Friday, April 06, 2007


what i did last month

I haven’t been too prolific in updating my blog. Last month I have just one measly entry on 1st march. And at this rate it is even lower than the average frequency of lovemaking by Malaysians (about four times a month) if some surveys are to be believed. april the first has come and gone and mercifully I only received only a couple of prank sms . I detest pranks no matter how funny or original they may be. I guess I don’t have that kind of sense of humour and I’m not terribly objective. Sometimes pranks can be really funny when it happens to someone else but the same one is decidedly unfunny if it happens to you.

But there was this one fine short story by my favorite jewish writer Isaac beshevis singer ‘gimpel the fool’ where the poor hero who is a simpleton is the victim of pranks by everybody which I read during my younger days and this story in fact got me interested in him and he has been one of my most loved writers ever since, as I’ve said many times before.

These days one is too busy to finish anything longer than short stories and that’s about the only fiction that I seem to manage to finish lately. Last night spent a pleasant twenty minutes or so reading a fine short story in a fine quarterly STORY. It was about this woman with one ear and this 47 yr old unmarried guy who nodded to each other for a whole year (and nothing more) as one gets on and the other gets off a 5.22 train at this one station stop. And the one eared woman suddenly stopped coming to the 5.22 train one day when he noticed her missing ear. It is that type of story which is very quiet and where nothing actually happens very much and the kind of story you may love to read when you’re a bit sad which I’m most of the time.

and if you want to know, the reason I got interested in STORY was because a few years ago I read somewhere that jd salinger’s first story was in fact published in this quarterly and I love jd salinger’s catcher in the rye and raise high the roof beam and the rest so ISTORY must be a very good magazine indeed to be the first to recognize mr salinger’s genius….

as I was saying I find it awfully difficult to finish any novels these days and jumping from one to another doesn’t help either… I was reading gunther grass’s ‘crabwalk’ when I picked up a ‘fine balance’ by rohington mistry as I was going to the loo and then I got this hardback ‘theft’ by peter carey and got side tracked again and now I can’t put it down (at the expense of the other good reads)….and what make it worse is that it involves one of my favorite craze…art… and at the same time I am currently reading a very fine ‘autobiography of alice b toklas’ by getrude stein and so happened that I saw her famous portrait by Picasso recently. Technically it is not an autobiography of course because it was written by stein but a memoir and what a memoir!...she named drop like there’s no tomorrow… she has met and befriend some of the most fascinating artists in the last century from Picasso, braque, matisse, rousseau to philosophers whitehead, betrand russel and writers like hemingway…

And Speaking of the loo and art I was thinking to say something about my museum hopping that I did last month (March) that include the biggest of them all…the louvre…and let me count all of them here… first art institute of Chicago (mentioned in the previous entry), then Indiana museum of art (IMA), then the MET, followed by Whitney, followed by MOMA and then TATE modern , then NAG, then National portrait gallery nearby, than off to the Louvre, then Musee d’orsay and then museum of modern art in the pompidou center and last week national palace museum in Taipei and Taipei fine art museum … so it has been a very busy and eventful time …and if I were to describe in one short paragraph what I get from this museum hopping, well here it is…

No matter how familiar a painting is from art books, there’s nothing like looking at the originals as looking at nudes in books is nowhere near as erotic and exciting as the real nudes and if I were to pick a discovery, this time it is BALTHUS, a very naughty painter and what disturbing paintings they were! And the first time I really noticed balthus painting was in the MET and I get to see some more in other museums and his paintings remind me of rousseau’s although his are totally different in subject matter and another thing, and I will say this, I still can not understand why I love the still life so much, from those great 17th century dutch/Flemish still life and vanitas right up to the great still life of cezanne but one particular favorite: I am getting more in love with chardin’s still lifes which are almost sensual to me….and if you want to know more about my admittedly simplistic and uneducated musings on art you can go here…..

read a lot of singer in my much younger days

and isn't 'theft" great! glad you're enjoying it
I like your blog. Very informative and entertaining. I add yours to mine. I hope you don't mind.
you're welcome problemo..
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