Friday, February 11, 2011

snub nose golden monkey

Europeans first saw this far-fetched monkey in paintings and porcelains. But he looked so fanciful with his red hair-do and blueish stage make-up face, and no one had ever seen a real live actual one, so everyone assumed he was just a figment of Chineses imagination. 

Until, that is, he was "discovered" (well, he knew he was there all along, of course, but anyway) by 19th century French missionary and naturalist in China, Pere Armand David. He's also interesting. He went about in disguise. (See before and after pictures, below.) 
I'm not being rude but is it just me--or can you still tell it's him?

via interesting article 
(on what it means to discover a species--some say it's imperialist but couldn't it also be heroic...)
via NYT



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wither into the truth: creating in old age

photo of an old writer: Leo Tolstoy
via NYT

Some artists keep on working late in life--and get better with age.

Others peak early and then fizzle out. 

Brooke Allen in the NYT writes, "Creative artists who continue to work late in life so often seem to undergo a sea change: a distillation, a new intensity, a sloughing off of excess and ornament in favor of deep essentials."

Who wouldn't want to be like fine wine and cheese and age well? Plus I'm very keen on this "sloughing off."

"Though leaves are many, the root is one;
Through all the lying days of my youth
I swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun;
Now I may wither into the truth."
W B Yeats

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back to my site?
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