Up To Snuff #66: Book Review and Fiction Lesson, “The Sun Also Rises,” By Ernest Hemingway

Up to Snuff #66: Book Review and Fiction Lesson “The Sun Also Rises” By Ernest Hemingway
By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Hemingway’s 1920’s based fiction novel, covers spiritual dissolution, often describing both Jewish and Catholic Views, immorality and bacchanalian bar hopping and on a lesser note, unrequited love. What may resonate with the reader are micro points like the French, “aperitif” and “digestif” and grander points like his two city, “international agenda.”

“International Agenda” in fact may be what the reader is left with thinking, of what it means to write fiction and how it can be done across two of the world’s most amazing cities, in this case Paris, France and Pamplona, Spain. Hemingway’s piece of modernist fiction, leads the reader to ponder fiction itself, being something of illustrious descriptions, the practice of detail and analysis as description. How one may plan trips or excursions to illuminate a story and embody the setting. One can imagine Hemingway carting around small tablets of paper to bullfights and down Parisian streets, even while in carriages.

It is in fact, the emotion about descriptions, in fiction, that grips you. What also grips the reader is how a writer may become an instigator and define a place, time period, era, a group or a movement. In this case the book chronicles a group of writers and Foreign Correspondents in Paris and appears to be autobiographical. “The Sun Also Rises,” describes the romance for the writers life, the spontaneity, the comradery with other notables of the time period, and how the stories unfold into novels, articles and love affairs, some of which manifest into marriages, others that go unrequited.

They were described as a “lost generation,” perhaps many facing short lived marriages in favor of the dramatic high living of a traveler. What becomes interesting is the fame and publicity that writing generates, the resulting introductions that create, the “Who’s Who” lifestyle. Reporters regularly write about and therefore hob nob with notables, if at the bullfight-the bullfighter.

It is as if a writer must cultivate a “writerly” richness. The writer is at once a manufacturer, instigator, and conjurer. Everything for the writer becomes vivid, when you desire the writing to be as good as life, if not better. Having more power to act as taste master, direct society via writing, and dress your content. Hemingway was a master of description much like James Baldwin. Hemingway would make wonderful “observations,” such as to watch, the feet of dancers, to bottle their dance performance, as difficult as that may be.

Hemingway was an angler as was seen in later books like, “Old Man and The Sea.” He was later overseas, with many of the same interests he may have cultivated in America; which became a part of his “international agenda”-fishing in Germany and Spain for example.

The good fiction may be written in “non- stop” fashion. The writer establishes their setting, carries their tablets and writes literally “non-stop” while traveling; then at a later time transcribes collected details to form the story. Then perhaps an editor or programs help you to iron out your dialog. Perhaps if you are guided by some kind of “North Star” and utilizing precision, you will reach a fine piece of literature at the finish.

Great planning may go into a classic piece of literature. One may pursue degree’s or charter boats and acquire nets. Some of literature’s greatest works may not have been easy to come by. Hemingway provides a good fiction lesson.

Nkotombmre, A Basic “Wield” of Ghanaian and West African Culinary- Greens, Fish and Tomato

 

Nkotombmre
A Basic Wield of Ghanaian and West African Culinary: Greens, Fish and Tomato
By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

A basic “wield” of West African cooking may have the same simple ingredients in many different combinations: it may include greens, peanut sauce, tomato and chicken, or greens, fish and tomato, or peanut stew with mushroom and chicken, or black eyed peas, fish, and tomato.

Most are stewed with and cooked in palm oil or coconut oil or vegetable oil with African Red Pepper Chili (Nina International Brand) and include garlic and ginger, onion and green pepper and sometimes magi cubes or blended up and liquefied onions, or blended up garlic, ginger and tomato with plantain dipped inside to make “Kelewele” or sometimes coconut milk, broth, or okra, or fried okra, or add spoonful’s of peanut butter or as a side blended up eggplant or hummus-these are some basic West African (and around) or Ghanaian cooking.  You can get experimental with interesting chili peppers or a variety of mushrooms in stews or add plantains to stew to make it a little fancier or haughty.  Some cooks will thicken a stew with Tahina or coconut milk or the liquefied onions or broths.

A basic idea is to blend and liquefy vegetables etc., succulence, and dipping.  Also it’s flavored oils, tender meats and a little heat. Other common things are fresh fruit, fruit salads, fresh bread, kebabs and satays.  Also common are rice dishes or rice and vegetables like “Joloff Rice” that includes mixed vegetables or dill rice or little savory dishes or cabbage dishes.

Alot of Africans like tender and spicy jerk chicken or coconut shrimp or meat pies or fried chicken or chicken wings (even marmalade wings or teriyaki wings)or  curries or Ethiopian Berbere Stews or even Chinese Stir Fry’s or Spaghetti Bakes. Some African’s will go to a fish market or meat market and just want “a nice piece of meat” and some rice, plantain and salad etc.  Some even like gravy’s and sauces.  One African may like salads with boiled egg, sausage, tomato topped with Thousand Island Dressing.  Some Africans like other cultural dishes that include a peanut taste like Vietnamese dishes with crushed peanuts or Thai, Pad Thai noodles in peanut sauce.  Africans may also like “Bright Chicken,” which is a lemon based pan fried chicken and has marvelous flavor.  Some may also like grilling or popping a piece of fish into foils with herbs and lemon into the oven wrapped up in a packet. Some African cooking has alot of French or Francophone influences from common shared languages and cultural taste buds.  Dishes like Coq au vin or an aperitif or a cheese and fruit platter dessert may be popular.

Many meats can be tenderized and sautéed in coconut oil and eaten with rice and a salad or a vegetable or a pot of pickled greens. Many dishes can be topped with fried plantain and or a boiled egg on top or a boiled egg in bowls of stew to be sexy or macho. Most also include plantain fried, baked or boiled, yellow or green (green and unripe is often boiled) or cocoyam boiled, or yam tubers skinned and boiled.

Most also include some kind of doughy manioc like Fu Fu (pounded yam, often sold in flours), Gari (sometimes a Cream of Wheat or Farina stiffened with more of itself and less water), Kenkey or corn meal “Husky” (like Mexican masa cooked)(Kenkey without the Kenk or fermentation), rice or rice balls, or yam or plantain-as the starch accompaniment.

The other staple are stews or soups that go with starches. Stews are “cut meat” stews where large chunks or cubes are cut by a butcher on a band saw of either fish, chicken, goat or beef or lamb. There is an art to the cutting of the meat and the succulence of the stew later. Sometimes you can cut chicken with a cleaver. Try Kasoa Market in Ann Arbor, Michigan for good “cut meats,” for stews.

Kasoa Market also carries the staples of Titus Sardines which are good with a stiffened Cream of Wheat, Sriracha Sauce, chopped onions and diced tomatoes and sometimes also cooked corned beef-this is simply called “Gari.” Gari is served on a plate or platter all together in order of eating operations. Most dishes are eaten with the right hand, sometimes dipping into each item.  Ghanaian’s have that dipping quality je ne sais quoi, like in the game with seeds and bowls “Oware,” almost like the letter “U.” Husky can be eaten the same way as Gari.  The leftover corned beef can be mixed with cooked rice, onions and green pepper for another delicious dish.

Nkotombmre-is cooked down and blended chopped spinach or another green, broken up pieces of fish (mostly canned, marinated or pickled fish) Geisha Brand Mackerel in Chili Sauce or Titus Sardines and fresh or stewed tomatoes with African chili pepper and salt, cooked in palm oil. Let it all break down until it is one interesting blended green sauce that you eat over something or dip into with an accompaniment, even crackers or warmed or toasted bread.  Nkotombmre is really tasty with fried plantain logs or boiled green plantains for example.   It looks almost like Chimichurri which may have originated in Ethiopia and is around the world? It can be found in Mexico and Argentina via the Italians in Ethiopia that later immigrated to Argentina and it became their food, then from the Argentine’s presumably to Mexico etc. Chimichurri is ladled over meats, mostly beef, and is parsley, olive oil, red wine vinegar, cilantro, garlic, red pepper, cumin and salt all blended into a green sauce.

Many dishes could just be eaten with crackers like the Mackerel in Chili Sauce or the Nkotombmre, or Chimichurri can be ladled over meats and things.  Some dishes you can take a bowl of rice turn it upside down in another larger bowl and pour soup over then lift off bowl to leave a round mound or an island with stew around or have a Fu Fu island in stew bowl or just a boiled egg and meats in stew.  You can dress a stew in many ways.

Good drinks to have are ones like: Fanta, Bitter Lemon, Pampelmousse Grapefruit Drink, Palm Wine, Ting, Star Beer or African Guinness. With all the chili you may just want water!!! Fire! Fire! Fire!  West African’s also typically drink lemon grass tea.  They use fresh stalks of lemon grass and cut off pieces and steep them in hot water for a delicious and memorable tea.  Some Africans really enjoy mulled herb teas or Black tea’s or Gunpowder Green Tea. There are also excellent South African wines like Chamonix or Simeon and many others.  African’s also enjoy Peak Milk with Nescafe Coffee and even cakes iced with Nescafe icing.  You can also just mix condensed milks as often do the Thai with coffee, a few tablespoons, for a delicious hot drink.

Ghanaian’s love “tea and biscuits” and are somewhat influenced heavily by the English. Other dishes common in England like baked beans on toast one may find also in Ghana. A Ghanaian father in America may feed to his young children, baked beans with hotdogs cut up in them-“beans and franks.”  A plate of Gari may be shared by a father and his children as one plate.  A dessert for a child may be simply baked plantains with peanut butter.

Africa was designated a more rural locale due to the presence of large game animals and game reserves. Perhaps it was more savior faire that desired land and rural, mixed with animals and cities. This represents a more simple “rural African diet.”  As Africa advances and becomes more cosmopolitan, so will Africa’s culinary augment and grow with all the old favorites.

Then pop in some music like: Franco, or Thomas Mapfumo, or Ali Farka Toure or Amadou and Mariam, Orchestra Baobab, Miriam Makeba (Love Tastes Like Strawberries), Salif Keita, Baaba Maal, Babatunde, Fela Kuti, Buika, Caetano Veloso, Cesaria Evora, Dar es Salaam Jazz Band, Femi Kuti, Ibrahim Ferrer, Peru Negro, Sam Mangwana, Youssou N’Dour, Angleique Kidjo, Zap Mama, Soukous.

 

 

Up to Snuff #55: Book List Primarily French Writers Extracted from “Flaubert and Madame Bovary” By Francis Steegmuller

Up to Snuff #55:  Book List Primarily French Writers Extracted from “Flaubert and Madame Bovary” By

Francis Steegmuller

Assembled by, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

 

History of Genoa

Breughal “The Temptation of Saint Anthony” (Painting)

Voltaire

Victor Hugo

Study of Greek

Herodotus

Shakespeare

Stendahl (Pseudonym of Marie Henri Beyle)

Edgar Allan Poe

Saint Theresa

Hoffman

Don Quixote, Cervantes

Uncle Parain From Nogent

Carneille

Last Hours of Marguerite of Burgundy

Two Hands on One Crown

Secrets of Phillip the Wise

Matteo Faleme

Two Coffins for One Outlaw

The Plague in Florence

The Iron Hand

A Dream of Hell

Rosseau

Bernadin de Saint Pierre

Chateaubriand

Byron Translations

Henri III, Et sa Coeur

Victor Hugo, Hernani

Theophile Gautier, (Romanticist)

Alexandre Dumas

Lamartine

Gautier

Vigny

Musset

George Sand

Plays of Racine Cornielle

Comedie Francaise

Louis Phillippe of Orleans

Jacques, George Sands

Chatterton, Vigny

De Comps, The Suicide

Old Rules of Rhetoric

History of Dukes of Burgundy

Marie de Medicis

Montague

Rabellais

Corneille and Racine

Horace Odes

Apuleius

Kant

Hegel

Spinoza

Goethe

Hugo, Les Orientales

Notre Dame de Paris

Cleopatra

Semiramis

Queen of Sheba

Idees Recues

Chateaubriand, Rene and Atala (Style Schools)

Agonies

Thoughts of Sceptic

La Danse des Morts

Mortuary Themes

Smarch

Byron’s, Caine

Memoires d’un Fou

Novembre

L’education Sentimentale

Dolts and Debaucheres

Odions

Aesthetics of Hegel

Vincents, History of Genoa

Merimee, Prosper

Merimee, Notes of a Journey in the South of France

The Last of the Mohicans

Cooper

Hugo, Feuilles d’Automne

Lucrece Borgia

Le Roi S’amuse

Dumas’s “Antony”

Medieval and Oriental Subjets

Guy Maupassant

Froissant Chronicles

Capeluche le Bourreau

On L’homme Rouge

Les Orientales, Hugo

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

The Cousins of Isis

Plutarch

Montaigne

Alfred de Musset

Les Transmigrations du Latin

Arisphanes

Comedy of Plautus

La Martine

A Ma Belle Lectrice, Bouilhet

Pasha Abbas

Abu Simbel

Acropole d’Athenes, L’ Colet

Amor nel Cor, Colet

Aristotle

Armenia

Arpentigny,  Captain d’

Art et l’Amour, Colet

L’Artiste

Aux Poetes, Du Camps

Eleanor Marx, Aveling

Aventures de Mademoiselle Mariette, Les Champfleury

Aziza

Baalbek

Honore de Balzac

Charles Baudelaire

Caligula

Le Candidat, Flaubert

Candide, Voltaire

Capeluche le Bourreau, Du Camps

Ce Qu’On Reve en Aimant, Colet

Ce Qui Est dans le Coeur de Femmes, Colet

Miguel de Cervantes

Champfleury

Les Chants de Vaincus, Colet

Chants Modernes, Du Camp

Charlotte Corday et Mdame Roland, Colet

Francois Rene Chateaubriand

Le Chateau de Versailles, Colet

Les Chatiments, Hugo

Un Coeur Simple, Flaubert

Confessions, Musset

La Dame aux Camelias, Dumas

La Danse des Morts, Flaubert

De Gladiatoribus, Lipsius

Dictionnaire des Idees Recues

Du Vrai, du Beau et du Bien, Cousin

Fantomes, Colet

Feuilles d’Automne, Hugo

Figaro

Les Fleurs du Mal, Baudelaire

Fleurs du Midi, Colet

Fossiles, Bouilhet

The Golden Ass, Apuleius

The Golden Legend

The Governess, Colet

Graziella, Lamartine

Herodias, Flaubert

History of Poetical Feelings in France, Flaubert

Illaid Homer

Jericho

Journal de Rouen

Immanuel Kant

The Last of the Mohicans, Cooper

Life of Jesus, Strauss

Le Livre Posthume, Du Camp

Louis Lambert, Balzac

Love Letters. Colet

Lysistrata, Aristophanes

Macbeth, Shakespeare

Madame d’Aigrizelles, Champfleury

Madamede Montarcy, Bouilhet

Madeleine, Colet

Mademoiselle de Maupin, Gautier

La Maison de Poete Exile, Colet

Manon Lescaut, Prevost

Matteo Falcone, Flaubert

Le Medicin de Campagne, Balzac

Melaenis, Bouilhet

Memoires d’Outretombe, Chateaubraind

Moise, Chateaubriand

Moliere (Pseudonym of Jean Baptiste Poquelin)

Moniteur Universal

Monsier le Prefet (Flaubert)

Le Monument de Moliere, Colet

Le Musee Secret de Naples

Napolean le Petit, Hugo

Nazareth

Nil Le Egype et Nubie, Du Camp

Novembre, Flaubert

Odssey, Homer

Par les Champs et par les Greves, Flaubert

Paysage et Amour, Colet

Les Pays Lumineux, Colet

Penserosa, Colet

Pericles, Shakespeare

The Plague de Florence, Flaubert

Politics, Aristotle

Preceptes du Style, Buffon

Prevost D’Exiles, Antoine Francois (Abbe Prevost)

Religions of Antiquity, Kreuzer

Rene, Chateaubriand

Ressouvenir Paien, Colet

Revue de Paris

Rhodes

Le Roi S’Amuse, Hugo

Le Rouge et le Noir, Stendahl

Jean Jacques Rousseau

Salammbo, Flaubert

Satyricon (Petronius)

The Secret of Phillip the Wise, Flaubert

La Servante, Colet

William Shakespeare

Smarh, Flaubert

Sophocles

Souvenirs et Paysages d’Orient, Du Camp

Souvenirs Litteraires, Du Camp

The Suicide, Decamps

Tagahor, Du Camp

Trois Contes, Flaubert

Virgil

Une Nuit de Don Juan, Flaubert

Vie de Boheme, Murger

Comte Alfred Victor, Vigny

Sapho

A Midsummer Nights Dream

The Tempest

La Martine

King John

Child of the Sun, Soul of Fire

Miltronic

Charlotte Cordoy et Madame Roland (Feminism)

Le Chateau de Versailles

Plato

James Henry, Notes on Novelists

Levin, Harry, The Gates of Horn

Brombert, Victor, The Novels of Flaubert

Colum, Mary, From These Roots

Degoumois, Leon, Flaubert a L’ecole de Goethe

Mestral Combremont, La Belle Madame Colet

Praz, Mario, The Romantic Agony

Starkie, Enid, Flaubert:  The Making of the Master

An Approach to Art Making #1

An Approach to art making can include diverse formulae. One such formula may root an artwork in “research.” A body of research may form the foundation of an artwork.  “Rich” artwork may result from a body of research.  Research may need to employ writing, to develop the artwork or artworks.  Without writing, it is difficult to have the dialogue one needs to be engaged with an art work-before and after the artwork. Research may also involve data collection or formal methods employed by scientists in, for example, social methods or qualitative methods or quantitative research methods. An artist may also utilize methods in investigative journalism.

A second road may be a formula such as “Quepine (QPN),” Question, Proverb and News. Quepine can be a divine formula for beauty or knowledge or beauty from knowledge. Quepine is a formula that may result in sacred artworks and make an artist wise. Quepine can root a subject matter in history by attaching it to the news. News is history. Giving a subject history gives it depth and a road to travel on in time.  News has been a theme in art for a long time.  News is used in wax print textiles, art, and music of certain cultures, especially African cultures, who may name a baby or feature a notable from the news.  In some of the African music, the news may be right in the music. A small rural village may become reliant on musicians to convey the news to the people via songs.  Also, some art schools taught “news” as a way of plucking from current events, subjects relevant to the human condition as was done by a student colleague from the Parisian E’cole de Beaux Arts.  Human condition is not exclusive to the news, but it is a worthy method.  Human Condition was taught, perhaps, as a notch from existentialism and existentialism is perhaps “the root of art.”

Why this writer believes that existentialism is “the root of art”  is the relationship to “art” of the word in “Crackiola,”  “are-tea,” or  “our essence” or the “I AM” which was used by many supercomputers and by the Chinese Manufacturers.  The English language breaks down into codes and root systems.  Secondly, many crucial areas in art are easily organized around existentialism or the “I AM,” such as history, the human condition, social, observational, humanitarian and so on.  Drawing, painting, sculpting and photography etc. may all be existential.

-Existentialism

“Planning” may also be something that architects utilize to build houses and could be a word that artists need. This writer was explained how an architect may have a very detailed and specific set of plans to build an exact design precisely and swiftly with all the electrical outlets etc. An artist may make “plans.” An artwork based on plans may have an interesting result that is often mechanical or electrical or structural. Computer Aided Drafting may be utilized.

Recently, this writer was asked “what are your goals?” and “how will you design your studio?” right after. It was asked in a sewing class and functioned like an epiphany, the student began to develop this wild list of “sewing goals.”

If one picked up a good newspaper or a selection of newspapers and thought about say for example “world peace” or integrated social elements into ones goals their studio may take a different turn. What if one had an “umbrella” under which they were working from? An artist’s umbrella.

-Goals

– Studio Design

-Umbrella

“Technique” is the fourth road. The technique provides an endless possibility. Most art schools provide students with strong technical backgrounds, which always serve an artist.  An artist may choose to hinge their artwork on a technique and be infinite within it.  The technique can be powerful when coupled with for example, “history.” Students of art may also embark on an existential path that explores diverse techniques.

“Studies” are another road that was used in Nikolai Gogol’s book “Diary of a Madman.” Studies can provide a context for future works or larger works or thumbnails or for manifestation.  With studies, one may take it apart in many ways, to ascertain many diverse things. Studies may lead to problem solving or product design or anything in the realm of possibility. Studies may serve government and help people to bridge gaps and jump over fences. In Gogol’s book, “Diary of a Madman,” his main character was engaged in studies and posted an ad in the newspaper to solicit clients for his portraiture.

-Research

-Quepine

-Planning (as in Architecture)

-Technique

-Studies

In the presence of writing an artwork can literally fall- “when it falls.” When one is writing a book, for example, and illustrating pages, drawings are easily pulled from the text.

However, most artworks are “site-specific.” An artist can search for a locale, build a locale or create a site-specific work of art.  Recently an artist went to plan an exhibition and recognized this phenomenon- that in fact, artwork is almost always “site-specific.” Or an artwork can be adapted to space and remade.

Another intersection I find very meaningful is “custom design,” for the artist and for the designer.  Custom design, commissions and site specific art works, bare a relationship. There is a necessity in art to think about space.

Custom Design may be very relevant to artists, who in turn may pursue credentials from multidisciplinary design programs such as “MDP” in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan.  Custom design may involve manufacturing, technology or systems design mixed with artworks. For example “Church Pop,” may be installed in a house or perhaps a fiber art wall installation or a sound system. An artist may need to be an engineer. An artist’s ability to manifest their ideas has often been incongruent. But the creativity of an artist may place on paper, a vision for an entire city or even in exhibition unveil viable ideas to solve the world’s problems.

-When it falls

-Site Specific

-Custom Design

 In the Middle East, it has been said, to employ “finery techniques,” that “fine art should be fine.”  In the Middle East it is commonplace for a lot of people to reside in palaces, which would further create a desire for finery, or art that is compatible with the local architecture.

At the Central Academy of Fine Art in China, they are painting birds and flowers-not exclusively. It was said to me by a Chinese Artist that “birds are always beautiful.” If you choose a beautiful subject, the result is almost always beautiful.

-Finery

Art Relevant Juncture has also to do with relevance itself. It was said to this artist that she has a “relevant” artwork. That “the more relevant, perhaps the better the art,” was said by someone from the University of Michigan.

Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

(Excerpt from “Art Relevant Juncture,” by Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu based on her research about art.