Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Call Of The Goblins

“Lie close,” Laura said,
Pricking up her golden head:
“We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?”

“Come buy,” call the goblins...

from “Goblin Market”
by Christina Rossetti
at The Poetry Foundation

“Goblin Market”
at Wikipedia

Albert Wolff, for example, became art critic of Le Figaro—a position of such power that Manet virtually insisted on painting his portrait, despite Wolff’s almost invariable hostility to the work of the Impressionists. A good deal of bribery and intrigue went on in the world of art criticism. Artists and dealers paid for fulsome introductions to catalogues; and galleries found that papers and periodicals were more likely to review exhibitions favourably if they advertised in their columns. Even Manet’s portrait painting seems at times to have been used to reward services rendered. Among those whose portraits he painted were virtually all the critics who had been favourable to him...

“The one painter whom I like very much, from what I have seen of his here, is Cezanne; above all it’s his well-modelled apples that I like (I only know these three paintings by him). I almost forgot to mention that there’s an unfinished painting of Albert Wolff by Uncle Edouard, a wonderful portrait such as only Manet could have painted, which must be an extremely good likeness. Looking at this portrait, one has to say ‘what a marvellous thing’—especially considering how stupid and ugly the sitter is! Also in the collection are some of M. Degas’ racehorses, and some of the beautiful drawn dancers of this great master.”

Julie Manet
diary entry for the
Duret auction, 1894

“Why don’t you buy that Hitchcock book?” she asked.

“What?” I asked.

I looked over at what she was doing. She was sitting at my computer, logged into my Amazon account and looking at my browsing history.

“Why don’t you buy that Hitchcock book?” she said again. “I like that title: ‘Spellbound by Beauty’ That’s a cool title.”

“It’s a terrible book,” I said. “I read it from the library. It’s worse than that Paris Hilton book—I mean with contradictions from chapter to chapter. No editing at all. Just awful.”

“What about this movie?” she asked. “You talk about it all the time. ‘Prometheus.’ Why don’t you buy that?”

I laughed. “It’s an awful movie,” I said. “I mean, it’s interesting and all, but it’s really awful. I own the director’s cut of the original ‘Alien’ and it’s the same kind of film. Parts are interesting and it’s fun to think about the film, but so much of the film is just dumb that I don’t want to spend the money.”

“You’ve got to buy something,” she said.

“Get away from that computer,” I said. “I bought the painting knives. That was a good idea. I don’t want to buy anything else.”

“Buy the Hitchcock book,” she said.

“What is it with you and buying things?” I asked.

She laughed. “It’s the ‘Goblin Market,’” she said. “When I was a kid, I didn’t want to buy things from the goblins. I wanted to be one of the goblins.”

“The goblins were evil,” I pointed out.

She laughed. “The goblins were cool,” she said.

I reached past her and logged out of my Amazon account.

“Better safe than sorry,” I said.

She laughed. “Good thing I don’t have any fruit right now,” she said. “I’d rub it into your face.”

“I see,” I said. “So I like the Impressionists because of one person’s paintings, Berthe Morisot. You like the Impressionists because that was the time when paintings turned into just another assembly line product of the Industrial Revolution.”

Blah, blah, blah,” she said. “Now I’ve got a taste for fruit. Do you have any oranges? What about blueberries?”

“I don’t keep any fruit around here,” I said. “The fructose isn’t good for my blood sugar.”

She just made a face at me.

I laughed. “We could take a ride to the grocery store,” I said. “You know. And buy some berries.”

She grabbed my hand and pulled me to my feet.

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1 comment:

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