Juliette Barnes and the Tyranny of Motherhood

Near the end of the third and most recent season of Nashville, Hayden Panettiere’s spoiled country-pop star character, Juliette Barnes, gives birth to a child and with wanton cruelty names her “Cadence.” And it’s all downhill from there, in terms of parenting quality. From the moment she leaves the hospital with her newborn, Juliette approaches her with the gritted-teeth, grimacing smile of a terrified woman, and refuses in ever more flamboyant ways to inhabit the persona of mother at all. Continue reading →

The Mindy Project Recap: 4×01 “While I Was Sleeping”

Mindy Lahiri was living her nightmare at the end of season 3 of The Mindy Project. Her boyfriend, and father of her unborn child, had just revealed he never wanted to get married. In the 4th season premiere, “While I Was Sleeping,” just released on its new home, Hulu, Mindy lives an even worse nightmare.

But let’s start with what happens in real life:

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Proust, Picasso, and Prose Poetry: Swann’s Way as an Emptying of Impressions

“The thing that I want to insist upon is that Picasso’s gift is completely the gift of a painter and a draughtsman, he is a man who always has the need of emptying himself, of completely emptying himself, it is necessary that he should be greatly stimulated so that he could be active enough to empty himself completely.”

So says Gertrude Stein in her intimate, lyrical biography of Picasso, which is not so much a chronology of his life as it is a love letter to his artistry. Among many other things, she submits that Picasso’s creative impetus derived from a need to empty himself of certain reverberating impressions; he would become captivated, even tormented by an idea or image, and by painting, he would purge that image from his mind and be done with it.

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