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.

23 May 2020

Falls the Shadow

In today's edition of Memo Review 
Rex Butler regards ...
Theatre of the Actors of Regard  
 Jane Sutherland, Obstruction, Box Hill, 1887, oil on canvas, 
 41.3 x 31.1cm. Art Gallery of Ballarat.

Here, we draw (see below)
and re-read Part 5 of T S Eliot's The Hollow Men :


    Here we go round the prickly pear
    Prickly pear prickly pear
    Here we go round the prickly pear
    At five o'clock in the morning.

    Between the idea
    And the reality
    Between the motion
    And the act
    Falls the Shadow
                                   For Thine is the Kingdom
    Between the conception
    And the creation
    Between the emotion
    And the response
    Falls the Shadow
                                   Life is very long
    Between the desire
    And the spasm
    Between the potency
    And the existence
    Between the essence
    And the descent
    Falls the Shadow
                                   For Thine is the Kingdom
    For Thine is
    Life is
    For Thine is the
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

                             .  .  .  .

"Now all I have is a reproduction, and it is not enough. Sometimes it just isn’t. I can’t wait for all this to be over, so I can get out of my paddock and go and see for myself. Like the young girl in Sutherland’s painting—and, needless to say, this is to make it just another in that long line of works of art that are seen somehow to be prophetic of our current plague—I feel obstructed. I feel cowed. I feel covid.

The painting reaches over to me, across the fence separating us. But more than anything, I just want to stand there before her and it and be judged. Have I done right by them? Have I let them out of the paddock?"

- Rex Butler

Theatre of the Actors of Regard  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...