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January 27, 2009
As quoted by Calvin Tomkins,
"If you can ironize with no affective "The Bride and the Bachelors"
result, with no destructiveness or (1962) p. 66
laughter either -- in other words, with
indifference -- then you have a chance
for another vista ... It's not very
clear, I know, but then I'm not writing
a book on the science of irony."
Duchamp often complained of art
being corrupted by commerce.
He thought chess was a purer
activity because "it was in no Possibly, what he was
danger of being corrupted by really talking about
money". is the corruption of
Duchamp at chess: trying to show that
creative flair could stand up to what
he called "the memory boys":
"According to Julien Levy, the art dealer,
who has been a close friend of Duchamp's
for many years and an occasional chess
partner since Duchamp taught him the game,
'Marcel wanted to show that an artist's
mind, if it wasn't corrupted by money or
success, could equal the best in any field.
He thought that with its sensitivity to
images and sensations, the artist's mind
could do as well as the scientific mind
with it's mathematical memory. He came
damn close, too.'"
-- "The Bride and the Bachelors" (1962),
Calvin Tomkins, p.52
Reading this sketch of Duchamp,
the parallels with John Cage
seemed very striking -- and The air (pose?) of wise
then I realized that John Cage detached humor, the drive
is the second sketch in Tomkins to be truly original,
book. creating works that
undermine the very idea of
So, either it's an Art. The (apparent?)
obvious point, or I drive to overcome ego.
picked up on where
he was going.
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