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God strengthen me to bear myself;
That heaviest weight of all to bear,
Inalienable weight of care.
All others are outside myself;
I lock my door and bar them out
The turmoil, tedium, gad-about.
I lock my door upon myself,
And bar them out; but who shall wall
Self from myself, most loathed of all?
If I could once lay down myself,
And start self-purged upon the race
That all must run ! Death runs apace.
If I could set aside myself,
And start with lightened heart upon
The road by all men overgone!
God harden me against myself,
This coward with pathetic voice
Who craves for ease and rest and joys
Myself, arch-traitor to myself ;
My hollowest friend, my deadliest foe,
My clog whatever road I go.
Yet One there is can curb myself,
Can roll the strangling load from me
Break off the yoke and set me free.
“Who Shall Deliver Me?” by Christina Rossetti (Mellery The Stairway; Khnopff I Lock the Door Upon Myself; Khnopff Who Shall Deliver Me; Rossetti Beata Beatrix)
My friend, and fellow Hitchcock fan, thought the houses in this scene from The Man Who Knew Too Much looked strangely familiar and figured out it was filmed here, on our very own streets. How it has changed! Great move to tear down those town houses and build estates, really, well done! At least the house on Royal College Street is still standing, they shouldn’t dare touching it, I hope. Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud lived there briefly in 1873 (a relationship which ended when Verlaine was imprisoned for shooting Rimbaud in the wrist). Well, it sure sprinkles some star-dust upon our block, God knows these dingy Camden streets need it.
It is the most exciting thing when artworks from private collections briefly enters the public domain of the auction rooms. If I had unlimited funds it is very likely I would spend a small fortune on the 5 o’clock tea antiquity type of art that is so (although little favoured by art critics) popular among collectors. My dream, someone else’s reality: Alma-Tadema’s “The Finding of Moses” sold for a whopping $35,922,500 the other day at Sotheby’s.
And at the same auction, “Portrait of Giovinetta Errazuriz”, Boldini’s lovely little Lolita, went for $6,578,500. If I could choose any artist, living or dead, to paint my portrait it would be Boldini. Or possibly a post-1900 Singer Sargent. Fluid and dazzling. I would love to paint myself actually. Were I an artist I would do a great deal of bleak self-portraits, I imagine.
Italy – the only place where romance isn’t cloying.
I have to say, the best thing about this whole thing is Carmen Dell’Orefice. She is so bloody fantastic. The dresses…hmm, not so much. I’ll be going after the gloves and shoes though. Satin ribbons galore….bring it on!