The Intimate Nature of Radical Times

Oh, the curse from the Chinese: “May he live in interesting times.” We’re living those interesting, precarious times: we are in the middle of structures, nations, assumptions breaking apart. London is calling, Paris, Brazil, US falling.  We’re deep inside that process!

But what does it mean to be a witness to history? More frequently than not, it will look circumstantial, something like the poet in Roberto Bolano’s “Savage Detectives” who was talking stall to stall in the women’s room while a coup was happening. Unfolding of lives coexistent with unfolding of human events in time. We will be gauged by the intimate, by the personal. By what we create, salvage, dream. The values we discover as essential. Otherwise we will be dispersed, our heads endlessly spinning.  Here are some images from the month when “Paris was burning!”

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2 Responses to The Intimate Nature of Radical Times

  1. louis gitlin says:

    nora misses Paris terribly. it makes her sad to not be there. when we watched the first episode of Mrs. Maisel Season 2, where the mom flees the drudgery of her everyday life in Manhattan and goes back to Paris where she thrived years back as a college student, Nora would not speak to me afterwards.
    in many ways it was funny, but in others it was gut painful.
    if i show her your beautiful words and pictures, she will ………………well, i just wont show her.

    • jillbpearlman says:

      Louis, thanks for your comment. After we saw an exhibition of the Parisian street photographer Willy Ronis, I said to my daughters that every picture was layered with at least two, maybe three emotions. Their complexity was made up of all the competing emotions of the everyday — caught by a very sensitive eye. Whole fraught novels within a single frame. Nora – I get it. Much love to her.

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