We ignore how our thinking—about feelings, bodily functions, friends, politics, what’s on the television— lets us down. I am not talking about the possibility that someone else—Sontag, say—might be smarter than I am or have more-incisive insights than I do. I am talking about thinking on a much more basic level: that a particular peach tastes particularly good, or wondering in the middle of kissing if it is going to lead to sex, or what’s for dinner? This is hardly the same as tasting the peach or kissing.
To read more: Click on Wild life, wild mind. Originally published in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Illustration by Pat Kinsella for The Chronicle. For more on the topic of savoring, see Zeteo: On Savoring.
Parenting, Corporate Thievery, Aging, Technology, Ideals – one might easily feel overwhelmed. With a unique approach to the personal, the political and the intellectual, William Eaton’s essays keep asking: “How might we live?”
Excerpts from Amazon 5-star reviews: “William Eaton thoughtfully and gracefully examines his experiences as father, wage earner, consumer, citizen, dreamer, ethicist. (Spoiler alert: his son gets the best lines.) For the price of a sandwich plus tax, Eaton’s little book could start you thinking about your own life. When you get to the end, you might even want to read it again.” — N.R. Mishkin
A collection of essays full of insights and speculations, and very enjoyable to read. — Nahid Rachlin, author of Foreigner
Engaged, non-doctrinaire, well-read, independent-minded, pressurized toward the good and serious questions — Sven Birkerts, author of The Gutenberg Elegies
William Eaton finds arresting themes in unusual places — gazing at deer, coffee in Paris, coffee with a teenager becomes a site for probing silence. The writing is masterful and wonderfully absorbing. — Edward F. Mooney, author of On Søren Kierkegaard
Order your copy from Amazon. $9.99 in paperback. $7.99 on Kindle.
A very few of the drawings and paintings that William Eaton has been working on. These drawings and others can be purchased from the artist using the contact form below. Many more images are visible at Montaigbakhtinian.com.
After Picasso, Portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter, 1936
After Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky) Untitled 1927, in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
Inspired by Matisse of course. But also exploring, exploring . . . These and other works can be purchased from the artist using the contact form below. Many more images are visible at Montaigbakhtinian.com.
In a provocative collection of essays, William Eaton, the author of Surviving the Twenty-First Century, shares the pleasures of questions, tastes, reading and more visual arts.
That we are animals, that is as sure as ever. How savagely we behave toward one another and toward other species and inorganic others. How we rub affectionately up against one another and—however desperately—make love.
Art, Sex, Politics (Serving House Books, 2017) includes, along with 13 other essays, several pieces (along with several drawings) that were first published on Montaigbakhtinian or in Zeteo. These include:
Also included: “Friendship, Deception, Writing” (based in Plato’s Lysis), this being among the essays published by Agni.
For more on Serving House Books (just click!)
To invert a line from Emerson (“Self-Reliance”): in our artworks we may see our own half-hidden feelings?
Or there are these bits from Lucian Freud’s excellent Some Thoughts on Painting (Encounter, 1954):
The painter makes real to others his innermost feelings about all that he cares for. . . . The painter must give a completely free rein to any feelings or sensations he may reject nothing to which he is naturally drawn.. . . [I]t is of no interest whether it is inaccurate copy of the model. . . . The model should only serve the very private function for the painter of providing the starting point for his excitement. The picture is all he feels about it, all he thinks worth preserving of it, all he invests it with. . . . The aura given out by a person or object is as much a part of them as their flesh. . . . Therefore the painter must be as concerned with the air surrounding his subject as with that subject itself.