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.

02 April 2015


Last night, David Malouf spoke with Tony Jones on Late Line. Here's an extract from that interview :

Tony Jones : Let me take you at a broader level to the implications of what writing is and what writers can do in society as citizens.

And you say the real enemy of writing is talk. What does that mean?

David Malouf : That means…

Tony Jones : …because you’re quite good at talking.

David Malouf : That means that writers, who are sometimes good talkers, know that if you have some kind of idea or something that has caught your interest and you talk about it too much you’ll talk yourself past it.

And that what writing is about is not to indulge quickly in the annunciation of ideas, but to say to yourself What is this idea, and where does it go?

And that may mean being quiet and working slowly, and letting the idea declare itself to you rather you to declare the idea.

And it’s almost as if the writing was like an angel at your/waiting to speak, and if you speak too quickly the angel will have nothing more to say.


The Annunciation, fresco by Brother Angel / Fra Angelico,
1438–45, Museum of San Marco, Florence  

The Self conceives ] of ( The Other

Malouf and the angel of the writer. 
The Bible and The Annunciation of the Logos.

The Life of The Creator

The mystery of concept/ion 
Acceptance of the seed of an other
Patience, quietude and humility in gestation
Birth, revelation

The Annunciation, tempera on wood by Brother Angel /
Fra Angelico, 1430-32, The Prado, Madrid

Malouf's advice also reminds of the fourth ailment of the curia as described by Pope Francis last year :

4) Planning too much 

“Preparing things well is necessary, but don’t fall into the temptation of trying to close or direct the freedom of the Holy Spirit, which is bigger and more generous than any human plan.”

The Annunciation, fresco by Brother Angel / Fra Angelico,
late 1430s, Museum of San Marco, Florence.  
The interior depicted reproduces that of the cell in which it is located.
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something ...