Sunday, February 21, 2010

Afdölum (Hidden valleys)

The hill is climbed, the forest ended -
Is there no more, is it all done ?
No, for there stands a house on the hill beyond,
And walk towards it, I will.
And a valley, and another, and a valley once more -
Should I hear a voice saying, "This is the end, I'll settle here",
I will stifle it, stifle it with the infinite void of the valleys beyond.

La colline passée, la forêt traversée -
Est-ce tout, est-ce achevé ?
Non, car voici un toit sur la colline au loin,
Et vers ce toit, je marcherai.
Et une vallée, et une autre, et une vallée encore -
Si j'entends une voix disant, "Voici la fin, ici je m'établis",
Je l'étoufferai, je l'étoufferai avec le vide infini des vallées au loin.

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Now this is true, orthodox marginalism, of the strict minutiaephile kind. The minute wonder above is from "The Appearance of Christ before the People" by Alexander Andreievitch Ivanov, and as you can see here, it is indeed a very, very minute wonder in the whole picture.

So much that one wonders (you should pardon the pun) why master Alexander thought and bothered with including it. But apparently, this good man took twenty years to complete this piece, so he probably had lots of time to think about adding minutiae here and there. Why he did, thought, I'd be curious to know.

Below is a less minute, but still very endearing minutia - the scattered buildings in the first valley. Perhaps it was the initial goal of our restless traveller ?

(Yes, I know - the retouching is not professional. That's because I'm not a professional.)

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