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Sunday, 20 June 2010


File:Kirchner - Marcella.jpg

Marcella, your revenant life came as a great
Surprise to us, as life itself does
To a chair of Bavarian oak. One day gazing back
Upon the present pathetic society

As a parent upon a disappointing offspring
Who has always commanded a threatening height

File:Ernst Ludwig Kirchner - Knabe mit  Schleuderpfeil - Jäger im  Wald - ca 1928.jpg

We will feel grateful to you perhaps. Past is example.
Past is also absence, however.
It is pretty insubstantial really, this foothold in the future
Which keeps slipping out from under us
Even while you are unfolding the lesson plan map. Life's anyway a bit
Like a cliff upheld by loose gravel

File:Ernst Ludwig Kirchner - Wildboden,  Bergwald - 1927-28.jpg

As rivers of doubt and uncertainty meander
Through it, leaving painted cardboard
Canyons. Gravity, in rivers, defies
Resistance, as daily life overcomes
The grief of our long endarkenment. You

Return, and then again a moment later are gone,

File:Kirchner - Selbstbildnis mit Modell.jpg

And this is how things unbearably go on.

File:Kirchner - Alpküche.jpg


God's essence is supposed to guarantee his existence -- what this really means is that what is here at issue is not the existence of something.

Couldn't one actually say equally well that the essence of colour guarantees its existence? As, opposed, say, to white elephants. Because all that really means is: I cannot explain what 'colour' is, what the word 'colour' means, except with the help of a colour sample. So in this case there is no such thing as explaining 'what it would be like if colours were to exist'.

And now we might say: There can be a description of what it would be like if there were gods on Olympus -- but not: 'what it would be like if there were such a thing as God'. And saying this is not to determine the concept 'God' more precisely.

-- Ludwig Wittgenstein, notebook, 1949


Paintings by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938)
, 1909
Boy with Arrow (Hunter in the Wood), 1928 (Museum Biberach)
Wild Terrain, Mountain Forest, 1927/28 (Galerie Iris Wazzau, Davos)
Self-portrait with Model, c. 1910 (Kunsthalle, Hamburg)
Alpine kitchen, n.d.

1 comment:



Yes, "how things . . . go on." These paintings perhaps an instance of "what 'colour' is, what the word 'colour' means. . . ."