Feb. 21, 2022


With the Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket Poe's only novel and a novel that the surrealists liked, critics tend to skim over it at best and go on quickly to discuss those other well known stories Poe wrote. Some even say that he ended it the way he did because he couldn't think of an ending. You can say a lot of things about Poe but one thing you can't say is that lacked imagination... and enough imagination to finish a novel he was writing.

One of Turner's last paintings is "Sunrise with Sea Monster." Turner pushed what you could get away with as a painter to the very limit in Victorian England. He pushed the concept and imagery in his paintings far enough to be considered insane by many. This painting is dismissed quickly as too obscure and has even been explained as being an image related to his dental problems. It just make me suspect that if he could have gotten away with it he would have pushed Victorian painting much much further.

I watch a YouTube video lecture on Apollo Sauroktonos the Lizard Slayer ( Apollo the Python Slayer in The Cleveland Museum of Art ) by a scholar not associated with the CMA. The person giving the lecture was symbolically vandalizing the work from every possible direction, and like someone ( Alcibiades ) from ancient Greek history, doing that just before leaving the country for a new job. I don't mind the trashing, but to me the noise and smoke and mirrors emphasis was on trashing, and not on scholarship. A huge disappointment was in the question and answer period after the lecture and that not one person ( and I'm assuming the lecture hall was full of graduate students and scholars ) brought up any of the many issues I had, or challenged some of the broad statements brought up in the lecture. Isn't that what they are taught to do, and their roll to do - to question, in the serious advancement of scholarship and the further understanding in their field.