Beckett's *Unprotected Texts* are rapidly vanshing-get 'em while you can [via Soluble Census]
I'll be reading on Thursday, June 7th at 7:30 at the Ceres Gallery 547 West 27th Street NY NY 10001 (212) 947-6100 with Corinne Robins. The gallery is featuring the excellent work of Carol Goebel.
On My Desk
When I received my library copy of The Selected Letters of Stephane Mallarme, I opened it to a letter to Odilon Redon. Mallarme wrote to Redon on February 2, 1885: "A highly mysterious sympathy made you depict in that delicious mad hermit the poor little man who, in the depths of my soul, I'd like to be; and I'll hang this drawing on its own on a wall of my memory so I can judge the others in a more disinterested way. The head of Dream, that marsh flower, illuminates, with a light known to herself alone and which cannot be pronounced, the whole tragic lantern of ordinary existence..."
Yesterday I happned to visit Mercer Street Books & records (206 Mercer Street) and walked straight into *To Myself: Notes on LIfe, Art and Letters* by Odilon Redon, Braziller, 1986. Lately I've been obsessed with the music of Robert Schumann. If you've never heard the early piano works of Schumann, like Papillons, op.2 and Davidsbundler-Tanze, op. 8, you have a major treat waiting for you. I opened the book to this passage (about Schumann): "'Be a noble artist', Schuman said, 'and all the rest will be given to you.' It is because he was noble himself if one understands by "noble" the absolute unselfishness, generosity, expansion and the vivid exuberance of a full and strong soul. Schumann has given his fruit: he has given it, as the apple-tree gives apples witout personal wishes, and without regrets. He has given his heart and his thought, his works, his life in the same way as those who suffer for others, and therein lies the supreme grace, the characteristic sign of profound genius. One cann say this about everybody; one could not say this about somebody like Berlioz, for example...(December, 1915)
By the way, Debussy wrote of Berlioz in *Monsieur Croche* his book of articles about music: "Incidentally, the work of Berlioz, through he pre-occupation with color and incident, became at once a subject for artists; one might even say without irony that Berlioz has always been the favorite musician of those who do not know much about music."
St,-John Perse, *On Poetry*, translated by W.H. Auden, Bollingen Series. (Nobel prize acceptance speech, December 10, 1960. "Poetry rarely received public homage. The gulf between poetic creation and the activities of a society subjected to material bondage grows ever wider,..the poet keeps us in touch with the permanance and unity of Being. And his messsage is one of optimism. To him, one law of harmony govers the whole world of things. Nothing can occur there which by its nature is incommensuable with man. The worst catastrophes of history are but seasonal rhythms in a vaster cycle of repetitions and renewals. The Furies who cross the stage, torches high, do but throw light upon one moment in the immense plot as it unfolds itself through time. Growing civilizations do not perish from the pangs of one autumn; they mrerely shed their leaves. Inertia is the only mortal dange. Poet is he who breaks for us the bonds of habit."