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.

13 August 2015

Three Laughers of the Museum with|out Borders

A favourite story-time tale at bLOGOS/HA HA is The Three Laughers of Tiger Glen

Here, from the Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University :

According to an old Chinese legend, one day the Daoist priest Lu Xiujing and the Confucian poet Tao Yuanming visited the Buddhist monk Huiyuan, who had become a recluse and vowed never to leave his mountain temple. As they concluded their visit together, the three friends became so caught up in conversation that Huiyuan inadvertently crossed the bridge over the Tiger Glen, a ravine that formed the boundary of the temple precinct. As soon as they realized what had happened, the men burst into laughter at the absurdity of this transgression. The parable teaches that true wisdom is gained when boundaries of difference are overcome through mutual understanding.
The theme became popular in Japan, especially among Kano-school artists whose subject matter and ink-painting style derived from Chinese traditions. Here, the three men are shown laughing together at the edge of the glen, having just crossed the bridge over a raging torrent.

 click image to enlarge
 Kano Doun Masanobu
 Japanese, 1625–1694
 Three Laughers of the Tiger Glen
 hanging scroll: ink and colours on silk
 Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University
Enactments of this theme have now become popular in the West, especially among the Museum flash mobs. 

Three Laughers of TAR  

 click image to enlarge                       photo courtesy LM of TAR

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