Wednesday, November 2, 2011

andre malraux

To my absolute delight, in rereading The Voices of Silence, by Andre Malraux, I find an astoundingly helpful discussion of the radically opposed ways of painting by Caravaggio (whose last paintings were dramatically displayed in London at the National Gallery a few years ago) and Georges de La Tour, whose several renderings of  Madeleine with the Vigil Lamp are so crucial to any presentation of the poem by Rene Char about it, which I loved translating and retranslating, and in fact to any presentation of the way that kind of Baroque imagination works in French poetry. I am privileged to be able to bring that up in my class today, From Mannerism to Modernism: French art and text. It is moments like this that keep enthusiasm for teaching alive, it seems to me. 

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