Unreal Nature

January 1, 2015

The Real Trouble

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 6:35 am

… I am constantly surprised at the faintness of men’s talent for living …

This is from Gaudier-Brzeska: A Memoir by Ezra Pound (1970):

… One looks out upon American collectors buying autograph MSS. of William Morris, faked Rembrandts and faked Van Dykes. One looks out on a plutocracy and upon the remains of an aristocracy who ought to know by this time that keeping up the arts means keeping up living artists; that no age can be a great age which does not find its own genius.

[ … ]

… I am constantly surprised at the faintness of men’s talent for living, at the number of things they so willingly do without. The people who lived without Gaudier’s sculpture … perhaps Dolmetsch’s instruments … that cannot be ignorance … but still it is all one tendency.

“I have not repulsed God in his manifestations,” says the old Egyptian poet. Today I see so many who could not say, or who could scarcely say it, for these manifestations at their intensest are the manifestations of men in the heat of their art, of men making instruments, for the best art is perhaps only the making of instruments.

A clavichord or a statue or a poem, wrought out of ages of knowledge, out of fine perception and skill, that some other man, that a hundred other men, in moments of weariness can wake beautiful sound with little effort, that they can be carried out of the realm of annoyance into the calm realm of truth, into the world unchanging, the world of fine animal life, the world of pure forces.

[ … ]

[“At the start of the First World War, Gaudier-Brzeska enlisted with the French army. He appears to have fought with little regard for his own safety, receiving a decoration for bravery before being killed in the trenches at Neuville-St.-Vaast.” — Wikipedia]

… With a hundred fat men working overtime to start another war or another six wars for the sake of their personal profit, it is very hard for me to write of Gaudier with the lavender tones of dispassionate reminiscence. The real trouble with war (modern war) is that it gives no one a chance to kill the right people.

-Julie http://www.unrealnature.com/

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