Cultural Omnivore No. 9

A Listing of What We Love


“Combining representation and abstraction, Nina Chanel Abney’s paintings capture the frenetic pace of contemporary culture. Broaching subjects as diverse as race, celebrity, religion, politics, sex, and art history, her works  eschew linear storytelling in lieu of disjointed narratives. The effect is information overload, balanced with a kind of spontaneous order, where time and space are compressed and identity is interchangeable. Her distinctively bold style harnesses the flux and simultaneity that has come to define life in the 21st century.”
Through December 20, 2017
The Jack Shainman Gallery, 513 W 20th Street, NYC 10011


Fiction by Clarice Lispector
Translated by Katrina Dodson
New Directions; Reprint edition (July 31, 2015)
640 pages
Buy Here

Excerpt: “Anything was an excuse to set him off. A bird flying by, reminding him of unknown lands, breathed life into his old dream of flight. From thought to thought, unconsciously driven toward the same end, he’d reach the notion of his cowardice, revealed not only in this constant desire to flee, not to align himself with things so as not to fight for them, as in his incapacity to achieve anything, since he himself had conceived it, pitilessly dashing the humiliating good sense that kept him from flight. This duet with himself was the reflex of his essence, he discovered, and that was why it would go on all his life . . . That was why it became easy to sketch out the distant, gasping, faltering future, until the implacable end—death. That alone and he would attain the goal toward which his inclination guided him: suffering.” – from “Obsession.”


Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Writer: Alberto Moravia (novel), Bernardo Bertolucci (screenplay)
Stars: Jean-Louis TrintignantStefania SandrelliGastone Moschin

Bertolucci is a problematic director but this film is a visual masterpiece. Cinematographer Vittorio Storaro works every shot like a beautifully choreographed baroque painting.


Artist: Yo La Tengo
Album: Popular Song
Lyrics: “Walls are closing in
They often do
I’m seeing double and triple
Does this ever happen to you?
I don’t have to make it rain
But I never argue with improving the view”


What was it like to be Ernest Hemingway?
Writers: John Banville
The Nation, November 13, 2017

Opening Paragraph: “The vigorously kicked-up dust has long since settled, and one wonders anew what all the fuss was about. He sent himself to Paris in the 1920s, which was the place to be just then. He shrewdly latched on to a lot of influential literary people and later learned how to be a celebrity by associating with stars of the screen and the corrida. He wrote a clutch of good stories and a handful of novels ranging from fresh and original through mediocre to abysmally bad—although the posthumously published The Garden of Eden is nearly very good, in its weird way. He mythologized himself as the Great American Novelist, despite the fact that none of his novels is set in America (except To Have and Have Not, a minor work) and he was arguably at his best in the medium of the short story. Later in life, he blundered into depression, alcoholism, paranoia, and manic delusion, and killed himself. At best, much of his life was only of passing notoriety—or so one would have thought—and yet the legend lives on, as tenacious as ever. How to account for it?”