Self-portrait with Saskia

Lionello Puppi’s “Rembrandt”

Lionello Puppi’s is a fine, short work on Rembrandt. Aside from Rembrandt’s indisputable greatness, I am additionally drawn to him because he was born in the same town as I, Leiden, and studied, in Amsterdam, under Pieter Lastman, said to be “the most influential Dutch painter of the time,” and who greatly admired the Italian…

Solitary tree in the light of the beginning of summer, Tatlow Walk, Stanley Park, Vancouver. 22 June 2015. (Photo: Hendrik Slegtenhorst)

Solitary Ethics Trilogy

The poetic trilogy Solitary Ethics is an exploration of ethical and moral considerations. Book I deals with right action in the context of the experience of the individual will; Book II, in the context of the absolute nature of the essence of being; and Book III in the context of human desire guided by reason. The trilogy…

Mahler and Freud Meet in Leiden – Of the Pilgrimage of Life – Hendrik Slegtenhorst (2017)

The subject of Mahler and Freud Meet in Leiden, a book of poetry, is the contract life imposes on a human being as the fundamental condition of its existence. It is explored as the unstated, never negotiated covenant between existence and life; that is, the conditional situation that existence provides to those that live within it, and…

Beethoven – Piano Sonata 27 in e, Op. 90 (1814)

From time to time, I revisit the 1932-37 recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas by Artur Schnabel. Schnabel, a consummate musician renowned for his intellectual incisiveness, was the first pianist to record the entire cycle of Beethoven’s piano sonatas. The interpretation of Op. 90, which returns structurally to a format of two movements, is remarkable.…

Caravaggio - David with the Head of Goliath (1610). The face of Goliath is Caravaggio's. The face of David is Cecco, the painter's studio assistant and lover whom he abandoned for Malta.

J.S. Bach and the Concept of Right Action — Cantata Text Booklet for the Holy Days, from Caravaggio’s Dagger (VI:7)

I have been asked from time to time about the origin of the relationship between the painter Caravaggio and my book, Caravaggio’s Dagger. The painter’s way of life and how he depicted life in his work constitute one of the exemplifications of abandonment of right action. This exemplification is stated expressly in the concluding Taxonomy in poem…