The Last Occitan Butcher Stall

The core of the Estivada 2005 in Rodez was the music, but the other arts were also represented — the visual arts in a wonderfully funny & yet disturbing fasion via Claude Merle’s very realistic yet always slightly twisted life-size polyester resin figures & installations he refers to as “Les Voisins,” “The Neighbors.” The butcher stall above was wedged between two actual booths & so it was always an … Read more The Last Occitan Butcher Stall

Pass a Brother some Hot Sauce

Always had a certain admiration for Robert Duncan’s roving eye — sort of wished I too had the possibility of keeping the gaze fixed on at least two places at the same time — & though still focusing here on Occitania, can’t help sending you to a recent blog entry by friend, ex-colleague & commentator Mark Anthony Neal, on the most recent development on the Black Panther Party front: … Read more Pass a Brother some Hot Sauce

Occitan Festival in Rodez

The various cultural irridentisms that have marked Europe since the sixties have always made me feel uneasy. The enemy was (& remains) the nation-state, so what’s the point of creating more nation-statelet subunits based on the same perceived unification points: sameness of language & supposed historical-cultural experience. Sameness as core identity can of course only be percieved against a (to be loathed & excluded) difference. If the nation-states of … Read more Occitan Festival in Rodez

Artaud & I

Just arrived in Luchon-City after two days at the Occitan Festival in the city of Rodez, where I listened to a talk by Occitan writer René Duran, while sitting next to Antonin Artaud. More about this later when I’m set up.

Nomadizing again

The Joris-Peyrafitte smala is preparing to travel again in order to rejoin their summer pasturing grounds in Bourg d’Oueil, in the Pyrenees, via a few days at the Occitan culture festival in Rodez. This means that the blog will be slowed down momentarily, though I should start posting again by Sunday 24 July.

"I AM become death, the shatterer of worlds."

Those words from the Bhagavad Gita flashed through Robert Oppenheimer’s mind 60 years ago today, on the occasion of the first nuclear weapon’s test in New Mexico. Less than a month later, the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The current issue of The New Scientist (but you have to pay to read the article) commemorates that day: The world’s first ever atomic bomb was tested on … Read more "I AM become death, the shatterer of worlds."

Homage to Gustaf Sobin

Paul Gauguin — Café at Arles Robert Kelly just sent me this, his “klagendes Lied,” for Gustaf Sobin: MEMORIAL GUSTAF SOBIN Arles no rain a shadeacross stone bleacherswaited two thousand years forour one conversation continuescontinues * But also how we failed the wordsby using themhe so few and I so manyand all the stone wantedwas the weight of men sitting there in evening sun thinking such thoughts as menten … Read more Homage to Gustaf Sobin

Bastille Day, B-Day

Today, 14 July, is Bastille Day, the day when in 1789 the good people of Paris, after breaking into the Hotel des Invalides where they gather 28000 rifles, hear (the rumor) that there’s gunpowder in the old Bastille prison fortress & thus attack the place (which is defended by 82 veterans and 32 Swiss guards under the very incompetent command of officer De Launay, who loses his head, literally, … Read more Bastille Day, B-Day

3 poems by Mohammed Bennis

LIGHTNING You desertbe vasterlet a painful dustenvelop methe migrating dustthe birds have pushedtoward the tablet where violence residesBut now it burstsand delivers booksand dilutes itselfin all the veinsBe vasteryou whose place isthe perpetuity of rageand let the portshave done with fearAbsurdlyclemencycomes to help meVerticality has prepared mefor this effacementthenover therea scream lights upThese palm trees make their evening humid and rottenMy handis threatenedon the shoulder of steam * * … Read more 3 poems by Mohammed Bennis