Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof

European Diary: Balcony, Suite 503, Hotel Relais St.-Jacques, rue de l’Abbé de l’Epée; 11:00 p.m., Monday; June 28, 2004; Paris, France

In Europe, European Diary on December 12, 2004 at 1:09 am

From a trip to the Louvre:

“Le Grande Odalisque” by Ingres. Flesh so rotten it’s about to fall off the bone, a peach or partridge about to turn.

“Winged Victory of Samothrace.” Ambassadors from all over the Greek world, especially Asia Minor, came once a year to Samothrace, an island in the northern Aegean, to make homage to, and engaging in rites for, the “great gods” (as opposed to the Olympian Gods).

“Le Radeau de la Meduse” by Géricault.

“La Liberte Guidant le Peuple” by Delacroix. Muddy. Delacroix is surprisingly bad. Dreadful idiots taking each others’ pictures in front of the picture. They should take a picture of themselves in front of the photo they took in foront fo the picture by Delacroix and frame it, hangi it on their wall and take a picture of themselves in front of it.

At the Pompidou yesterday:

Derain.

The contemporary floor (1950s onward) was a floor dedicated to all the people who fell for the dadaists’ jokes (to be found on the floor below)

***

The Winged Victory of Samothrace

Balanced on a boat of broken marble,

Victory beats her wings in time with time,

An angel of the moment, a great improbable

Hummingbird of stone immune to flight.

Amid the shimmer of her massive wings

(Her head and hands have already disappeared)

With missing mouth thrown open wide she sings

To music played too fast for human ears,

Or too slowly for our brief intelligence

To recognize as song. Perhaps a thousand

Years from now she’ll take another breath

And make a second nucleus of sound.

Until then all who witness her shall rise,

A moment of eternity inside.

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