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.

18 October 2017

The old man and the mountain

Last week we regarded this image from an unattributed Japanese scroll : an unknown old man, bare-headed and bent over, regards a distant mountain, sacred Mt Fuji. Simple and profound, with unread words grid in addition.
Theatre of the Actors of Regard  
click image to enlarge  
Scene of our ongoing existential zeitgeist. Only the details change. 

Below, here it is again, a local moment replete with references that will soon be lost in the dust of time, pictured a few days ago by Alan Moir in the Sydney Morning Herald : the patheticly ineffective Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull humiliated by the toxic conservative ('Climate change is crap') and ceaselessly bothersome former Prime Minister Tony Abbott ... and you know or can research the rest. 

This from Question Time (p.28 Hansard) in the Parliament of Australia yesterday, after the Liberal-National Party COALition rejected the Chief Scientist's recommendation for a Clean Energy Target :
Mr SHORTEN (Maribyrnong—Leader of the Opposition) (14:41): My question is to the Prime Minister. Can the Prime Minister confirm that so far he has supported an emissions trading scheme and opposed it, supported an emissions intensity scheme and opposed it, ridiculed direct action and endorsed it, derided so-called clean coal and embraced it, and supported a clean energy target and today abandoned it? When the member for Warringah [Tony Abbott] is calling the shots, how can any Australians believe anything this out-of-touch Prime Minister says about lowering power bills? 

Alan Moir / SMH  click to enlarge 
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...