Thursday, 3 April 2008

Vincent Van Gogh- Red Vineyard, Road With Cypress & Star

I'm reading Isaac Singer's excellent The Slave, and in it is quoted from the Simchath Torah liturgy:

Who was he? What was his name,
The old man who ascended the heights
And brought down the strength of confidence?

Which seems a kind of declaration of the role and importance of the artist. He proclaims to humanity the depth of their own nature, makes it visible, awakens it. Which is why the modern world pushes an artistic standard of inanity, Pop Idol, etc, and man sees, as he is intended to see, his nature in the light of these diminutive, artistic projections.
Unhappily for these strange souls a Vincent Van Gogh flings the cat out of the bag with his revelations of life as blazing infinity. An injection of truth into the medium of consciousness. For this reason of life being inseparable from such infusions, it is impossible to conceive of the present without certain figures like Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Van Gogh, in recent times The Beatles. Life would be much poorer and less vivid for their absence, out of all proportion, one might imagine, to the biological existence of a few individual human beings in time.

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