This February I’ve been in a Japanese mood, which you’ve probably noticed in my posts. I’ve been inspired by Whistler’s ladies in white, Jean-Louis Forain’s portraits of the decadent gaudy nightlife of La Belle Epoque, Odilon Redon’s flowers and butterflies, white Regency dresses, costumes in the film ‘Love Witch’ (2016), which I haven’t seen by the way, Japanese Ukiyo-e prints, and Manic Street Preachers whose lyrics I’ve voraciously been re-reading. I’ve watched Wim Wenders’ Alice in the Cities (1974) and I loved it. I’ve also read some poetry by Rabindranath Tagore: pure beauty. I’ve enjoyed re-reading many poems by Rimbaud and Baudelaire and I hope to continue doing so in March.
What else; hmm I’ve been listening to The Cure quite a lot as somebody reminded me of it, and also Lou Reed and Velvet Underground; ‘I’ll be your mirror’ is such a beautiful song. I loved Serge Gainsbourg’s album ‘Melody Nelson’, in particular the song ‘L’hotel Particulier’ which has a great video where Serge and Jane Birkin are walking through the paintings of Paul Delvaux.
I’ve read two BRILLIANT books, each in a different way, The Three-Cornered World by Soseki Natsume and finally, oh, finally Naomi by Junichiro Tanizaki.; the first is a tale of a thirty year old artist, painter and a poet, who retreats to the mountains to find artistic inspiration and stays at a remote hotel where he encounters a beautiful and mysterious woman, he loves Millais’ Ophelia and the story of drowning and finding serenity in death is also entwined with his stay there. The latter is about a guy, Joji, who becomes intrigued by a pretty, half-Western looking fifteen year old waitress Naomi, and adopts her, marries her and hopes to mould her into a perfect companion for him, but things go terribly wrong, and Joji finds himself powerless against her charms.