David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

03 February 2009

Australia Day as projection-space : NGV and the Actor of Looking (again)


O Attic shape! Fair attitude! this brede
__Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
This post of white and the trodden weed;
__Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity. Cold field o' play!
__When old age shall this generation waste,
____Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
__"Beauty is truth, truth beauty"---that is all
____Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

from Ode to an Aussie Ern (with apology to to JK)
(original at... )