Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fjallskerðandi fjallskarð (Beguiling Gap in the Mountains)

A host marches north and through the Gap
And conquers and dominates and wanes
A troop fares south and through the Pass
And vanquishes and celebrates and passes
Empires of sun, empires of snow, empires of sand and of sea all -
All but trickles of water, flowing away, drying away,
Through the Gap.
And kneels and kneels again the tame, flat plain
Yet the Pass belongs to none
But those who pass, their eyes not set on what's beyond.

Une armée marche vers le nord à travers la Trouée
Et conquiert, et domine, et disparaît
Une troupe avance vers le sud à travers la Passe
Et vainc, et triomphe, et passe
Empires faits de soleil, ou de neige ou de sable, empires de mer tous -
Tous ne sont que filets d'eau, qui s'écoulent, qui s'épuisent,
À travers la Trouée.
Et la plate plaine servile s'agenouille encore et encore
Pourtant la Passe n'appartient
Qu'à ceux qui passent, sans regarder ce qui est au-delà.

Click me to read spoilers

Blick in das Tal von Kreuth by Wilhelm Alexander Wolfgang von Kobell.

Some Escapist Partialism again (you'll notice how Escapist Partialism tends to be used with 19th century art - this one is from 1810). There seems to be no "main subject" here, but I wonder... what's this grey shape at the front ? It really looks like a giant man with a top hat. Perhaps it was intended.

It would call for a form of Frontground Wonderworking...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jórsalaferðinn (The Journey to Jerusalem)

Thus appears
Thus walks past
And disappears
The Puy du Connétable, the stone grown upon stone.
A Puy is good, weary, slow, triumphant connétable,
But have you not thousands ? Each dune build upon dune, and hill gazed upon hill,
Your well is the desert - drink it to drunkenness
And well you'll have conquered, wayward crusader !

Ainsi paraît
Ainsi marche aux côtés
Et puis disparaît
Le Puy du Connétable, la pierre tirée de pierre.
Un Puy est bon, fatigué, lent, triomphant connétable,
Mais n'en as-tu pas mille ? Chaque dune bâtie sur dune, et chaque colline vue sur colline,
Ton puis est le désert - bois-le jusqu'à l'ivresse
Et puis tu conquerras, croisé égaré !

Click me to read spoilers

This one is, perhaps, a bit far-fetched ; but consider it an exercise in far-fetching. It is an extract from "Humours of an Election" by William Hogarth, and, as you may guess, the actual subject has very little to do with Palestine or Crusader castles. William Hogarth is a well-known painter and satirist whose main subject is 18th century England.

This illustrates how Minute Wonderworking (and especially Orthodox Marginalism) often relies on a combination of detail (here, William Hogarth's background depiction of what is probably supposed to be a church, as an icon of rural England - note the cottage nearby in the original picture) and lack of the selfsame detail (here, the depiction is blurry enough that one may perfectly imagine some kind of hilltop crusader castle, akin to this one for instance).

Behold the power of Minute Wonderworking : from 18th century England to 12th century Palestine in a snap of... mind.