Realism

I sold one piece from my recent DIY show in Toronto, and so treated myself by buying a couple of books not available in the library. Livin’ high! First of all, got two catalogs of Frank Stella’s prints. That’s what I’m really looking forward to, but they haven’t arrived yet. Then came across two reviews of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s book, which made it sound really great. Normally I don’t read contemporary literature, but make an exception with this, because instinct tells me to. So the first volume is on the shelf, but unopened because in the meantime I got into Chin P’ing Mei, and that’s a big undertaking. I’ve had volume one for over ten years but never got around to it, now I’m hooked and contemplating five volumes. It’s usually described as an erotic novel, and some Chinese of my acquaintance call it pornographic, but they’ve never read it. It’s really a very distinctive work of realism with a few explicit passages – but then life also has a few explicit passages – in fact life is explicit all over. All I can say is it gives great perspective.

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scenes from the Ming Dynasty novel Chin P'ing Mei

scenes from the Ming Dynasty novel Chin P’ing Mei

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