A graceful death—as a richly patterned kimono, thrown carelessly across a polished table, slides unobtrusively down into the darkness of the floor beneath. A death marked by elegance. ― YUKIO MISHIMA, Spring Snow.
Expressionist décor in Carl M.H. Wilkens’ apartment, Hamburg, 1925.
Banquet scene: man reclining and youth playing the aulos, tondo of Attic red-figure cup, Euaion painter, 460 BC.
Anonim murmured, « You have been - and will continue to be - my dream girl. I have visions of us gliding through gelid passageways of satinate obsidian into some wine-tinted future. Run with me. »
satinate obsidian, wow, i want to fall in love with you, i’m running, i’m running, let’s glide and evanesce
on a locomotive to nowhere, the passengers are all faceless here, liminal bodies, thunderstruck badlands pass by the windows like phantasms, i don’t know where i want to disembark, i’m faceless too, édith piaf warbling senselessly, abandoned power plants, a rusted crepuscule, a crepuscular rust, desolation and melancholy are boundless spaces, formless spaces, not voids, but plains, trains, extensions of time
Diane appuyée sur un cerf, atelier of Jean Goujon, 1549.
Massé has further reported that a wailing owl perching on a roof or tree harbingers a death and that to ward death off one takes a mirror and a vase of salt before the owl and says “Ḵᵛoš-ḵabar bāš!” i.e., “Bring us good news”. The cry of an owl is interpreted variously: If it screams on a housetop, the residents will receive bad news; if it screams only once and then goes away, it announces the arrival of a traveler. If the owl remains stubbornly singing in a tree, one must hold out some bread and salt and a mirror to it and say, “Fāṭme Ḵānom, we swear you by this bread and salt to augur well for us”. — ENCYCLOPÆDIA IRANICA, Būf.
Symbolica Dianæ Ephesiæ Statua, Claude-François Menestrier, 1688.
For the theater as for culture, it remains a question of naming and directing shadows: and the theater, not confined to a fixed language and form, not only destroys false shadows but prepares the way for a new generation of shadows around which assembles the true spectacle of life. To break through language in order to touch life is to create or recreate the theater; the essential thing is not believe that this act must remain sacred, i.e. set apart — the essential thing is to believe that not just anyone can create it, and that there must be preparation. This leads to the rejection of the usual limitations of man and man’s powers, and infinitely extends to the frontiers of what is called reality. We must believe in a sense of life renewed by the theater, a sense of life in which man makes himself master of what does not yet exist, and brings it into being. And everything that has not been born can still be brought to life if we are not satisfied to remain mere recording organisms. Furthermore, when we speak of the word “life,” it must be understood we are not referring to life as we know it from its surface of fact, but to that fragile, fluctuating center which forms never reach. And if there is still one hellish, truly accursed thing in our time, it is our artistic dallying with forms, instead of being like victims burnt at the stake, signaling through the flames. — ANTONIN ARTAUD, The Theatre and Its Double.
Still from Bardo Thodol, Simon Bogojević Narath, 2000.
Kokain, Anita Berber photographed by Madame d’Ora, 1922.
Two poems of mourning for a friend who has died are written in the elegant Japanese phonetic script known as hiragana. The papers of three colors are joined at the edges and embellished in silver with scattered plants and insects. This page belongs to one of the dispersed volumes called Ishiyama-gire from a lavishly decorated Anthology of Thirty-Six Poets. These two verses were composed by Ki no Tsurayuki. Beginning from the right, in three lines, the first poem reads: “A beloved friend whom I met until yesterday is gone today, swept away like mountain clouds.” The following verse continues the thought: “How tragic that although we live, whatever we have will surely die.”