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.

23 June 2009

Frank Gallagher Staggers into an Art Museum ( Now Read On )

Last night on SBS : episode 6.13 of Shameless. David Threlfall both directs and plays Frank Gallagher. ( Now Read On )

Frank's youngest child Liam is taken by the Social, so Frank gets smashed. Somehow in the dark he wanders into an Art Museum.
"Where the fuck?!"

A security guard knocks him to the floor.
"Oh this is how it works, does it? A human being seeks sanctuary and you put me outside ... and my next move is a bomb in a kit ... I just need someone to talk to ...."

The guard takes pity and soon they are sitting across from each other sharing spirit ("What, you think just because I'm Polish I drink?") and comparing pain.

"I have big feelings, and I am articulate about them. It's like there is a stalactite that hangs cold and hard from my heart to the pit of my stomach and I am cold inside, Frank ...".
"Oh stop your fucking moaning ...".

Two untethered souls debate their pain-filled definitions of Real Loneliness. We see, we are shown between them an illuminated backdrop, a golden framed image of The Good Samaritan (George Frederick Watts, 1850).

Finding no solace in Frank, the guard leaves him. "For a shit!". Frank falls to his feet and through his blur responds to the summons of another golden framed depiction.

Christ Blessing Little Children (Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, 1839). Frank recognises the scene. He knows these children.

"... don't look at me like that ... at least now you've got a sporting chance ... not that you need it ... you all turned out stunning ... I always thought that you can't be mine ... but you can't be mum's either ... but you're all leaving ... Fiona, Lip, ... the fuck is it ... and before you know it .... Ian, Carl, Debbie ..."

"... and then what have I got ... you're my life's work ... my Sistine Chapel ... you might be better off without me ... but I'm fucked without you ..."

Clear for a moment, Frank's interior voice soberly announces the epiphany :
"And there it was, that feeling - neurons forming, synapses firing, brain chemistry kicking in - a decision being made like fucking granite."

In his agony Frank is Christ as Brando:
"Stellaaaaaaa! Liammmmmm! Ste............. ..! (unclear)"