Saturday, April 19, 2014

Pictures & Prose

Pauline Boty
The Only Blonde in the World
oil on canvas 

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"In truth, every man's body is an announcement of a future disappearance. ... If we ever need to know what will go away, we need only look at a person. Anyone."
– Ben Marcus 

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Richard Hamilton
My Marilyn

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"Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses": Oh! Is it possible just to set about paraphrasing these two sentences   the burning-seething complex of the dreadful realities and hallucinations of suffering and ethos? Give our daily bread today  so you are aware that many is the time you do not? Is it necessary for you to draw our attention to yourself with the refined Inquisitional levers of misery, illness, and death? Again making us aware of the distance: do you have such a strong wish that patients on operating tables feel in the nauseating totality of their fear how much they are not God, just rags; that Jesus Christ on the cross should feel that you had deserted him  do you want that so badly? Can the infinite being want such danses macabres of finitude? Is it a particular favor for you to give bread?" 
 Miklos Szentkuthy 
translated by Tim Wilkinson

When Miklos Szentkuthy wrote his anti-Christian essay in 1935 in Hungary, my mother was three years old, the grandchild of Swedish immigrant farmers and laborers living in the American Midwest. Less than twenty years later she gave birth to me, the great-grandchild of Swedish immigrant farmers and laborers living in the American Midwest. As I came to consciousness during the 1950s, then, I was enveloped in an aggressive, isolated, absolutist medieval-Scandinavian-Christian worldview, quite untouched by the corrosive doubts that had dominated mainstream Europe over the past several centuries.