“such pillars of fire must precede the great noontide”

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Gerardo Dottori – Burning City (1926)

“Here is the great city: where you have nothing to seek and everything to lose… Here is the Hell for hermits’ thoughts: here great thoughts are boiled alive and cooked small. Here all great emotions decay… Do you not smell already the slaughterhouses and cook-shops of the spirit? Does this city not reek of the fumes of slaughtered spirit?… Woe to this great city! I wish I could see already the pillar of fire in which it will be consumed! For such pillars of fire must precede the great noontide… I offer you in farewell this precept: where one can no longer love, one should pass by…”

– Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

“Behold, I am the prophet of the lightning!”

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Benjamin West – Franklin drawing electricity from the sky (1816)

“I love all those who are like heavy drops falling singly from the dark cloud that hangs over mankind: they prophesy the coming of the lightning and as prophets they perish. Behold, I am the prophet of the lightning and a heavy drop from the cloud!”

– Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

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raptured conductor

beckons the glorious maelstrom

to o’erthrow the ages

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art “striving for liberation” – quote from The Moon and Sixpence

“when I imagined that on seeing his pictures I should get a clue to the understanding of his strange character I was mistaken. They merely increased the astonishment with which he filled me. I was more at sea than ever. The only thing that seemed clear to me – and perhaps even this was fanciful – was that he was passionately striving for liberation from some power that held him. But what the power was and what line the liberation would take remained obscure. Each one of us is alone in the world. He is shut in a tower of brass, and can communicate with his fellows only by signs, and the signs have no common value, so that their sense is vague and uncertain. We seek pitifully to convey to others the treasures of our heart, but they have not the power to accept them, and so we go lonely, side by side but not together, unable to know our fellows and unknown to them. We are like people living in a country whose language they know so little that, with all manner of beautiful and profound things to say, they are condemned to the banalities of the conversation manual. Their brain is seething with ideas, and they can only tell you that the umbrella of the gardener’s aunt is in the house”

W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence 

Continue reading “art “striving for liberation” – quote from The Moon and Sixpence”

The Alpine Sublime – France/Switzerland trip May 2018

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the long snowy ascent…
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a small town hidden in a mountain valley

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“from peak to peak, the rattling crags among,

leaps the live thunder – not from one lone cloud

but every mountain now hath found a tongue

and Jura answers through her misty shroud

back to the joyous Alps, who call to her aloud!”

(Lord Byron – Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage Canto III)

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wandering through the heart of a glacier…
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The Romanticism crew!

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the stunning Mer de Glace on the Northern slopes of Mont Blanc

specks of people

tumble like rubble

over the mountain

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moments after taking this we went sliding down them snowy hills! …
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such magnitude… such silence…

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the medieval Chillon castle in Switzerland – which inspired Byron’s Prisoner of Chillon
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taken from the highest tower of Chillon
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Chillon dungeon
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misty mountains loom over lake Geneva

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“Give me madness, you heavenly powers!”

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William Blake – Cain fleeing the wrath of God (1805)

“Ah, give me madness, you heavenly powers! Madness that I may at last believe in myself! Give deliriums and convulsions, sudden lights and darkness, terrify me with frost and fire such as no mortal has ever felt, with deafening din and prowling figures, make me howl and whine and crawl like a beast: so that I may only come to believe in myself!”

– Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak

“let the reins fall before the infinite”

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Giorgio de Chirico – Perseus with his horse (1940)

“We seek those moments and marvellous experiences when a great power has voluntarily come to a halt before the boundless and infinite, when a superabundance of refined delight has been enjoyed by a sudden checking and petrifying, by standing firmly and planting oneself fixedly on still trembling ground. Proportionateness is strange to us, let us confess it to ourselves; our itching is really the itching for the infinite, the immeasurable. Like the rider on his forward panting horse, we let the reins fall before the infinite, we modern men, we semi-barbarians, and are only in our highest bliss when we are most in danger!”

– Friedrich Nietzsche