Updates, Live

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Huţulca



Deasupra munţilor împovăraţi de păduri şi ceţuri liniştea face loc viselor. Pământul pietros şi sec rodeşte sărăcie. Singura comoară adevărată a locurilor este frumuseţea lor. Dar se vede că încă nu a fost descoperită.







Misterioşi şi discreţi asemenea locurilor în care şi-au înfipt rădăcinile, huţulii rămân o enigmă pentru călătorul însetat de cunoaştere …o etnie neelucidată. Oameni imprevizibili şi adânci ca pădurile în preajma cărora şi-au aşezat casele, suspicioşi şi prudenţi ca sălbăticiunile codrilor, susţin că sunt de un alt neam deşi nu-şi cunosc istoria. Poate şi din cauză că nu obişnuiesc să şi-o scrie.


(Bucovina)

(Filmofilia)

(Casian Balabasciuc)

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Zoya and Valera

(http://runknown.com/new-stars-of-internet)
no copyright infringement intended

Zoya and Valera are sister and brother, simple peasants living in a small village in Belarus (somewhere near Brest). They love singing together in their small kitchen: songs from the heart. And what they get is a miracle of joy shared with us. Here is a song where seemingly she is confessing that she has again remained alone and so she started again drinking (I'm saying seemingly because my knowledge of Russian is very poor, unfortunately; I knew more Russian in the past but I largely forgot, that's it, nobody's perfect; so for me курю sounded like I am smoking; well, it seems that in the context of the song it means I've switched on drinking).

I'm sharing this video from a Facebook friend: for my Romanian colleagues, the funny gestures of Zoya call in mind an important political personage of nowadays (guess who?) 



Снова стою одна (by Елена Ваенга)
(video by Виктор Пименов)


Если бы ты знал как мне жаль
Если бы ты знал как болит,
Если бы ты видел мою печаль в лицо,
Ты бы узнал, что она говорит.

Да не важно, что ты сказал,
Ведь не важно что, а как,
Я тебя услышала, я поняла,
Да и ты далеко не дурак

Снова стою одна,
Снова курю, мама, снова,
А вокруг тишина,
Взятая за основу.

Блин, какой печальный момент,
Вот как тут не спросить где стакан?
Да, вроде бы нашли пятый элемент,
Разделив его напополам

Да не важно, что ты сказал,
Ведь не важно что, а как,
А я тебя услышала, я поняла,
Да и ты далеко не дурак

Снова стою одна,
Снова курю, мама, снова,
А вокруг тишина,
Взятая за основу.

Снова стою одна,
Снова курю, мама, снова,
А вокруг тишина,
Взятая за основу.

Если бы ты знал как мне жаль
Если бы ты знал как болит,
Если бы ты видел мою печаль в лицо,
Ты бы узнал, что она говорит.

Да не важно, что ты сказал,
Ведь не важно что, а как,
А я тебя услышала, я поняла,
Да и ты далеко не дурак

Снова стою одна,
Снова курю, мама, снова,
А вокруг тишина,
Взятая за основу.

Снова стою одна,
Я снова курю, мама, снова,
А вокруг тишина,
Взятая за основу.

А вокруг тишина,
Взятая за основу.
no copyright infringement intended



(Blogosphere)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Viktor Sukhrodev Passed Away

Soviet interpreter Viktor Sukhodrev, center, with Leonid Brezhnev and Richard Nixon
at a Washington summit in June 1973
image: Bob Burchette/The Washington Post
no copyright infringement intended


Viktor Sukhodrev, a polished interpreter who was at the side of every Soviet leader for three decades as the English-language voice of the Kremlin and who was often the third person in the room during high-level summit meetings throughout the Cold War, died May 16 in Moscow. He was 81.

Read the full article in Washington Post:


And here you can read the obituary from NY Times:



Viktor Sukhodrev between Jimmy Carter and Leonid Brezhnev
image: Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
(NY Times)
no copyright infringement intended




(Zoon Politikon)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Amma Akhmatova





(Жизнь в Kнигах)

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Nuancing Piketty (Larry Summers Speaking)



Books that represent the last word on a topic are important. Books that represent one of the first words are even more important ... Piketty has emerged as a rock star of the policy-intellectual world. Every pundit has expressed a view on his argument, almost always wildly favorable if the pundit is progressive and harshly critical if the pundit is conservative. Piketty’s tome seems to be drawn on a dozen times for every time it is read ... and as a conclusion: Thomas Piketty’s tour de force analysis doesn’t get everything right, but it’s certainly gotten us pondering the right questions.

I quoted from The Inequality Puzzle, an article by Larry Summers, published in Democracy, a Journal of Ideas:



(Thomas Piketty)

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Kochetov





(Жизнь в Kнигах)

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Poveste de dragoste


Era 1945. Isaiah Berlin vizita Leningradul, iar într-o seară un prieten i-a propus să îl însoţească într-o vizită acasă la poeta Anna Ahmatova. Berlin a acceptat, fără să ştie mare lucru despre poetă, mai bine zis fără să ştie cam nimic.

Ahmatova, cu douăzeci de ani  mai în vârstă decât Berlin, îşi păstrase frumuseţea şi vioiciunea de spirit, fiind însă marcată de teribilele experienţe prin care trecuse. Soţul ei fusese executat în 1921, iar fiul ei fusese lung timp închis. Şi tot mult timp, Ahmatovei i se refuzase să publice. Venise apoi cumplitul război, care îi marcase pe toţi.

La început Ahmatova şi Berlin au vorbit cu precauţie despre subiectele care nu prezentau risc: ea i-a vorbit despre războiul care tocmai se terminase, el i-a împărtăşit experienţele lui despre universităţile din Anglia.

Alţi vizitatori veneau şi plecau. Spre miezul nopţii s-au trezit singuri. Ea i-a vorbit despre copilăria ei şi despre căsătorie, despre execuţia soţului ei. A început apoi să recite Don Juan al lui Byron, cu atât de multă pasiune, încât Berlin a simţit nevoia să îşi ascundă privirea, atât era de impresionat. A început apoi să recite din poemele ei.

Spre ora patru dimineaţa cei doi se puseseră de acord asupra lui Cehov şi Puşkin, erau nuanţaţi în privinţa lui Turghenev şi Dostoievski. Berlin prefera inteligenţa luminoasă a lui Turghenev, Ahmatova prefera abisurile intensităţii lui Dostoievski.

Cu cât discutau mai mult, cu atât îşi dezgoleau sufletele. Ahmatova i-a mărturisit singurătatea care o apăsa atât de mult, şi-a mărturisit pasiunile, i-a vorbit într-una despre literatură şi despre artă. Amândoi citiseră aceleaşi lucruri, fiecare ştia ce ştia şi celălalt, fiecare înţelegea dorurile celuilalt, În acea noapte, viaţa lui Berlin a venit mai aproape decât oricând de perfecţiunea nemuritoare a unei opere de artă.

A plecat la unsprezece dimineaţa. S-a dus la hotel, s-a aruncat în pat şi a urlat, o iubesc! vai cât de mult o iubesc!

Dacă veţi citi poemele Ahmatovei, veţi avea impresia că ei făcuseră dragoste în cele din urmă. De fapt, nici nu se atinseseră. Stătuseră el într-un colţ al camerei, ea în celălalt colţ. Şi vorbiseră.

Pentru Berlin, noaptea aceea avea să rămână cel mai important eveniment al vieţii sale. Ea avea să sufere enorm după aceea. Noaptea aceea a fost considerată de regimul sovietic drept legătură cu un spion britanic. Avea să fie exclusă din Uniunea Scriitorilor. A fost dezolată, dar niciodată nu l-a blamat pe el, pe Berlin.

Am citit povestea aceasta acum câtva timp în NY Times:



M-a impresionat atât de mult încât am vrut să v-o împărtăşesc.


(Anna Akhmatova)

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Edsall on Piketty

Thomas B. Edsall
(http://www.c-spanvideo.org/thomasedsall)
no copyright infringement intended

Thomas Byrne Edsall (journalist and academic, author, most recently, of The Age of Austerity) has in today's NY Times an op-ed on the Capital of Piketty. Tom Edsall considers that it would be too simple to see in the book of Piketty a challenge only against the right wing economic policies; actually it challenges the whole system, thus the whole political spectrum. No wonder that critics to the book range from right to left. Says Tom Edsall, Piketty’s book reinforces the idea that the domestic policies liberals advocate for are palliative, not curative — that, in essence, inequality is here to stay. Edsall concludes, In fact, the emergence of what Piketty calls patrimonial capitalism — concentrated wealth and political power passed on from generation to generation in a class-based social order — runs directly counter to the longstanding American commitment to equality of opportunity. Piketty has laid the intellectual groundwork for a challenge to a social and political order based on socioeconomic ranking by wealth stratification. Now we need effective politicians to articulate this challenge in ways that resonate with a striving electorate determined to achieve a higher standard of living through grit and hard work. Where is the level playing field? Politicians who seek to gain traction on these issues face high hurdles, but only those willing to risk confrontation can address the depth of public discontent, anger and resentment.

Here is the link to the op-ed of Tom Edsall:




(Thomas Piketty)

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Yasunari Kawabata

Yasunari Kawabata, c.1932
photo during the time he was living at
Sakuragi-cho in Ueno (上野桜木町)
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Yasunari_Kawabata_c1932.jpg)
no copyright infringement intended


I had the last week a discussion with my sister Jill, and Yasunari Kawabata entered the picture. Jill said that she was preferring the style of Mishima, I observed that Kawabata had a more musical name (as it happens she was talking seriously while I was indulging a joke). Jill and I came shortly to Mishima's Patriotism, also known as The Rite of Love and Death. But I'd leave this short story and short film by Mishima for later, as it deserves much more room. For now, let's state things right: both Kawabata and Mishima were great authors, of course. And of course each of us can prefer the style of one of them over the other.


(A Life in Books)

(Jill Rapaport)

(Mishima)

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Philippe Charles Jacquet: Piscine privée

Philippe Charles Jacquet: Piscine privée
oil on board
(http://www.axelle.com/artists/philippe-charles-jacquet/)
no copyright infringement intended


After the global warming dries all oceans and earth is but a desert, the happy one percent will still live in style, enjoying their palaces and pools, all the good stuff.


(Jacquet)

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Philippe Charles Jacquet: La récréation

Philippe Charles Jacquet: La récréation
oil on board
(http://www.axelle.com/artists/philippe-charles-jacquet/)
no copyright infringement intended

It's like after the end of time. Boundless horizon over a dried sea, and the pool as a fossil of a normality for ever gone.


(Jacquet)

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David Croitor: Derelict Saloon

(https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4665761822067)
no copyright infringement intended

Cârciumă abandonată, de demult, de pe când se putea bea cu buletinul. Dar câte nu puteai face pe atunci așa, pe veresie...

A derelict saloon from past times. Showing your ID was enough to get drink for free, in those days. You could do many things for free by then...


(David Croitor)

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Et on arrête de se faire la guerre

(posted on Facebook by Radio Classique)
no copyright infringement intended



(Zoon Politikon)

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Philippe Charles Jacquet: Kharkov

Philippe Charles Jacquet: Kharkov
oil on canvas
(http://pcjpaint.free.fr/armada.htm)
no copyright infringement intended


I'm trying to keep my word, to bring here some works of Philippe Charles Jacquet and I chose this image to begin. It is part of his cycle of Cargos (Le cargo, "les déchus"), and I was attracted by the story behind the story this oil suggests: what could be the relation between the huge cargo and the small boat? Maybe coexistence, maybe mutual misunderstanding and potential conflict, or maybe just they are ignoring each other: each one in its own universe, with its own values. What would be the outcome in case of a conflict? At a first thought the answer seems obvious. However, behind the apparent strength of the cargo it could be a process of decay. Is it Kharkov still alive, or rather the ghost of a bygone era?

On the other hand, the whole story unfolds over a sea on extremely low tide (like all stories depicted by Jacquet), which places both cargo and boat in a dissolute universe: any cooperation or conflict has no more sense, history has ended, we are in the ever after.

And speaking about Kharkov, maybe this is what  happens now in that country in full conflict between East and West: history has passed, it is the ever after.


(Jacquet)

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Saturday, May 03, 2014

Philippe Charles Jacquet



Philippe Charles Jacquet is not simply a painter of landscapes; he is a creator. Jacquet has mastered the ability to combine what is real and what is imagined. As a result, his compositions, heavily inspired by Brittany coasts and estuaries, have an element of the sublime and register deeply with the subconscious. Although he paints sparse landscapes there is something fundamentally pleasing in the surreal, idealized quality of his work.
(Axelle)

Adventurous by nature, Jacquet loves open spaces and the sea ... Painting is his way of telling stories, those he would have liked to live, those he could not live. His landscapes are timeless decors, aspirations towards infinity.

Jacquet was trained as an architect at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs.  After pursuing his career in architecture, he decided to dedicate himself solely to painting and has been doing so for six years. One can detect his background in architecture in his heavily symmetrical, geometric landscapes.  However, he successfully offsets the very calculated appearance of architectural compositions with rich colors and an intriguing variety of surfaces ranging from glass-like water to rusted, flaking hulls of barges.

Dreams, day visions, open fields, oceans, endless plains, fountains, boats lying and forgotten… An imaginary world, of infinite detail and rigorous lines. A very particular and mysterious atmosphere. A universe lying somewhere between fantasy and reality.

Jacquet is entirely self-taught and his painting technique undoubtedly sets him apart from other artists.  Working in gloss paint, an industrial medium, he begins by painting his plywood surface with a uniform base of an off-white color.  This medium allows him to achieve remarkably smooth surfaces.  Each area of the composition is approached differently; sometimes textures are created using several transparent layers while others are achieved through the use of a razor blade to scratch away at the surface.

Jacquet takes extra care when approaching the houses that often appear in his paintings. He builds, rather than paints these structures, often composing them on paper and later transferring them onto the backdrop. They effectively serve as reminders of a human presence in these expansive, dream-like landscapes.


I visited yesterday the Jacquet exhibition at Axelle, on Newbury Street. Firstly it called in my mind the old joke about Vivaldi: did he compose three hundred violin concertos or rather three hundred times the same violin concerto?  You see one painting of Jacquet, it's like seeing all of them. I smiled at this thought and started to look at each work of him. And little by little I began to realize that the joke was more or less inappropriate in this case: the artist has a very singular and solid approach and sticks to it. A unique story that belongs to the realm of imaginary, or of transcendent, wrapped under the appearance of objective and neutral reality. Each painting is like that, you feel something strange and powerful beyond, his lakes and oceans and buildings like gates to the infinitum. That gives greatness to his apparent objectivity. But I have to show you here some of his works, I'll do it very soon.





(Axelle)

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Axelle Gallery on Newbury Street

Axelle Gallery
91 Newbury Street, Boston MA 02116
ph. 617 450 0700
Mitch Plotkin, director
no copyright infringement intended





(Boston)

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Thursday, May 01, 2014

Paul Kenyon

Paul Kenyon and Mircea Barbu in Slovyansk
(posted on Facebook by Mircea Barbu)
no copyright infringement intended

Crede-mă, noi ne chinuim de 4 săptămâni să-i luăm un interviu, îmi spune tipul de lângă mine, cu referire la cel mai celebru primar din lume, Ponomariov. Parcă îl știu de undeva, dar în ultima vreme am întâlnit atât de mulți oameni încât nu pot fi sigur. De unde ești?, mă întreabă. Adevărul, Romania. Pare surprins. Soția mea e româncă. Eu lucrez pentru Panorama. În acel moment genunchii mi s-au înmuiat. Vorbeam cu Paul Kenyon, unul dintre cei mai mari jurnaliști de conflict. Pentru cei care nu sunt pasionați de acest tip de jurnalism, adică 90% din oamenii normali, imaginați-vă că v-ați întâlni cu... Mick Jagger, deși comparația e ușor exagerată. Lucrăm la aceeași poveste, în același oraș, eu și Paul.
(Mircea Barbu on his Facebook page)
no copyright infringement intended

Believe me, we are trying for 4 weeks to get an interview from him, says the guy next to me, with reference to the world's most famous mayor, Ponomariov. It seems to me I know this guy from somewhere, but I've met lately so many people that I cannot be sure. Where are you from? he asks me. Adevărul, Romania. He seems surprised, my wife is also Romanian, I work for Panorama. In that moment my knees get soaked: I'm talking to Paul Kenyon, one of the greatest war correspondents. For those who are not fond of this kind of journalism (which is 90% of the normal people), imagine that you meet with ... Mick Jagger, although the comparison is slightly exaggerated. We are working on the same story in the same town, I and Paul!

(Paul Kenyon is an award-winning journalist, TV producer, and author who has covered the world for BBC. Here is his biography)



(Mircea Barbu)

(A Life in Books)

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