Monthly Archives: December 2011

The other Aphrodite

Her name is Diotima of Mantinea. Who?

Diotima of Mantinea is a female philosopher and seer from ancient Greece. She plays an important role in Plato’s Symposium and her ideas are the original concept of Platonic love. There are no other historical records of the seer except for Plato’s metaphysical hocus-pocus, it is uncertain whether she was real or a fictional creation. However, Plato has the reputation to refer to real persons living in ancient Athens. This is one of her portraits.

In Symposium, the party goers discuss the meaning of love. Socrates, Plato’s teacher, says that in his youth he was taught “the philosophy of love” by Diotima of Mantinea, who successfully postponed the plague with her magical weapon: LOVE. In Socrates’ view  love represents the feminine wisdom.

For the ancient Greek, god is love. The Celestial Aphrodite and the Vulgar Aphrodite. Although the Celestial love is deemed the purest, any love may become a stepping stone to the Divine form whether it be romantic love, maternal love, or the love of friends. All are ruled by Aphrodite and all may be forms of Diotimic or Platonic love.

* I thank my friend Jerin Tahapary who brought me to Diotimic matters as we discussed ancient female philosophers inclucing Hypathia of Alexandia.


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It’s so flute: a piece of advice for 2012


Every case of phobia is a little different. Because the core of the problem – the patterns of thinking, the images, moves, sounds and dialogue that are internally associated with “flutes” – are different in each person. Watch the acid flute dance from St. Germain and analyse your shadows ~

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The basic spelling of a kiss

Errors found in the Kindle of my novel BUTTERFLY, including those that occurred during conversion and the ones I overlooked. I am fully responsible for the latter. I will be updating this list, I welcome my readers to report your findings that cause pain in your neck as they do mine.

*  “…AD and the other old age disease. To let the fancy roam. Feel free. After that I can handle life –

What’s up, champion? I see something is bothering you?”

Reigan tells. He deliberately left out the crucial part, only arguing that they will need extra sickrooms… (Layout is wrong in Kindle and screwed up my intention!)

*  “ …the story puzzled me back then. It still does today.”

*  There is a local legend about dolphin males trying their shotgun with pearl diving girls, said the woman, grinning.

*  “…in case you are hungry, which I think you are – he reaches for the shopping bag on the floor,

*  “…The thrill I never knew before! I thought I would be punished one day for being so happy.

 >>>>>>Follow the link to download a better book impression & layout 


       A kiss can be a comma, a question mark or an exclamation  point. This is the basic spelling we should know.

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Peel slowly & see



(The original  butterfly tattoo was created by the British artist Damien Hirst, tattooed to the crotch of Shauna Taylor, a 23-year-old model who wants to give birth through a piece of art. The image was the debut cover of Dasha Zhukova’s provocative art & fashion magazine Garage. Image slightly modified by J O’Yang.)  

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A hot December kiss

I intended to have my novel uploaded on 22 December 2011 at 9 am sharp Amsterdam time. Why this particular date? 

In 1858, Giacomo Puccini, the Italian composer was born on this day, who would later create Cho Cho, the most famous and famously tragic butterfly who “is like a porcelain doll and sets them on fire”.

In 2005, again on this very special day, astronomers announced the discovery of two more rings encircling the planet Uranus. The ancient god of Heaven is “crowned” today.

As a fiction writer, I have a penchant for facts. The unfortunate fact is that Kindle upload is jamming terribly since yesterday evening. From high tech and dreams as high as heavens, I’m suddenly dropping back to medieval speed, weight and resistance. Such is life.

However, this is my peace-offering kiss to you, dear reader of my work. Click on the image to DOWNLOAD 1st chapter Butterfly, A novel as well as a sneak preview of my current project.

I understand that it can take up to 72 hours before everything would be settled as I wish. For which I apologise. WATCH ME CLOSELY!

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They are not the only ones crying

(Source: De Pers, original article in Dutch)

What is going to happen after the death of Kim Jong-il? Korea expert Remco Breuker from the University of Leiden answers four questions.

Q What does the death of the “Great Leader” mean for the ordinary North Koreans?

A They fear that prices are going up even more. The prices for rice have soared during the recent months. Especially the poor have suffered from this. People can barely pay their rice. There is a great gap of wealth in North Korea. The rich are having a good life and the poor have very little money. Then there is inflation. Life is hard in North Korea except for the elite.

Q Are the tears that we see on TV real?

A They are partly exaggerated. But the emotion is still true to some extent. The North Koreans have lost their Kim. After all, he was the leader who made it possible for such a small country to stand up against the major world powers. He has managed to keep the enemy out.

Q Will his death lead to a North Korean spring?

A I do not know where such a movement should come from. All the resistance against the regime comes from outside. All dissidents have fled North Korea. Besides, foreign powers do not benefit  from the fall of the regime. Japan, China, the United States and South Korea are looking for a slightly more open policy. The North Korean government has become a lot more flexible in recent years. Last year, for example, 130,000 South Koreans have been on a business trip to North Korea. That was unthinkable ten years ago.

Q Will the Army accept his son as his successor?

A The position of Kim Jong-un is not so bad. He has worked hard to establish himself as the country’s young leader. It’s still uncertain whether the army would accept the young Kim. It’s possible that someone else will take his place. The Army controls the real power anyway and is behind the political scenes. I can imagine that they prefer to continue their influences in the old way.

Follow the url to read how China scrambles for clues after Kim’s death:

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Pillows, a room, her private kingdom

Julie O’Yang and Jeremy Fernando converse about writing, reading, art—not just as separate crafts, but as gestures that open registers in each other. A writer is always already her first reader; a painter has to bring both reading and writing together in her imagination whilst—and at their highest level both are forms of art. But, even as they come together, they remain irreducibly different—only perhaps in ways that remain veiled from us. As an acknowledgment that they may never be able to unveil anything about writing, art, or reading—that their conversation is a gamble that may open nothing other than the fact that O’Yang and Fernando are speaking—their dialogue bears echoes of Tumbling Dice.

Self-portrait by J O’Yang

On Reading and Art 

or on fluttering & gamble of imagination 

                                           (feat Tumbling Dice by The Rolling Stones)

‘Cause all you women is low down gamblers
Cheatin’ like I don’t know how
But baby, I go crazy, there’s fever in the funk house now
This low down bitchin’ got my poor feet a itchin’
You know you know the duece is still wild
JF: At the end of Butterfly, A Novel, you comment: “A few liberties have been taken with the historical record in the interest of the truth.” And in an interview with Eric Abrahamsen you state: “Literature is something else, and demands the imagination from the author as much as from the reader.” Clearly, to you, writing is creation, invention. However, we are also never using our own language: it is borrowed, stolen, an act of memory—in other words, an act of reading. How do you see the relationship between writing and reading, an author and her reader?
JO’Y: I have a terrible habit of reading five books at the same time. From Chinese classics I’d jump to T. S. Eliot and then to the latest Scandinavian thrillers or even travel guides, all in the same evening. In the meanwhile, I may have also checked related articles, visual material and films. My working place looks like a disaster area littered with post-apocalyptic disorder. Quite perverse actually that one is led by her whims to such an epic extent. Speaking of perversity. I don’t do Harry Potter though, never did, it’s a children’s book – not in the sense that Andersen is a children’s book, if you know what I mean.
To me, reading is essential. But most important of all, all the dead and freshly written letters receive a vitality through my reading. I don’t “read”, I interpret. I gamble on my intuition, my imagination. Most people have very little imagination. They are hardly moved by anything which does not directly touch them, which does not positively hammer its message upon their senses. But even a trifle, should it happen under their very eyes, and within the immediate range of their feelings, will instantly kindle in them a disproportionate amount of excitement. Unfortunately, this infantile – trend, should I say – in reading is encouraged by infantile publishers with their harebrained ambitions. Changes are necessary. If literature is to survive today’s shifting landscape, changes are vital. Authors, I am calling you to think outside the square. Change is a great thing. THINK POSITIVE! After all, Requiem is  hot music, isn’t it.  But take the gamble to WIN!
Sometimes I think it is rather silly that I can’t read normally, that I go through the process of “re-verb” either consciously or unconsciously every time when I pick up a book. I do enjoy a book when I do, though. And that is also what I ask of my reader. Enjoy, and soar on your wings of imagination! If I can’t give the reader this confidence, I consider it my failure. Every book is its own universe; the writer shows the way into a world no matter how weird  that world may seem. The writer takes a lot of risks, exposing his deepest fear, obsessions, infatuation and delight to be explored by his reader like the body of a long lost lover. I ask an awful lot, I know. Nevertheless, it is also my love letter to my audience. 
But baby, get it straight
You got to roll me and call me the tumblin’
Roll me and call me the tumblin’ dice
JF: Who are some of your influences—both in writing and in art?
JO’Y: Nabokov, Nabokov and Nabokov. Then again, I read everything that catches my attention for some reason. For my art it’s pretty much the same. I am a museum junk. I draw influences from everywhere. Italian masters, ancient Sumi-e ink wash, Modigliani’s lyricism, Francis Bacon’s raw, tender and sore, Georgia O’Keeffe’s sensuality, Caravaggio’s puzzling violence… Recently I delve a little bit more into Durer and some Flemish masters such as Lucas Cranach. The intimacy of the old masters fascinates me; intimacy like “let’s sit down and draw some air today”…
Shall I go on with fabulous name-dropping?
JF: Well, naming is a form of citation, of paying tribute to those that came before us, influenced us, taught us. In this way, I see your acknowledgments as a form of humility. But it is always also a manner of setting oneself as part of a lineage, a protection that one sets around oneself. As if to say that if you don’t agree with me, take it up with the network of great names that I name myself as part of. 
Women think I’m tasty, but they’re always tryin’ to waste me
And make me burn the candle right down
But baby, baby, I don’t need no jewels in my crown  
JF: Do you consider yourself an artist?
JO’Y: First, in answering to The Stones…I have all sorts of problems and feel often discouraged. Nothing new. Life is life, no exception for an artist. Really, there is no glamour in sweating so much in order to pull yourself through the process of creation. I swear I don’t smell like a flower in bed. I sleep naked because I have learned to tolerate my own presence: the sweating artist.
The Greek word “tekhnê” is   often (mis)translated as “art”. The word has a taste of craft. The artist is no   more than Handarbeiter, but certainly no less.
In ancient Greece, the nine   Muses oversee a different field of human creation: Calliope who has a beautiful speech is the guardian of poetry. Clio is the muse of history. Erato, the amorous one, is for lyrical and erotic songs. Euterpe pleases us with music.   Melpomene loves tears and tragedy. Polymnia prefers rhetoric. Terpsichore unifies music  and dance. Thalia is bird happy and favours comedy and bucolic beauty. Urania,   the celestial one, is drunk with stars in the velvet sky. All of them are my guardians and friends. In that sense, I am an artist. Yes. I translate that which I touch with my hands into something others can feel, real and strong, like an injection through your veins. It asks certain skills, not only passive skills. The artist needs to go through the   transformation himself in reaction to the reality. Without connection with what   happens in the world, without referring to it, art is a dead, cold corpse.
I do, I understand, I   show/explain simply, and I’m still puzzled. This is my motto.
JF: Does a writer and an artist (if you consider yourself one; if you don’t then an artisan) have any responsibility towards society? Or is there (primary) responsibility to their craft?
JO’Y: Art deals with the individual and concerns the individual. By exposing him/herself, the artist relates him/herself to a community. She/He has the license to question. She/He has the power to change. She/He represents freedom. 
Oh, my, my, my, I’m the lone craps shooter
Playin’ the field ev’ry night 
Jeremy Fernando is Jean Baudrillard Fellow at The European Graduate School. He is also the author of Reflections on (T)error,Reading Blindly, The Suicide Bomber; and her gift of death, and Writing Death.


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A thousand kisses deep, a thousand kisses on your skin. Counting down to the Butterfly release

BUTTERFLY, a novel by Julie O’Yang soon available on Kindle. Watch the official book trailer.


GIMME BUTTERFLY KISSES (subscribe to kiss feed today!)


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