Bathsheba holding King David’s letter, Willem Drost, 1654.
She is not looking at the spectator. She is looking hard at a man she desired, imagining him as her lover. This man could only have been Drost. The only thing we know for certain about Drost is that he was desired precisely by this woman.
I was reminded of something of which one is not usually reminded in museums. To be so desired - if the desire is also reciprocal - renders the one who is desired fearless. No suit of armour from the galleries downstairs ever offered, when worn, a comparable sense of protection. To be desired is perhaps the closest anybody can reach in this life to feeling immortal.
— Bento’s Sketchbook, John Berger, 2011.
Luke and I were looking at Hieronymus Bosch’s painting The Garden of Earthly Delights and discovered, much to our amusement, music written upon the posterior of one of the many tortured denizens of the rightmost panel of the painting which is intended to represent Hell. I decided to transcribe it into modern notation, assuming the second line of the staff is C, as is common for chants of this era.
so yes this is LITERALLY the 600-years-old butt song from hell
I wonder if it is lustful
A tank in its dreams
What do airplanes think
When left alone?
We did not seek happiness
We invented sadness
Were we not of this world?
— Orhan Veli
Soviet plane spotters, 1917.
The struggle towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart…One must imagine Sisyphus happy.Camus
Once I was on earth
and I liked it.
I got to look at my toes
underwater. They looked bigger
than they were in real life.
As anyone can tell by looking at it
sugar is meaningless.
You are not supposed to stay in the hot tub
longer than ten minutes.
After that it is meaningless.
Like white poinsettias.
I mean at Christmas.
Maybe Christmas is meaningless too
but we used to pretend it was not
and I liked that.
I don’t actually know what a football looks like.
I think they have something to do with babies.
The man is carrying a baby across a field.
He is trying to save it.
Sometimes people die trying to do things.
There are things more important
than life or death.
I miss holding my breath.
— Mary Ruefle.
Rain drips, soaking into the floor, and Slothrop perceives that he is losing his mind. If there is something comforting—religious, if you want—about paranoia, there is still also anti-paranoia, where nothing is connected to anything, a condition not many of us can bear for long.Gravity’s Rainbow, Pynchon.
Best of luck to those bestowed with dark talents
and no good fortune I’ve seen them wake up
on sea shores and light cigarettes
as only those who long for
teasing and tiny caresses can Best of luck
to these nomadic proletarians
who put their heart in everything
— Bolaño, from The Unknown University.
Rajan is now heading a behemoth bureaucracy that elicits a wide range of appraisals. As juggler of growth and inflation, some analysts judge it among the world’s best, as The Economist did last year. Several Indian economists regard it as the worst. Many people consider it to be one of India’s most efficient bureaucracies, though a few others take the opposite view.The Caravan profiles Raghuram Rajan.
Dora Maar with Green Fingernails, Picasso, 1936.