The Snow Goose (and The Small Miracle) by Paul Gallico. Very short volume containing two sentimental novellas. "The Snow Goose" is about an artist who befriends a goose, then gets involved with the Dunkirk evacuation. "The Small Miracle" is about a small boy with a sick donkey. Both decently written, but a bit too treacly for my taste.
Saw Art under Attack: Histories of British Iconoclasm at Tate Britain. Exhibition about various artworks destroyed or disfigured in protest. Starts out with religious artworks destroyed by early protestants, ranging from dismembered statues, some illustrations only lightly scored by presumably reluctant hands, and fragments from shattered stained glass windows. One oddity is a large painting showing a cathedral with the windows being smashed by puritans: strange to see art celebrating the destruction of art.
Moves on to fragments of statues destroyed in political protest: a George III from America, a William III from Ireland, some paintings attacked by suffragettes. Ends up with some modern artworks that were targeted and destroyed.
Quite an interesting mix, but perhaps fortunately, no really outstanding destroyed art is here. Worth seeing if you've got a members card, not necessarily worth ponying up money for.
Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna 1900 at the National Gallery. I wasn't expecting much, but thought this was a fantastic exhibition. Has an amazing diversity despite the specific range. There are some gorgeously beautiful conventional portraits, lavishly draped with colour. But there's also more avant-garde stuff, a couple of Klees, some hauntingly corpse-like Egon Schiele's. Also includes death masks of Beethoven and other composers and artists.
Brilliant exhibition, well worth seeing.
What I'm Watching
Saw Gainsbourg on disk. French bio-pic of singer/songwriter Serge Gainsbourg. Fairly conventional structure, takes you from his vulnerable childhood as a Jew in Occupied France, his attempts to be an artist, then his success, his affairs with Brigitte Bardot and others, and later controversies.
Based on a graphic novel and has a few touches remaining: he's accompanied by the sinister alter-ego of his "ugly mug", a caricature of himself. Also has a bit of pleasantly gratuitous nudity.
Overall, a pretty good movie, fairly entertaining and informative if like me you don't know much about him. Not sure how a fan of his would take it.
Socioeconomics. Flipped education: lectures at home, problems done in class. Dr Osborne’s bitter medicine is no cure. UK only country where rich have suffered from recession as much as the poor. The ‘sharing economy’ undermines workers' rights . Surplus will be difficult.
...the real subject of this literature was the professional-managerial audience itself, whose members hear clear, sweet reason when they listen to NPR and think they're in the presence of something profound when they watch some billionaire give a TED talk. And what this complacent literature purrs into their ears is that creativity is their property, their competitive advantage, their class virtue.
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