Historically Drinking (part deux)

2 thoughts on “Historically Drinking (part deux)”

  1. Wonderfully depicted. I hope to carry all these facts in my pocket, like a flask, next time I’m in Paris.

    I wonder, though, and would be curious to hear your thoughts, on the conjecture that poverty is a necessary condition of art. Not at the individual level, but at the “cesspool” level — the proposition is that one cannot properly concoct except from within a milieu of “sour smells and dirty bodies.” That, and cheap rent.

    San Francisco has managed to chase off the artists; has Paris done the same? Can one still be down and out in Paris or London? Or are we doomed to play-acting the past in pursuit — conscious or not — of work whose major redeeming quality is nostalgia?

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    1. Poverty is absolutely not a condition necessary to create art (in my wildly unqualified opinion). I had often wondered that growing up happy and loved. Monet painted ‘water lilies’ at the height of his fame. Van Gogh was troubled, and struggled with his various swirling demons, and he would’ve created very different mindscapes had he not been so pursued, but who knows…? It’s possible that struggle forces one to look further and deeper than comfort does, because there is no alternative, but I don’t think/believe that perception and execution of beauty and happiness are mutually exclusive – far from it. And as a side note, as far as down and out in Paris and London, about 4 minutes walk downhill from the Contrescarpe you come to the rue du Pot de Fer, where Orwell lived and worked while scribbling….

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