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.

14 March 2011

Jeu de Massacre

In our heap here we have a number of French cards (c.1880-90) that depict the children's game Jeu de Massacre. (Literally The Game of Massacre ; also translated as The Killing Game.)

These come to mind as we the rest of the world regard the present struggle in Libya. As discussions continue in the United Nations and elsewhere about the possibility of imposing a no-fly zone over this region, General Gaddafi 's army and air force are gradually putting down the people's rebellion of recent weeks. Everyone knows these liberty seekers will face a terrible retribution if the Gaddafi forces are successful.

In this tableau two officials of the Theatre of the Actors of Regard observe, with their hands in their pockets, the threat of an armed Government agent.

Come the counter-revolution...

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

someone looks at something ...