Red Shoes for men (and of course, women and everyone else)

I feel that this post -like so many others- belongs in here as well.

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A hesitant digression about gender variability and fluidity

Gender roles and conventions have annoyed me all my life, especially since I have never clearly known what my gender was and is. I’m serious; I more or less assumed a sexual identity (I’m physically a male and this fact was acceptable to me, with some reserves and many peculiarities and deviations), but I deeply ignored my gender until I understood –or perhaps decided– I had none and, thus, I was agender. Anyway, this was still wrong…

Being physically masculine in the essential bits, and with a general look somewhat more masculine than anything else, I tended to adopt publicly a gender expression which was more masculine than feminine, neutral or whatever it could be. (I won’t talk about my sexual orientation(s) because I do not need to within the scope of this post.)

Anyway, my surroundings were peculiar and puzzling to…

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“La Senyera Catalana” – The oldest national flag in the world

||*|| ❤

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Dating from 1238, and kept in L’Arxiu Històric Municipal de València, this is the oldest national flag in the world, among those still in use. And it is the flag of my little homeland: Catalunya.

The Pennon of the Conquest (Catalan: Penó de la Conquesta) is the flag raised by the Moors of Valencia, Spain, on September 28, 1238 on the tower of Alī-Bufāt, later called Torre del Temple, to indicate their surrender to the troops of king James I of Aragon. We know about this episode from the quote entered by the king himself in his Chronicle: “We were in the riverbed, between the gardens and the tower; and when we saw our flag upon the tower, we dismounted from our horse, and heading eastwards we cried from our eyes and kissed the earth for the great mercy God had made…

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Another special post: a recommendation and a plea – On Gender Variability

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After trying to call your attention, two days ago, to an article in The New York Times about politics and human rights in my native country -Catalonia-, I feel now the urge to publish this short note about National Geographic‘s latest special issue: GENDER REVOLUTION.

Certainly I do not want to convert this blog of mine into a kind of social network wall; but these two instances seem justified to me. Even more this present one, which I am posting in the first place for my late sister’s sake (who was a transgender kid and teen herself, decades ago, in much less favourable times for all of them, wherever they lived). I do it also in my name, since I have my own, different, gender issues (I am non-binary, agender and queer, and in an earlier epoch of my life, androgynous or bi-gender and fluid… Oh, yes, all of…

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Edward McCartan (I) – The gentle eroticism

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Edward Francis McCartan (August, 1879 – September, 1947) was an American sculptor, best known for his bronzes of Art-Déco style, popular in the 1920s.
Born in Albany, New York, he studied at the Pratt Institute and at the Art Students League of New York, and then in Paris for three years before his return to the United States in 1910. In 1914, McCartan became the Director of the Sculpture Department of the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design in New York City.
Posthumously honored by the National Sculpture Society, his public monuments were few -but the Eugene Field Memorial (“Winken, Blinken, and Nod” also know as “The Dream Lady”) can still be found in the Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago.

Other works can be seen at Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina, and the Grosse Pointe War Memorial in Michigan. New Jersey Bell Headquarters Building -a national historic site in Newark- New…

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Edward McCartan (II) – Some daring elegance

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This is a second gallery with carefully selected and adequately presented images of sculptures by Edward Francis McCartan (Albany, NY, 1879-1947), among the big lot that one may find on the Web -many of them with low resolution and wrong captions.

I will add very few comments (if any) and explanations about them in this post, since I fairly think that the works speak by themselves, and do it eloquently.

I have chosen three bronzes:

Diana and Hound, 1920, in the Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, Wisconsin:

edward-mccartan-diana-and-hound-1920-2-adjDiana and Hound (1920 – bronze – lat. left)

edward-mccartan-diana-and-hound-1920-4-adjDiana and Hound (1920 – bronze – front)


Another Diana (with another hound) of a smaller size and slightly more stylised, with slimmer and taller figures, both the woman and the dog. (This sculpture belongs to a private collection) :

Edward McCartan Tutt'Art@Diana with hound (1922 -bronze…

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Enthralling illustrations by Inga Moore for “The Wind in the Willows” (II)

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[Pala late – Ariel -, kai kamlas “E Balval ande le Selchinde”… Me xalem lako ilo !]

I read Kenneth Grahame’s “The Wind in the Willows” (in a paperback, clumsily illustrated edition) as a teenager, after my father died, and it soothed my mind and helped me to stand the blow in a way I could not explain, beyond saying it made me feel snug and somewhat protected. Naturally, this book still is among my favourites.
When I read it again, two decades later -perhaps, trying to reproduce the same sensations I had at fifteen years-old-, I already knew the illustrations by Inga Moore and, contemplating them, I though “This is it. This story “looks” like this, and not in any other way.” (Which is, of course objectionable, but also very valid; and frankly speaking, I must say that I love the illustrations as much as the tale itself -and…

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