Karenin

In The Unberable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera describes an encounter between Tereza and one of her neighbours while she walked with her beloved dying dog, Karenin:

“Along the way, they met a neighbour who was hurrying off to a cow shed in her rubber boots. The woman stopped long enough to ask. ‘What’s wrong with the dog? It seems to be limping. ‘He has cancer,’ said Tereza. ‘There’s no hope.’ And the lump in her throat kept her from going on. The woman noticed Tereza’s tears and nearly lost her temper: ‘Good heavens! Don’t tell me you’re going to bawl your head off over a dog!’ She was not being vicious; she was a kind woman and merely wanted to comfort Tereza. Tereza understood, and had spent enough time in the country to realize that if the local inhabitants loved every rabbit as she loved Karenin, they would be unable to kill any of them and they and their animals would soon starve to heath. Still, the woman’s words struck her as less than friendly. ‘I understand,’ she answered without protest, but quickly turned her back and went her way. The love she bore her dog made her feel cut off, isolated. With a sad smile, she told herself that she needed to hide it more than she would an affair. People are indignant at the thought of someone loving a dog. But if the neighbour had discovered that Tereza had been unfaithful to Tomas, she would have given Tereza a playful pat on the back as a sign of secret solidarity.”

Walking the Dog. Keith Arnatt. 1976-9.

Walking the Dog. Keith Arnatt. 1976-9.

God saw I was Dog / Dog saw I was God. Peter A Hutchinson. 1975

God saw I was Dog / Dog saw I was God. Peter A Hutchinson. 1975

Kundera also talks about man’s dominion over animals:

“The very beginning of Genesis tells us that God created man in order to give him dominion over fish and fowl and all creatures. Of course, Genesis was written by a man, not a horse. There is no certainty that God actually did grant man dominion over other creatures. What seems more likely, in fact, is that man invented God to sanctify the dominion he had usurped for himself over the cow and the horse. Yes, the right to kill a deer or a cow is the only thing that mankind can agree upon, even during the bloodiest of wars. The reason we take that right for granted is that we stand at the top of that hierarchy. But let a third party enter the game –a visitor from another planet, for example, someone to whom God says, ‘Thou shalt have dominion over creatures of all other stars’ — and all at once taking Genesis for granted becomes problematical. Perhaps a man hitched to the cart of a Martian or roasted on the spit by inhabitants of the Milky Way will recall the veal cutlet he used to slice on his dinner plate and apologize (belatedly!) to the cow.”

Advertisements

Olympia

Edouard_Manet_-_Olympia_1863

Olympia. Edouard Manet. 1863.

A Parody of Manet's Olympia with Junyer and Picasso. By Pablo Picasso. 1902.

A Parody of Manet’s Olympia with Junyer and Picasso. By Pablo Picasso. 1902.

The Black and The White. Felix Vallotton. 1919

The Black and The White. Felix Vallotton. 1919

Mel Ramos, Manet's Olympia, 1974. Lithograph.

Mel Ramos, Manet’s Olympia, 1974. Lithograph.

Portrait (Futago). Yasumassa Morimura. 1988

Portrait (Futago). Yasumassa Morimura. 1988

5.1.2

Olympia, YSL Spring 1999 ad campaign for Rive Gauche, shot by Mario Sorrenti.


Eternal Spring

Eternal Spring. Auguste Rodin.

Eternal Spring. Auguste Rodin. 1906-7.


Fallen Angel

Winged Man The Fallen Angel Odilon Redon

Winged Man (The Fallen Angel) Odilon Redon. 1880.


Absence

By Paul Eluard

I speak to you across cities
I speak to you across plains

My mouth is upon your pillow

Both faces of the walls come meeting
My voice discovering you

I speak to you of eternity

O cities memories of cities
Cities wrapped in our desires
Cities come early cities come lately
Cities strong and cities secret
Plundered of their master’s builders
All their thinkers all their ghosts

Fields pattern of emerald
Bright living surviving
The harvest of the sky over our earth
Feeds my voice I dream and weep
I laugh and dream among the flames
Among the clusters of the sun

And over my body your body spreads
The sheet of it’s bright mirror.

Separation. Edvard Munch. 1896.

Separation. Edvard Munch. 1896.


Cheese Man

image

Portrait. Roy Liechtenstein. 1977.


Summer Evening

Summer Evening. Edward Hopper. 1947.

Summer Evening. Edward Hopper. 1947.