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.

21 May 2012

Genius loci : commission +/- omission

Day 7 : another Letter to the Age 

Nelson was right
THERE have been a number of conservative responses to Robert Nelson's review (here) of the Fred Williams exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria (Arts, 8/5), in which he challenged the received view of the painter's work. The mild English modernity that Williams represented conveys a feeling similar to that experienced when viewing the work of early English painters who depicted the Australian landscape in a distorted manner that became gospel. Nelson rightly implies that Williams did not address the unconscious, the truth of place that cannot be objectified.
Juan Davila, Malvern East

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

someone looks at something ...