good news #4
The Person and the Sacred
By Simone Weil
Preface by Florence de Lussy
Type / philosophy
Chosen extract: “What is sacred, at the deepest level, is that which is impersonal in a human being. Everything that is impersonal in man is sacred, and only that.” p 21
5 good reasons to be ABSORBED by this book:
The difficulty in reading philosophy lies in our capacity to look, listen and understand the text in the most neutral way possible – not to project anything personal and get to the original essence of the words.
Simone Weil (1909/1943) attempted to define the impersonal as only functioning “with an extremely rare quality of attention, and that is only possible in solitude” p23
The collective is a cornerstone because it allows solidarity, comfort – it is also a way to express “a cry” for those who cannot speak p 19
Simone Weil worked on a factory assembly line for two years – she saw “physical labor as a value that is absolutely equal to art and science” because it can be a vector “of an impersonal form of attention.”
It poses strict language requirements – opposing the law with a notion of justice. Truth, Beauty, Intelligence vs genius – it attempts to name the impersonal that tends toward the sacred.
“Human Personality” Between the Personal and the Impersonal, Simone Weil - edition RN – a young publishing company – a passionate and talented editor – a text from 1943 that was written at the age of 34 – re-published in 2016 - 59 pages – to read again and again
Marc Jacobs - Unseen
Essay by Rachel Feinstein
Preface by Sally Singer Introduction by André Leon Talley
type / fashion photography – Behind the scenes of fashion shows
Chosen extract: “Fashion isn’t a necessity. It pulls at your heart. It’s a whim. You don’t need it. You want it.” Marc Jacobs (last page) Babeth Djian, founder and editor of Numero magazine, once noted that Jacobs created “fashion that goes directly from the runway to the street, without ever sacrificing part of the dream” p 240
5 good reasons to LOOK AT FASHION through this book:
There’s a “look,” a terribly chic young lady. Marc Jacobs – the type of garment that you throw on like a pajama and gives us the chance to say, “and just like that I have style!” - a way of moving in space. Marc Jacobs, it’s nothing, it’s simple and it works!
In every collection, everything changes and yet the MJ style is there, present in every single fashion show, recognizable; what a challenge!
He evokes his influences, from an exhibition, a magazine, a film, a piece of music; to other fashion designers who he’s been influenced by and sometimes transcends, appropriating them to better detach himself from them, simplifying like a painter who wipes off his painting so that only the essential remains.
He has the gall to be just at ease with an exercise in the “lady-like” as he is with “street culture” – good taste straddling bad taste.
A great couturier is not only someone who is capable of inventing a new silhouette, but also someone who uncovers a small part of the personality of a woman that until then had been hidden – that is Marc Jacobs! Read page 15 for the difference between being “dogs” or “cats” according to Rachel Feinstein.
Marc Jacobs - Unseen - by Robert Fairer – published by Thames & Hudson - in 2018 - 349 pages – fashion photos from the 1994 to 2012/2013 collections
Music - conversations
By Haruki Murakami and Seiji Ozawa
type / conversations about music
Chosen extract: “I think that there exists a sort of universal opening. For example, we Japanese, and other Asian people have our own special kind of sorrow. I think it comes from a slightly different place than Jewish sorrow or European sorrow (...) I enjoy thinking that an interpretation of a Western composition that also draws on Japanese sensitivity (...) has its own reason for existing.” p 197
5 good reasons to LISTEN TO this book:
The greatest virtue of this book is to allow everyone from novices to more or less knowledgeable fans to easily enter the world of music.
A conversation between Japanese author Haruki Murakami and the great orchestra conductor Seiji Ozawa – During every meeting, one piece is discussed – and the book offers access to Ozawa’s interpretations, his technique, his creator, his language, his rhythm, his breaths, his “Ma” (emptiness - space)
Discussing Glenn Gould “genius in its purest state… It’s very different from the score. Still, it doesn’t sound at all strange.” 33 on Bernstein getting a homogenous sound from an orchestra. “Lenny did not teach us to do that. His nature prevented him. He had a different kind of genius.” p 42
At first, he would not allow himself to compare Karajan and Bernstein, but he invariably slipped in a precise analysis of their orchestral styles which were different on every single point. p 29 - Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, about whom he said, “the shock was violent for me – before, I never even knew that such music existed.” p 162
An enchanting book, simple, limpid, that holds your attention from start to finish – the musical alphabet is there - on p 103 you will even discover how Murakami learned how to write.
Music - conversations - by Haruki Murakami and Seiji Ozawa – published by Belfond Hudson - 2018 - 299 pages
By Rainer Maria Rilke
type / essay
Chosen extract: “But he who would have to write about the history of the landscape would, first and foremost, have found himself given to impressions that were foreign, far-off, impossible to grasp. We are used to counting with shapes, and the landscape has no shape.” p 4
5 good reasons to LISTEN TO this book:
Learn about this Austrian author (1875/1926), a poet with words, in love with women and their partner-in-crime, who spoke and thought of nature in terms of spirit. It took him ten years of his life to write this short text, undoubtedly one of the essences of his life.
How difficult it is to understand this plural nature, that is so hard to grasp, that intoxicates us if we allow it to occupy a space in our lives. Speaking of nature is always about evoking a lost paradise.
His description of the nature that is near a city offers a very singular point of view. Because, once nature is close to man, as in cities, it has a talent for making itself look like a landscape. As far as poetry goes, however, it’s when it evokes landscapes that it speaks of the soul.
The “new” man, although he had existed on earth for thousands of years, is too pre-occupied and “delighted by himself” to look at anything that is not about himself. Followed by this sentence with multiple meanings and a modern spirit, “The landscape was the road on which he walked.” p 29.
The nature that survives Man is “more durable and grander” whereas Man loses “his image, which becomes fluid, almost impossible to grasp. p 34.
Paysages - Rainer Maria Rilke – published by Livrets d’art - 42 pages - 2017 – Thank you to my lovely fiend Muriel for this elegant gift