February was generous with inspirations: my trip to D.C. with its galleries, book stores and cozy cafes, good books, good old movies, design ideas from a friend, cooking food and redesigning my Wild West Fit Tour site while changing the concept a little bit which will provide more opportunities for different groups of people with divers interests.
The books worth reading
1. How to Read a Modern Painting: Lessons from the Modern Art by Jon Thompson. The book is absolutely a must to understand the transformation and key ingredients of modern art in order to enjoy such exhibitions as for example Damage Control held by Hirshhorm Museum which I happened to visit during my latest visit to D.C. Some snidbits from the book:
Famous provocator Marcel Duchamp, who significantly expanded the concept of art, justifies usage of everyday objects in art, in his case called “readymades”, by the fact that they allow him “to reduce the idea of aesthetic consideration to the choice of the mind, not the ability or cleverness of the hand”.
2. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. I know, I know… This is a book I was supposed to read back during my teenage years but somehow it escaped my attention not only in high school but also at the university. More over, I must confess that I would probably never know about it unless a salesperson in my favorite book store Kramerbooks in D.C. introduced it to me. Conrad is something entirely different. Matt Kish, an illustrator of the book, writes in the foreword, “There is a terrifying feeling of claustrophobia and a crushing singularity of purpose to the story. It’s almost as if the deeper one reads, the farther down a tunnel one is dragged, all other options and paths dwindling and disappearing, until nothing is left but the awful and brutal encounter with Kurtz (the dark polestar at the center of the novel) and the numbing horror of his ideas.” Spooky? You bet it is. The novel definitely has a bruised spirit. This book definitely steps delicately between the butcher and the policeman, in the holy terror of scandal and gallows and lunatic asylums. Some bits that surely worth a poet’s attention:
3. A short story by Can Themba The Suit which I read just before seeing a play of the same name directed, adapted and put into music by Peter Brook, Marie-Hélène Estienne, and Franck Krawczyk at UMS, Ann Arbor. The Suit “brims with a gentle effervescence and musicality that you associated with entertainments usually described, a bit dismissively, as charming,” says the New York Times. “Yet even as it draws you in like the gregarious host of an intimate party, this story of adultery in apartheid South Africa is quietly preparing to break your heart.” With this been told about the play, the story of Can Themba is a jewel. I had hard time finding it and finally got successful buying it at Amazon as a kindle edition included in a book An African Quilt: 24 Modern African Stories (Signet Classics) by Barbara H. Solomon and W. Reginald Rampone Jr. That’s how an author describes painful psychological effect of the news of adultery:
4. Other inspiring things includes architectural ceramic jewelry pieces by Hana Carim
Books I want to read
Illustration: Waterlife by Rambharos Jha
Psychology and physiology of taste: The Physiology of Taste by Jean Anthelme and Brillat Savarin
Fiction: Stoner by John Williams