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.

01 November 2009

Virus vs The Very Fabric

All Saints Day. The major political issues in Australia at the moment are, yet again, the conjoined Identity Construct and Border Defence. There are several boatloads of Sri Lankan, Afghan and other off-shore refugees presently exciting ideological passion; Australia's immigration detention 'facilities' (far from the word root, "easy") are full; and talkback radio-waves transport a flotilla of tongues.

A point often made is that the number of persons arriving in this country by boat and without a visa is miniscule in comparison with the number of those who arrive by plane then stay on after their visa expires. A commentator recently remarked that the latter are not as sexy as a boatload of desperates.

Then there's swine flu, bird flu, equine flu, cane toads, crown-of thorns starfish.... the economy... the environment... terrorists... drugs... "Thriller" zombie street parades (last weekend)... hoons...

These thoughts permeated last evening after this white fella and his non-dingo canine companion on their evening walk three times encountered groups of young children dressed as witches and skeletons, all abroad to initiate the neighbourhood. Halloween had 'arrived' in Australia. I'd heard the supermaket in-store propaganda a week ago, so knew it was coming. It's visa had been $tamped.

The heap initially acquired this (trimmed base) blotter for it's Halloween projection-space terror scene - Nothing to Fear but Fear/Nothing Itself - and had puzzled at the linking of this to the thinking of a bank. Now it makes a kind of sense.

2009.11.01_Halloween Projection Fear_illustration_sRGB_400w
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something . . .