I shouldn’t begrudge this just because it makes no sense to my one-pointed perception–as a psychologist, John, this will interest you: Christian was trained and got his degrees in psychology and practised for some 10-15 years, and told me that I was the ‘least schizophrenic person he ever met’. The attraction to me in both cases is probably largely accounted for by this fact. It’s probably why I’m so naked and shameless as well, although I’m not going to expect accolades from you or anyone else on that account, I get enough from myself–it’s not bad this way. But, ultimately, you don’t have to force things through with another person, because this ‘one-pointedness’ (that was a good word even when Krishnamurti used it), because you don’t need their approval. You would have liked to have it, and gave them plenty of time to let you know it, but you found that it was somehow impossible–so you do find it easily in yourself, especially when you get much support from other quarters. I get most of this from Christian, another less satisfying aspect of this is that Jack doesn’t care for Christian’s work and also has no interest in my writing (either of my books, he’s read them but paid little attention), but then, everyone has his fine points and good qualities, there is no such thing as ‘someone who is all things to all men’, and there are therefore personal aspects to Jack which Christian is thoroughly incapable of offering, due to the extreme strictness of upper-middle-class Swiss upbringing, which makes him go against many of his natural inclinations. It’s interesting, though, before I knew who the Old Cuss was, I told him I’d send him copies of all three of our books, when the next one is published–when, due to this strange superior and determinedly separate removal from the other three of us (Jack does like the idea, at least, of having a lot of his own paintings in a book he can then give to all his friends, etc., although I find that a little limited), he’ll never even see a copy of the book, unless he buys it from Art & Fiction, and it will be, of course, even more expensive than Day of Cine-Musique, because more complex.

        But what use ‘deleuzian slumbers’ if all artists wake from them? I’ve found a tremendous wellspring of creativity down there, by taking some basic tenets of Deleuze till an almost Wagnerian literalist end. Yes, and you can sometimes really play with fire and make real profits from it.


        Comment by Ray Fuller — 10 November 2009 @ 9:22 pm

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