The Literary Mind

Life, literature, and politics, from the inside out.

The Mustard Video

A video about my grandma's sense of precision and the mustard mess of artmaking

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My grandmother and father both loved the horse track.  They both loved to be right.  And to have evidence that they were right.  At the track, you watch brute force bodies barrel down the track but you sit in relative calm and make predictions.  It’s a controlled space for human power – for wits.  They loved the chance to master those horses with wit.

I once knew an artist who wanted to paint horses as realistically as possible, so she dissected them, and there was an article in the Times that claimed you could see her anger about her limits in realistic painting in the way she mutilated those horses.

I'm talking about precision and the mess in artmaking.

Here’s a video that makes sense of what I mean:


I am the video editor at Tin House Reels, the film division of Tin House Magazine.  We're always looking for short videos with psychological nuance.

Ilana Simons, Ph.D., is a literature professor at The New School as well as a practicing therapist.


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