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.

04 May 2014

Why are Australian postage stamps so uninspired and dull?

We get lots of mail from our correspondents in France. 

Here's a corner of stamps, not atypical, received from France last week.

One coincides with the (28 April) anniversary of the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust.

Another, the post-WW2 project for a united Europe.
Often we receive a mix of such stamps on any one envelope - a mix of dates, a mix of subjects, a mix of considered arrangment too - from senders who care about the exchange of signs. 

Here also is a block of six from 1986 that celebrate French cinema and the Theatre of the Actors of Regard. 

From the NY Times Nov 1986 :

The French now have a sheetlet of 10 stamps to commemorate the 50th anniversary of La Cinematheque Francaise, the French institution that includes a museum as well as a film projection theater. The French sheetlet was issued Sept. 22. It illustrates scenes from 10 French films and honors their directors.

The films are ''Vampires'' (Louis Feuillade), ''The Novel of a Cheater'' (Sacha Guitry), ''The Baker's Wife'' (Marcel Pagnol), ''The Belles of the Night'' (Rene Clair), ''Golden Cap'' (Jacques Becker), ''Grande Illusion'' (Max Lindner and Jean Renoir), ''The Mirror with Three Faces'' (Jean Epstein), ''Love Cry'' (Jean Gremillon), and ''The Wild Child'' (Francois Truffaut) 


And what about Australian stamps? Thoughts arise of a favorite Mike Brown work :  
The Little Sheep, 1972. 

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