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Weekly Existential Feast: 02
Mostly Blue but also Julia Holter and Cardamom Buns
Think of this as your cultural prix fixe, a multi-course fête of film, music, literature, art, and objects that allows you to fully indulge in all the tasty themes that make up the existential life. Every week we’ll deliver a menu of recommendations that will expand, challenge, frustrate, stimulate, and stir.
William H. Gass, 1975
This is book about everything blue—sex and sleaze and sadness and ink and cheese.
“So it's true: Being without Being is blue.”
“Blue is the color of the mind in borrow of the body; it is the color consciousness becomes when caressed; it is the dark inside of sentences, sentences which follow their own turnings inward out of sight like the whorls of a shell, and which we follow warily, as Alice after that rabbit, nervous and white, till suddenly — there! climbing down clauses and passing through ‘and’ as it opens — there — there — we’re here!... in time for tea and tantrums; such are the sentences we should like to love — the ones which love us and themselves as well — incestuous sentences — sentences which make an imaginary speaker speak the imagination loudly to the reading eye; that have a kind of orality transmogrified: not the tongue touching the genital tip, but the idea of the tongue, the thought of the tongue, word-wet to part-wet, public mouth to private, seed to speech, and speech... ah! after exclamations, groans, with order gone, disorder on the way, we subside through sentences like these, the risk of senselessness like this, to float like leaves on the restful surface of that world of words to come, and there, in peace, patiently to dream of the sensuous, and mindful Sublime.”
Yves Klein Blue
International Klein Blue (IKB) was developed by Yves Klein in collaboration with Edouard Adam, a Parisian art paint supplier whose shop is still in business on the Boulevard Edgar-Quinet in Montparnasse. We took a little trip to stare into it’s vastness at the MoMA and you know? Everything really is blue.
Also very on theme.
“Blue has no dimensions, it is beyond dimensions, whereas the other colours are not....All colours arouse specific associative ideas, psychologically material or tangible, while blue suggests at most the sea and sky, and they, after all, are in actual, visible nature what is most abstract.”
Julia Holter, 2018
Julia Holter’s Avery is one of those delightful experimental, chamber pop albums perfect for walking around on a chilly autumn day and attempting to discover something special in yourself and in others—a sprawling, 90-minute search for meaning in a dehumanizing age. This one feels like a particular study in language (similar to our recommended read this week), so consider this a little pairing of sorts.
I was just about to go outside
I gathered myself
In a distant mirror
A hundred minds
Once just as close to me as a brief sunbeam or a door closing
Now near as me to myself
I always find myself dead, from a fourteenth century
How did I forget I'm part of the dust?
We ate cardamom buns this week (at La Cabra where the barista called it a Cardi B) and gosh what a perfect autumnal spice. Like, why is it so hard to describe?! Piney, peppery, sweet, floral citric?! But also like menthol? It’s delicious.
Turns out, the Victorians were right–you can cure melancholia with a cold, salty sea breeze. Nothing quite like the being whipped by the wind and splashed by the waves to root you in the present.
We hope you find this feast to your satisfaction. Let us know what you liked, what you hated, or what you want to recommend. This newsletter is not just about whetting your appetite but about creating a community with like minded individuals.