The Writer’s Table

06Oct07

My work, whatever form it may take, is seen as mischief, as lawlessness, as an accident. But that’s how I like it, so I agree. I subscribe to it with both hands.It is a question of how you look at it. What I prize in the doughnut is the hole. But what about the dough of the doughnut? You can gobble up the doughnut, but the hole will still be there. Real work is Brussels lace, the main thing in it is what holds the pattern up: air, punctures, truancy.

Osip Mandelstam, 4th Prose, from The Noise of Time.[via Isola diRifiuti]

Philip Guston, Painter’s Table , 1973. Oil on canvas, 77¼ × 90¼ in.

What I do is to get hold of some trifle, some little anecdote, a piece of market gossip, and turn it into something I cannot tear myself away from. It’s alive, it plays. It’s round like a pebble on the seashore.…Its fusion is so strong that even lightning can’t split it.

Isaac Babel, quoted in Ashton, Dore. A Critical Study of Philip Guston, p. 174. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990. Image taken from here also.

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