Friday, July 2, 2010

ain't nobody's business

There's no reality except the one contained within us. That's why so many people live an unreal life. They take images outside them for reality and never allow the world within them to assert itself.
Hermann Hesse (2 july 1877-1962)novelist and poet 1962 nobel prize for literature

it has been a while since I've thought about hermann hesse and his books and even longer since I read any. I wonder if I would have the same reactions today as I did when I first read them as a young person in my late teens and throughout my twenties. gosh, how I loved hesse's books; at one time my goal was to read all of his books - I don't think I succeeded, but I did read quite a few. in college, my best friend and I were so smitten with hesse's books we named various cats we had after characters from hesse's novels. I had a marvelous grey cat who I named hermine (steppenwolf); alice called her tortoiseshell cat goldmund (narcissus and goldmund); and my very first calico I named gertrude - who I named in honor of both hesse's character (gertrud) and gertrude stein.

hmmm, I wonder if I can talk my book group in to revisiting hesse for our next year of reading. although what book should I propose. have you read hesse's books - if so what is your favorite? a couple years ago my bookgroup read robert heinlien's stranger in a strange land - it was funny, all of us who had read stranger in our youth, had such a different reaction to the story and characters this time around than we had when we first encountered it. of course, that isn't that surprising, not only do we age (and hopefully grow) but the times and society we live in is also constantly changing.


regarding the photo above - the henri cartier-bresson exhibit left nyc the end of june but it's touring the usa! future stops include the art institute of chicago, the san francisco museum of modern art (SFMOMA), and the high museum of art in atlanta. catch it if you can! even though I saw it in at ny's moma I find myself still thinking of henri's oeuvre -maybe f and I can make it to chicago sometime between the end of july and early october! it would be nice to see it again and share the experience with my honey.



yesterday my memory was tweaked about the chanteuse mary coughlan;one of my all time favorite albums is her first album tired and emotional , that album contained a cover of alan's featured song meet me where they play the blues. mary is masterful in her impassioned covers of other people's songs. here is a 1986 vid of mary singing the blues standard from the 1920s ain't nobody's business.



photo: nyc, june 2010

7 comments:

Roy said...

Ah! Cartier-Bresson is one of my heroes! I'll have to see if the exhibition at least coming to Boston.

Yeah, I was another one who absorbed Herman Hesse in the '60s. I may dip back into it again, myself.

Betsy said...

I've never read any Hesse books! Makes me want to look them up!

Tom said...

if you can come up with a good one to read, i'd like to give it a try...don't think i'll go back to reread 'stranger..' but the thought that it'd read differently 20 years later is interesting...

Daisy said...

I'm not familiar with Heese, but I like that openning quote. I'll have to check our library. (in the summer I read with the excuse that it's too hot and I have "Spring fever", In the winter it's raining and I can't work outside anyway so I curl up with a good book!) :-)

California Girl said...

Check out "Siddartha". It was my favorite in college and I bet it holds up. Story of Buddha etc. Here's a link to the wiki overview:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siddhartha_%28novel%29

Anonymous said...

Still think my favorite is Siddhartha, I have kept that image of the faces in the river all these years since reading in our youth. Ali

Coffee Messiah said...

Siddhartha never gets old.....and the other books are interesting as well.

I know the feeling about some of the science fiction books. I've attempted to re-read a few and of course, the times we grew up were different then, and as time continues to march on, they simply fade.......

BTW, if ya'll get to Chicago for that museum visit, let me know. We may be able to meet up and introduce you to our pal picasso.

Cheers!