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.

21 June 2010

Routine Inspection

We gathered last night around absinthe and pizza to watch the latest episode of Doctor Who : Vincent and the Doctor.

Vincent van Gogh and three doctors, no less : Gachet, Who and Black.

Bill Nighy as Doctor Black. How inspired! (Richard Curtis wrote this episode.) Doctor Erebos, as it were, Being of Darkness, Guide for the habitués of the Gallery Underworld.

Dr Who and the Theatre of the Actors of Looking :

At the Musée D'Orsay, Doctor Who interrupts Doctor Black's gallery tour. He flashes his psychic paper : "Routine inspection. Ministry of Art and... Artiness."

Who and Black coyly admire each other's bow tie.

Still at the D'Orsay, Amy Pond holds a picture card of Vincent's "L'église d'Auvers-sur-Oise" (1890) in front of that painthing and exclaims : "There it is. The actual one". Soon she and Dr Who will travel to 1890 and that very church, the actual actual one.

At Auvers-sur-Oise, 1890, Vincent offers Amy and Doctor Who a small gift, a to-be-famous self-portrait. Look, love, laugh and let go.

Dr Who also offers a gift. He and Amy bring Vincent van Gogh to the Musée D'Orsay 2010. Astonished, Vincent sees how future people will regard his painthings. He knows his bliss will be shared.

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something ...