Eduardo Galeano – Soccer in Sun and Shadow

1960s: Days of Rage

“And Eduardo Galeano‘s book seems to reverberate that sentiment, though in much spectacular detail. ‘Soccer in Sun and Shadow‘ is easily the most beautiful book written on the Beautiful Game in every respect. Beauty lies in simplicity & the joy of reading this book comes from its its elegant yet effortless writing. In fact, Galeano abhors the language of the so-called soccer doctors or the football analysts & commentators while mocking them for complicating the game more than necessary through the use of fancy words & terminologies which the common man doesn’t understand. He presents a utopian vision of the game – how the game ought to be played in today’s world, where winning has become so vital that adventure is sacrificed for the sake of efficiency. The chapters are very short indeed, some of them barely a page or so. Through these chapters, the book explores…

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Post-painterly abstraction

1960s: Days of Rage

Morris Louis, Alpha-Phi (1961)

“As a rebellion against the gestural and painterly approach of numerous Abstract Expressionists, term post-painterly abstraction was coined to help define the variety of styles which came forth. In 1964, the author of the term, critic Clement Greenberg used it in the title of the exhibition featuring new tendencies in color field painting, hard-edge abstraction, and the Washington Color School. Believing that early 1950s Abstract Expressionism has stopped achieving any innovations in painting, the critic turned his eye and the eye of the public towards works lacking any evidence of the artist’s inner workings. Anonymous in its execution, the new paintings reflected the move away from the grandiose drama and spirituality of Abstract Expressionism. … Seen as the most important event, which has helped to place post-painterly abstraction on the map of art history, is the 1964 show at the Los Angeles…

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Flash of the Spirit: African & Afro-American Art & Philosophy – Robert Farris Thompson

1960s: Days of Rage

“… Introduction: The Rise of the Black Atlantic Visual Tradition by Robert Farris Thompson. Listening to rock, jazz, blues, reggae, salsa, samba, bossa nova, juju, highlife, and mambo, one might conclude that much of the popular music of the world is informed by the flash of the spirit of a certain people specially armed with improvisatory drive and brilliance. Since the Atlantic slave trade, ancient African organizing principles of song and dance have crossed the seas from the Old World to the New. There they took on new momentum, intermingling with each other and with New World or European styles of singing and dance. Among those principles are the dominance of a percussive performance style (attack and vital aliveness in sound and motion); a propensity of multiple meter (competing meters sounding all at once): overlapping call and response in singing (solo/chorus, voice/instrument – interlock systems of performance); inner pulse…

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Spanish Harlem / El Barrio

1960s: Days of Rage

East Harlem, also known as Spanish Harlem or El Barrio, is a neighborhood of Upper Manhattan, New York City, roughly encompassing the area north of the Upper East Side and bounded by 96th Street to the south, Fifth Avenue to the west, and the East and Harlem Rivers to the east and north. Despite its name, it is generally not considered to be a part of Harlem proper, but it is one of the neighborhoods included in Greater Harlem. … Southern Italians and Sicilians, with a moderate number of Northern Italians, soon predominated, especially in the area east of Lexington Avenue between 96th and 116th Streets and east of Madison Avenue between 116th and 125th Streets, with each street featuring people from different regions of Italy. The neighborhood became known as ‘Italian Harlem’, the Italian American hub of Manhattan; it was the first…

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Collected Poems – Edward Dorn

1960s: Days of Rage

“A Collected Poems of Edward Dorn, the American poet who died in 1999, is a necessary and overdue publication, and, whatever the circumstances, the fact that it was not published in U.S.A. suggests that there is something very wrong with the local culture over there, a fact of which Ed Dorn was very much aware. In fact most of the time it dominated his writing. It has often been said that a ‘Collected Poems’ is a dreadful thing, and when it is 1000 pages long it is certainly a daunting thing, and there are all sorts of problems in how to use it. When Frank O’Hara’s Collected Poems appeared in 1971 I got rid of all the original books, and now can’t find a poem I want unless I can clearly remember the title or incipit. The first collected poems of Charles Olson (Archaeologist of Morning, 1970) had…

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By the Sound – Edward Dorn (1965)

1960s: Days of Rage

“One of the things the novel can and often does do for its readers is to extend their range of sympathy, to make them see with a new clarity groups of people that might otherwise be forgotten except in statistical charts, and to make them feel that the individuals inside these groups partake of our common humanity. This is one of the main impulses of writers such as Dreiser, Steinbeck, or Solzhenitsyn, writers who not only want to record certain kinds of social oppression but also want to correct them. They take sides in their novels and openly moralize, preferring compassion and authorial commitment to aesthetic distance, and often they do bring about at least some social change. Such a writer is Edward Dorn in By the Sound. By the Sound was originally called Rites of Passage when it was published in 1965, and now it is re-issued with…

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‘The Garden State’ Grows Writers

Dave Astor on Literature

Toni Morrison

Last week I posted about renowned author Sir Walter Scott of Scotland — a country far from my country of the United States. This week my focus will be much closer to home: novelists and other fiction writers I’ve read who were born and/or spent some years in the state of New Jersey.

I’ve lived in NJ much of my life — except for 16 years in New York City and one year near Chicago — and I can see why many successful writers have called the state their home. For one thing, it’s the law of averages — NJ has nearly nine million residents, so some of them were bound to become excellent producers of fiction.

Also, “The Garden State” has NYC near its northeast section and Philadelphia near its southwest section, a mix of cities and suburbs and rural areas, lots of racial and ethnic diversity…

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TCS: The Nigerian Connection and the Glory of Butterflies

Flowers For Socrates

Good Morning!


Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers
on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum,
so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in
your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.


When I ran, I felt like a butterfly that was free.

– Wilma Rudolph

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Experimental music

1960s: Days of Rage

The score for John Cage’s indeterminate composition “Fontana Mix”

Experimental music is a general label for any music that pushes existing boundaries and genre definitions. Experimental compositional practice is defined broadly by exploratory sensibilities radically opposed to, and questioning of, institutionalized compositional, performing, and aesthetic conventions in music. Elements of experimental music include indeterminate music, in which the composer introduces the elements of chance or unpredictability with regard to either the composition or its performance. Artists may also approach a hybrid of disparate styles or incorporate unorthodox and unique elements. The practice became prominent in the mid-20th century, particularly in Europe and North America. John Cage was one of the earliest composers to use the term and one of experimental music’s primary innovators, utilizing indeterminacy techniques and seeking unknown outcomes. In France, as early as 1953, Pierre Schaeffer had begun using the term musique expérimentale to describe compositional…

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Occasionally, a poem by artist Florine Stettheimer

Flowers For Socrates

Today is Florine Stettheimer’s day of birth.

Florine Stettheimer (1871–1944), American modernist painter, designer and poet; credited as the artist who painted the first feminist nude self-portrait; in the 1930s, she hosted a salon with her sisters that attracted members of the avant-garde in Manhattan, and where she exhibited her work. Stettheimer created the stage designs and costumes for Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson’s avant-garde opera, Four Saints in Three Acts. She is best known for her four monumental works illustrating what she considered to be New York City’s “Cathedrals”: Broadway, Wall Street, Fifth Avenue, and New York’s three major art museums.

To read Florine Stettheimer’s poem “Occasionally” click

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