Tag: Peanuts

The Beautiful & The Sublime

Music is the highest form of art…according to Schopenhauer

“Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see”

Wagner 2

The opening bars of Richard Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde”

Two things save my soul and intellect living in the boonies of Normandy. At home: the internet for everything from the New York Times and Foreign Affairs to films and documentaries and whilst driving: France Culture! How much have I learned from randomly listening to the radio station France Culture. Art, philosophy, music, politics, this radio station expects its listeners to be on the ball and thirsty for high quality programs…nothing is “dumbed down”.


I needed to give you this intro because I once fell into a program about the German philosopher Schopenhauer’s methodology in aesthetics, his account of the subjective and objective sides of aesthetic experience (both of the beautiful and the sublime), about the hierarchy of the arts and rationale for this hierarchy, his view of artistic genius, the exceptional status of music among the fine arts, and the relationships he theorized between aesthetics and ethics.

CartoonCaricature of Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860) by Wilhelm Busch

This question of a “hierarchy” in the arts seems personal, perhaps irrelevant, but I find it highly exciting! Why is one “moved to tears” by sounds? Why is music, a sequence of sounds, capable of invoking such a variety of emotions, we can not touch it, it has no shape, it literally exists in thin air…

KandinskyWassily Kandinsky, “Composition VII,” 1913

Aesthetic experience comes in two main varieties for Schopenhauer, the beautiful and the sublime, and can be had through perception of both nature and art. I just love the idea of the “Beautiful and the Sublime”. Schopenhauer believes the experience of music brings us epistemically closer to the essence of the world as will—it is as direct an experience of the will qua thing in itself as is possible for a human being to have.

ruscha musicEd Ruscha designed the cover of Mason Williams 1968 album Music

Art, according to Schopenhauer, also provides essential knowledge of the world’s objects in a way that is more profound than science or everyday experience.‪

Schopenhauer’s aesthetics remain influential today, and are perhaps the most lasting part of his philosophy. Leo Tolstoy, Richard Wagner, Friedrich Nietzsche and Jorge Luis Borges were amongst the many profoundly influenced by Schopenhauer’s philosophy. And so am I, thanks to my car radio and France Culture!

“Music is the melody whose text is the world”


Schroeder playing the piano in Peanuts, his favorite composer is Beethoven…

Prehistoric Pinterest

Before the virtual version, there was actually the real deal: the pin board.


Before “cut and paste” were key strokes on your computer there was actually CUT AND PASTE, or in the case of your pin board: cut and pin!

CartoonHow current is this McNelly cartoon from 1990 today!

There is Pinterest, that “pins” for you without allowing you to arrange your board the way you want it…and then there is the real thing where you are the master of your universe!

Cartoon2Cartoon from the New Yorker, when the book “Why French women don’t get fat” was all the rage.

I have always had large mood boards or even whole walls with newspaper cuttings, fashion photos, cartoons and all things that capture my attention and I want to preserve.

BricoloThe now closed “Bricolo Café” at the BHV department store in Paris, decorated as an old workshop.

This is just one of my walls and most of the things up there are already quite old, but have not lost any of their significance to me.

ArtSonia Delaunay and Gerhard Richter

It is my very tangible and private diary of everything that inspires or interests me, and I love sharing it with insiders, but not necessarily with the world…

FeauBeautiful “boiseries” by Féau in Paris at the Biennale a few years ago, I will paint my new library like this!

I could tell you a whole story about each item, why it is there, what it means to me and how it is still significant today…

Cartoon3Peanuts, by the great philosopher Charles Schultz

It is an insight into my psyche and probably fodder for a psychiatrist, an eclectic mixture of humor, deadly serious subjects, photographs of all sorts, frivolous subjects and personal memento’s, a bit what I want my blog to be like!

GulfWarFantastic cover of Mad Magazine about Gulf War II: how true!

Fashion, politics, critical journalism, documentary film, cartoons, postcards, personal photographs, badges of events I attended, invitations, notes…

BoardDetailDetail of my board: Schiele, Peanuts, Avadon, my horoscope for 2014 that I still want to believe in…

It records my life in a mosaic of images and words, in no particular order or chronology.

PhotoMy sister and I, we are still this close today.

There is Pinterest, that “pins” for you without allowing you to arrange your board the way you want it…and then there is the real thing where you are the master of your universe!

ChristInvitation to René Stoeltie’s “Visions of Christ” exhibit in Majorca

It is here that all these ideas, inspirations and images come together and form a “smorgasbord” of my life…