[Note: this was among the August 1960 papers, but I think it belongs to September]
Elba -- see list.
Florence -- A. M. psychology / Greenlees' hours, Matilda, character & friends. / Edmund Howard & children /
Rome -/ Olympics w/ Neumans / days w/ C / meeting with Soph./ accident of Lanzas & their "community" & character / Natalina / Vittoria Gionnini / conference of AM & lunch on Sept. 16 / conference of PM & dinner / barbers
September 1, 1960
Every drop of water that reaches the sea from Israel is a tear of failure. Frustrated love is the gout: unimpressive in the order of history, even ludicrous, but exceedingly painful, a desperate gnashed gut-feeling.
September 1, 1960
The Israeli are an honest and helpful people. They are not happy in one sense, of people who have not suffered too much, to whom the present material of living comes easily, whose problems of organization, foreign anxiety and the like are only average. They are happy in a more basic sense. They don't need to lift their eyes from their everyday life and define themselves anew, always in a different way. Perhaps that is the reason why they are not so humorous as American Jews. Also the past is still immanent in the characters of many -- speaking not of the long horror of Nazism, but of the discriminatory anxieties of America and elsewhere. I noted, for example, in both hotels at which I've stayed an unusual pressure on me to stay longer & eat meals at the hotel. Even while amicable, there is an urgency to their need that I stay on, being beyond questions of economics.
* * * * *
The premier and other officials of Jordan were assassinated the other day, probably by agents of the United Arab Republic, but the tenor of life in Israel appears unchanged.
September 5, 1960 - Florence
Two days in Florence past. From Rome on Saturday afternoon to Rome this morning at 10:49. Anna Maria met me and drove me with seeming abandon in her Mickey Mouse car. We stopped for a watery chocolate ice cream t the Piazza della Signoria, and again to purchase a plastic cover for her painting that stood outdoors for the annual banquet of the Donatello Square Artists' Association. At 228 Via Masaccio, I greeted Marco who is thinner and taller, a beautiful child of great sociability but social insensitivity, three months older than my Carlo, who is smaller, as blond as Marco is brunette, and is both sociable and delicately sensible to other people. Tancred, the 8-months old baby, is not greatly responsive despite the fondling of many women, but is certainly a great broth of a lad who has probably been growing too rapidly in body for his nervous system to develop subtlety. The house is an apartment of some six rooms and three baths, with a vast, solid, isolated studio at the other end of a neglected garden, where Sebastian works, dreams, naps, and escapes from his family. S. has departed for America, or at least I thought so until Anna Maria mentioned his being in Madrid. Didn't I have him go there to do some work? Yes, I did, of course, I quickly replied, covering up for I don't know what and remembering vaguely that S. had said something about doing things for me in Madrid. "I should think he would have completed the work by now," I said, using a trick that I think I may have had frequent recourse to in such predicaments, that is, covering the defense by asserting an offensive problem that assumes the defense as a fact. She still remains a little puzzled as to why he left "so early", when the Convention he had to attend was to begin on the 7th of September. (I brought it back to "the 5th or 6th"). I also recalled to her that he had wished to visit Joey, his oldest son, in the hospital where he had been taken for an asthmatic condition (developed, I am certain, out of the repressed psychic disturbances of adolescence compounded with too much of a sense of family responsibility, without his father around as shield & target, and goodness knows what else in the way of amorous incidents, athletic strivings, lack of money and so forth.
Anna Maria persuaded me to stay over a day rather than visit briefly on Elba. So I telephoned Robbie and promised to see him next week, and then wrote a few postcards and talked lengthily into the evening with Anna Maria. It wasn't the first time we had to discuss her despair and rage. She has scarcely painted a thing this summer. Trouble with maids, running a household, tending the babies are her problems. To which I add lacking a strong idea of what she wants to paint & liking to talk too much. She is a fine painter. I tell her, don't give up everything because you can't have everything. If you are only painting 10% of the time, try to extend it to 20% of the time & you'll work great things, but don't strike for 100%. Look about you. Even the hardest working painters with the softest of lives go long without producing a work of art. To control one's creative time is almost impossible.
Her painting of a nude girl in light yellows & tans (my memory for colors is poor though my impressions are strong) was perhaps the best among the works of 150 painters presented on the oval patterns of Donatello Square. Much skill was in evidence there but no genius. The subjects were almost entirely traditional. You might reckon them beforehand: X scenes of Venice, X still lives of vases-fruits, X farms, X streets of Florence, X portraits of anybody's face, X sculptures of female busts and torsos. Here were 150 artists, showing a single work by invitation, out of several thousands in Florence. The non-abstract artists commanded the gathering. Two or three abstractionists crept in. How different from the devastating and frantic displays of the abstractionist monopolists at the Venice Biennial Exposition of all the world's painting and sculpture. Yet I squeeze out a mild sympathy for the abstractionists who ask themselves: Is man to go thru all eternity painting apples, jogs, smooth faces, and Venetian canals?
It was Moschi's night. The old benign friendly sculptor was given a medal (not one of his own, for a change), a group of Varese folk singers entertained, and the artists and a few friends ate proscuitto, salami, tortelloni, chicken, fruit and wine at long tables. A modest crowd watched the proceedings and viewed the paintings. The artists were not much to attract attention or amuse one. A more bourgeois looking group would be difficult to assemble. Everyone wore shirts and ties, jackets, and shaved. Few artists' girls, if any, were to be seen. The peak of high spirits was a man who flicked a bread ball across the table at a friend. The only one who looked "artistic" in the bohemian tradition was an old man with a goatee & long hair who sat near me at who, I learned later, was 83 years old. He was witty and comic. He got into a play of words when someone said "et cetera" and we entered into a spirited discussion of the full meaning of the concept, whose seriousness he had first exposed. Is a painting a few strokes, then etc.? Pragmatism is the philosophy of etc. Etc. has both an aesthetic & a scientific meaning.
For a man who is dying, he said to me, there is no etc.
Yes, I said, there is: both a scientific and an aesthetic etc. He agreed. To die is to be rigid & accept a fiction as truth. To die etc. is to die curious, and there is no death in dying curious. This last was his remark and I delighted in it.
Afterwards we visited the studio of L. Donati who is a short dark man, a type of accounting in appearance. His place at 24 Piazza Donatello is fitted out with every perfection of the painter's dream. The lights, objets d'art, fixtures, walls, steps, ceilings, chairs, everything is "as it should be." It reminds me of the study of a mediocre Hollywood screenwriter I visited on occasion in 1946. Every imaginable aid to the scholar was ostentatiously present: leather-bound books (no paperbacks, please), elaborate files, expensive desks and chairs, but the fellow was going to a psychoanalyst, left his wife, got into difficulties for his naive political activities & never did write anything of consequence. Donati is actually better; he paints well in one style of Picasso, the outlines of female forms something of Modigliani too. He turns them out neatly, mounts them immediately in the best of frames, stacks them like wallpapers, exhibits them like a demonstrator to lucky interested housewives, asks for comment & politely and sincerely thanks one even before fully certain the reply will be favorable. His father is a banker, his uncle an antique dealer. He married them both with his art and it runs as the highest rationalization of the pattern of life and road to success in this humiliating, maddening and poverty-stricken field of endeavor. Only the specialist or the true philosopher or the proustian novelist, who must alas also know famous current characters can appreciate fully the presence on one of his tables of a framed-in-glass cordial letter from Adlai Stevenson regarding a show in Chicago and a Donati picture received by him. What a strange artificial person Donati is! He is a scientifically constructed success. Benvenuti, Moschi's assistant for years, a big bear with a wicked moustache & sideburns, who turns out an occasional good piece and otherwise is pleased to work with Moschi, is much more endearing and gave a charming speech as master of ceremonies. Donati and Benvenuti are world's apart. D's portrait of B is comic and cod.
This is no time to ask why Florence in 1400's and in 1900's is the same and yet so different. We walked through the Uffizzi galleries in the morning. The Botticelli's, Da Vinci's, Bronzini's, and the numerous anonymous scherzo's of the ceilings there and in the Medici Palace delight me. Next to Bo's Birth of Venus and the Medici baby of Bronzini, I should place Paolo Uccello's "Battaglia" as my favorite of yesterday. The modernity and geometry of the battle, its brown colors, and the overall mystery so typical of armed struggles strike me forcibly. I know the geometry was calculated & that Ucello was a mathematician; I feel certain also that he planned the dark chaos, the shaft striking from nowhere, knocking over a dim lost figure. The determinacy of a battle is usually after the fact and written into its "objective" history.
Time - Leave a [bon - [boon??]] to each measure of time:
To eternity - God intuitive incorporation
To 1,000,000 years
To 1,000 years
To the next generation
To this generation ("in our lifetime")
To the next few years
In a little while
A few minutes from now
14. Choices should be weighted by these variables. The strength of the ecstatic feeling when the irreconcilability of the 14 is voided & all become one consistent sense of identity of immediacy with eternity. The way Christianity merges the two in God & God-man. The practical effect of merging now & forever on the 12 intermediate perceptions and operations -- loss of instrumentalism, practical orientations.
Sunday September 10-11, 1960
Hotel del Golfo. Lido di Procchio - Isola d'Elba
7 - 8 up, poetry reading, title "Passage of a Year"
8 - 9 Breakfast, shave on patio, next to sea
9 - 10 poetry reading, card to Dryfoos, reading Robbie's play about the murder of King James I of Scotland
10 - 11 Mass, hello to Robertsons & Mrs. Damian
11 - 11:30 bath
11 - 12:30 By bus to Marciana Marina w/Robbie, arranged for lunch, by cab to Poggio for view of the North Island & mainland.
12:30 - 2:15 Great fish dinner - pasta aingoli, rock bass filet, French fried shrimp and squid, white wine of Elba, coffee, at Ristorante Marinella.
2:15 - 5:15 Leisurely walk back to Procchio (7 kilometers) along the sea-front highway, examining the many villas, the vegetation, the many views. Stop for coffee at the tiny bay just before Procchio at a modest hotel.
5:15 - 6:00 at Robertsons, with R., brother Walter, sister Mrs. Damian
6:00 - 7:00 Hotel de Golfo talking w/ Robbie about his play, Cortez and Montezuma, and
about my plans for the Institute and how desperate the position of the free world is with an ignorant and spiteful mass, lethargic ruling groups, and assaults by the Soviets & the deprived peoples of Africa & Asia.
7 - 8 This note, plus poetry, plus change of clothes
8 - 11 Dinner & last conversation. Goodnite. Early bus (6 AM) to meet to go to Florence
Stories of Walter - Italian from Brazil
Major Scotland (von Schottland)
His first assignment: Irish Regiment get rid of [rec] that rubbish
Don't see the men on pay day
Passing the soldier drunk on the street
"There's real Discipline, d'ya see?"
A Year of Translations
In 1959060 the American Behavioral Scientist as PROD, published 17 translated articles. They represented social scientific thought in France (4), Italy (4), Russia (4), Germany (2), and Belgium, Japan, and Cuba (1 each). Late in the publication year readers were asked to comment on the series, and 75 did so. Almost half the group responded to the request for adverse comment. A half-dozen were generally opposed to the translation series. The most frequent criticism was of the quality or selection of material. We agree, in part: by American standards the quality of foreign social research is seldom high; also, lengthiness forced us to pass over some good work. The former seems to be confirmed by the fact that practically no one, in reply to our request, suggested further foreign articles for translation.
Thirty readers praised the venture, and many criticisms were leavened with favorable comments. Social research translations were held necessary and not available elsewhere. The availability of Soviet material, whatever its quality, was especially welcomed. Some 40 readers praised particular articles, notably Fernand Braudel's "History and the Social Sciences: The Long Duration" and Giorgio Braga's "Outline of a Typology of Adherence to Communism." Other preferences were mixed, e. g., a survey of "The Sociological Sciences in France" was like by seven readers and disliked by four.
Unquestionably, we have a varied audience of strong opinions. Unquestionably, also, very few U. S. social scientists read works in other languages. As one result of our first year's experience, translation will no longer appear in separate issues, and readers will find fewer complete translations. We will place greater emphasis on publishing carefully abridge translations. Readers will probably also note an increased preoccupation in the months to come with developments in mechanical translation, new forms of documentation, and research services. The problem of translation, we feel, is tied closely to that of intelligence-intake in general. it is not merely coincidence that the machines being developed for data processing are being modified for translating tasks. 630
Topics and Critiques, Vol. IV # 1
ABS Appeals for Audience Participation
Apropos the changes in this journal, Carl Stover's note probably speaks for sundry readers: "Congratulations on the new look for PROD. The American Behavioral Scientist is a much more distinguished title. However, now that the thing has become successful, I hope it will not deteriorate like so many other successful ventures." We shall try to become better without at the same time getting worse, and hope for readers' notes and comments ad libitum.
The death of Clyde Kluckhohn, member of our Advisory Board, causes us grief. One of the world's most distinguished anthropologists, Clyde was forever pulling into his own field the theories and methods of philosophy, sociology, and psychology. The midwestern body grew into a manhood of great breadth and sophistication; responsive, charitable, keen, and ready to go. One of these days, when it can no longer be called an obituary, we shall publish an analysis of his wonderfully synthetic approach to the study of man.
Topics & Critiques vol. IV # 2
"Man in Space"
The social problems of the missile and space age formed the subject of a conference at the Brookings Institution in June. Little work is now being done on the kind of social futurism that was outlined by H. D. Lasswell in his presidential address to the American Political Science Association in 1956. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has an interest, with Jack Oppenheimer in charge; the Brookings Institution, with Don Michaels, is cooperating. Joseph Goldsen of RAND (see p. 29) is working on political implications; so is Lincoln Bloomfield at MIT. Several pieces have been written on the legal problems of outer and inner space, (e. g. see PROD, III, December 1959). Bio-Astronautics and Space Psychology are flourishing little fields. From the proceedings of the Conference, to be related later by Michaels, it would appear that the space-technologists are divided among Buck Rogers and Doubting Thomas types. Clear as it may be that policy should determine invention and development in this vast area, it is equally clear that the technical work is moving rapidly without systematic political controls.
Topics and Critiques Vol. IV, no. 2 (October 1960, page 16)
September 26, 1960 4 AM
Dreams drive one on. They cannot be put aside. They are bastards with wills of their own who set up new hates & loves, redefine the old, breed fears and not so often hopes. They are not produced by gods or devils. Enough that they are the natural wretched militia of irrationality, making always more difficult the sane and reasoned life.
In all the attempts to interpret and understand dreams, their most obvious and important features from a social standpoint are ignored. How do people react to their dreams. I note that Jill's attitude towards me is affected by a good or, more usually, bad dream of me -- where I am making her move the household from a pleasant location, or am behaving unkindly to a child. She is slightly sullen, removed, and irritable afterwards, even when she knows that the dream is untrue. I have had similar impressions, dreaming fondly of childhood friends and thereafter for a day full of love and yearning for them, and even taking steps to find the. Multiply by the population of dreamers and we must have a vast effect produced in the hours of stillness, without consciousness, purpose, plan, logic. So that, let us say, each day must be partly lost in sweeping soot off the stoop. Nor is the job ever complete, Life is forever being darkened slightly by the internal experiences of night.