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If you don't see the one you want, just ask. We might not have it listed yet. Never circulated or read. Painted Ladies. Been in storage since printed. Of course — perhaps even one that plays with the dramatic reveal of whodunit — but a faithful adaptation would have been much more satisfying. I have mixed feelings about this one. I remember finding the book a tad dull when I first read it, and it was with a certain reluctance that I reread it fifteen or so years later.
I think the reason it seemed dull the first time around was the very domestic setting in which most of the action takes place. My younger self yearned for the more glamorous Christie trappings, which, in hindsight, are more often than not simply window-dressing for the puzzle on which the plot hangs. The plot of this one is very simple, the cast of characters kept very tight, but the TV adaptation suffers from unnecessarily trying to sex up the original material. Charles is here transformed into a sporting comrade of Hastings, and is much less interesting for it.
He has a speedboat accident in the opening minutes. Nobody cares. The wittering companion, Miss Lawson, and eccentric old ladies with an interest in the supernatural, the Misses Tripp, are wisely left alone, but the second niece, Bella, is played less as the downtrodden, devoted mother of the book, and more as a grumpy sourpuss with bad taste in frocks. If someone is presented as a sinister foreign villain, we will immediately discount him as being too obvious a candidate to be the murderer.
The screenplay also makes a more startling deviation from the original story by injecting another murder. If nothing else, this screenplay made me realise all over again how brisk and entertaining the novel is by comparison. The dialogue is delightful, from the wonderfully observed inane pleasantries of Miss Lawson to the drawling discontent of Theresa, the little grey cells are in full force, and most importantly, the denouement is a surprise. Overall, a lacklustre episode, which would have been served better by concentrating on the domestic tensions of the household to keep us all guessing, rather than throwing in an explosion and a second death to superficially liven things up.
This is one of the earliest Poirot novels, and Christie wears her influences very much on her sleeve. The novel begins with Hastings falling in love, as Christie is tiring of the eternal sidekick, and sensibly wants to send him packing. If only the TV show had caught up with this sooner, the mid-period dip in quality may have been avoided. Why does this story seem so drab? The plot is not terrible. The suspects are quite vivid and memorable, although not plentiful enough. Poirot has a rival whom he makes much fun of for running around measuring footprints and collecting cigarette ash, while the little grey cells do their work.
Marthe Daubreuil, noted beauty, but without the first idea how to pluck her eyebrows. Ooh la la!
The plot is a little too generic. A rich gentleman is found murdered in the grounds of his estate, physical clues are abundant, his family come under suspicion, and the plot is more convoluted rather than truly complex. The plot is tidied up a little, amalgamating two characters into one, but there are too many detectives and not enough suspects to make the reveal truly suspenseful. In short, a second-rate Christie, written while she was still finding her feet artistically, and paying homage to the greats who had gone before rather than reworking the rules that she was to make her own.
The screen adaptation is competent, but a little more focus on the various outlying characters and suspects would have made this more exciting. Fun fact: In the later adaptation of Cards on the Table, Poirot impresses Mrs Oliver by having spotted that two of her plots are identical. Such larks! This is an uneven adaptation, with some ingenious and much needed improvements to the plot, but also some incredible lapses of judgment by Anthony Horowitz, who would later find fame as the author of the Alex Rider teenage spy series. It was published in , when her talents were beginning to wobble.
Her sister works at a youth hostel which has been plagued by a series of petty thefts. Poirot is intrigued and agrees to investigate. The first problem with the adaptation is that it completely whitewashes the cast of characters. Their final failure is very reasonable, since it is only a person who knows about plants a farmer or a gardener, for instance who can succeed in planting anything, and not bayonets. Likewise, it is only politicians with the expertise necessary to govern a country democratically that will in the end see how that government takes root not dictators, of course.
In other words, the normal thing is that a seed, plant or a young tree grow if it happens that some conditions are applicable the quantity of water, minerals or sun, for example, are the appropriate ones, and the person who had put them into the ground knows how, when, and where to do so. Those who carry a bayonet with them may flout all of the basic principles mentioned above; and any gardening neophyte may make a mistake concerning the time when planting, the type of seed, or the quality of the ground; in the end, none of them should be successful.
Animalisation is another frequent device used in those cases when human beings are regarded as deprived of their most distinctive nature. I will mention two significant examples. The expression employed here is interestingly different from the ones found in dictionaries.
Then, that beast of prey will probably take advantage of a country that is unable to protect itself, or harm it in some way. He wants to depict those other capitalist countries under whose influence Russia might have been as selfish, violent, destructive, lacking in conscience, moved by basic instinctual needs that are characteristic of the survival of the fittest.
But that is only one of the sides of the coin Trotsky is playing with. The enemies of Russia are merely animals and Russia itself could be just their prey; however, that potential affected object is actually identified with the agent that will surely get rid of them because it does not like them, does not need them, or does not want to take responsibility for them.
The change of role, at least linguistically, was definitely a good means to encourage the Russian population to defend their ideas and interests. Whoever can cast out a beast of prey will be brave, strong and clever enough not to be taken over or affected by that bad influence. This type of metaphor is also preferred when trying to expose someone who has proved to be savagely cruel. That is the original set of constituents that must appear in a sentence with this predicator. If one person generally, a butcher butchers an animal, they will kill it and cut it up for meat. When this takes place, violence is used, lots of blood are shed and splattered, and the animal cries out in pain.
The individual who carries out this action is in the main considered to be simply doing their job. The metaphorical expansion of this word, however, modifies its meaning greatly, due to the change of some of the semantic features of the patient and, as a consequence, of the semantic features the speaker ascribes to the agent. Nature and good and evil. In the West, we take it for granted that democracy must be the only system of government ruling a country. Unfortunately, flowers can also be weak, too delicate or fine in appearance, very easily damaged and destroyed, and often unable to resist strong pressure or attack; in short, they can only survive for a short period of time that is the case of some young democracies, which at the beginning always seem to be in jeopardy.
That is why, in a way, some countries have decided to be carrying the torch of democracy for one hundred years against different totalitarian regimes which, metaphorically, may be ready to cut and stamp on any flower around, or enjoy watching how any flower withers, shrinks, dries up and dies. I have not mentioned others I did not have time to consider there e. As space is limited, the number of examples has also been reduced to the minimum. All things considered, however, I can summarise now some of the conclusions I have already been able to draw on evil, politicians and their use of language.
I expected to find evil identified with negative values, or notions, such as disease and inhumanness; and, among some other interesting aspects, that is something I found. Furthermore, I could see evil is not something whose referent everybody agrees on. Brutal politicians may consider their enemies to be evil.
And these, who have had to endure brutality and injustice, undoubtedly, describe those inflicting pain on them as evil, too. Therefore, the images used are exchanged among each other rather naturally. Throughout the 20th century, the speeches of political leaders, scientists, philosophers and other influential figures are full of references to that theoretical evil against which all of them have been fighting back. The difference is just a matter of perspective. In the second Gulf War, for George W. For Saddam Hussein, on his part, it was simply the opposite. Meanwhile, for those who are against war, the four of them are the best example of evil.
And, curiously enough, linguistically speaking, they also seem to be using the same resources, a discourse of evil resulting from pure wickedness in which there are very large numbers of metaphors that encapsulate basic notions of human existence implying what is harming and what is not for any human being, whatever their positioning and interests. Bibliography Beard, Adrian. The Language of Politics. Blair, Tony. Bush, George W. London: HarperCollins, Fairclough, Norman.
Critical Language Awareness. London: Longman, New Labour, New Language? Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Routledge, Fowler, Roger. Linguistic Criticism. London: Oxford University Press, London: Penguin, Heydrich, Reinhard. Hitler, Adolf.
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Politically Speaking. The Pragmatic Analysis of Political Language. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, This paper is an exercise in moral philosophy which looks at one kind of perpetrator of grave harm, exemplified by the Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann. The larger question at issue is as old as philosophy itself: What is the relationship between what we know and what we do? She was even accused of being herself anti-Semitic.
If we were responsive to this claim all the time, we would soon be exhausted; the difference in Eichmann was only that he clearly knew of no such claim at all. Is wickedness. Eichmann certainly lacked empathy for his victims, but this formulation does not get at the central gap in his character as well as the statement in her later lecture, which she repeats, only slightly altered, in the introduction to Thinking.
Do the inability to think and a disastrous failure of what we commonly call conscience coincide? The trouble is precisely that no wicked heart, a relatively rare phenomenon, is necessary to cause great evil. Yet only thinking gives us the vantage point—the step back—that enables us to see, if we can, what we are actually doing. His thoughtlessness took the specific form of conformity to the aims and forms of behavior of the Nazi killing program, a conformity he guarded so carefully he was still grumbling to his Israeli police interrogator years later about his slow advancement through the military ranks.
Her analysis concerned only Eichmann, not the other perpetrators of the Nazi genocide. Just as the present paper is not about correct interpretation of the complex set of events we have come to call the Holocaust, Arendt too focused on one individual only, and nothing she said about him was intended to apply to his cohorts and superiors. Arendt never claimed that the Holocaust as a whole was the result of banal perpetrators. The precise sense in which we can generalize from her reading of Eichmann will emerge later.
This shift from the moral and legal relevance of intentions to the function of judgment is sufficiently radical that it can account for the fact that many have missed her point. I think it highly likely, in fact, that Eichmann, despite what he said about himself, was thoroughly anti- Semitic. But that is not the issue. Judgment, Neiman points out, takes place in the world we share with others: it is public in the sense that intentions are private.
Judgment is in the sphere of action, as Arendt characterized the political realm in The Human Condition, and thus is constituted by something we do with and among others, not something we feel. Neiman says, In general, Arendt distrusts moral emotions as not merely private, but passive, and hence manipulable. To avoid facing, or acknowledging, some part of reality requires some finite awareness of it. To turn our backs on something is to recognize at least the direction in which we do not wish to look.
In medical terminology a scotoma is a gap in the visual field; there are different types and different etiologies, but all constitute blind spots. A moral scotoma is a gap in moral perception, a hole where there should not be one in the field of moral view. This visual metaphor points to two aspects of normal moral experience. But second, our ability to see, in practice day to day, that some actions are morally impermissible because they violate fundamental understandings of moral conduct, is constitutive of a normally functioning moral life.
A scotoma in the moral field manifests itself as a failure to see, in the most practical way, that no matter what, some actions constitute moral wrongs and therefore ought not to be committed. Obviously, much more could be said on these points. We ought not to harm others. We ought not to help others to do harm. When someone like Eichmann, who after all grew up in a fairly normal society with an intact humanistic heritage, seems to overlook these basic ideas, and seems unaware of the gap in his own mentality, it calls for explanation.
Looking for the shadows of motivation and intention ultimately seems unhelpful or at least incomplete.
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Eichmann is better understood as Arendt understood him, as acting from flawed judgment about reality, his flawed judgment constituting, in my term, a moral scotoma. The realities to whose claims he was impervious were the reality of the harm, the suffering he caused, and the moral reality that doing that harm is impermissible. But unlike optical scotomas caused by disease or trauma, moral scotomas are culpable: as Aristotle pointed out, ignorance of a moral universal is not excusable.
We truly ought not to be thoughtless in the ways that Eichmann was thoughtless. The Moral Psychology of Terrorism A commonly cited working definition of terrorism provided by the U. But the point remains that the great majority of people recruited and trained to carry out terrorist actions are not, in the vernacular, crazy. Their actual motivations as individuals are likely as varied as the groups they belong to and the social and political conditions that gave rise to those groups.
Precisely what they have in common is much in dispute, and Hudson points out that this fact bodes ill for predictive profiling. Some aspects, however, of terror psychology may illuminate the ethical thinking terrorists may have in common with perpetrators of genocide, such as Eichmann. There is more to the story, of course—there always is--both the story of individual terrorists and the story of individual perpetrators of the Nazi genocide.
Yet the metaphor of the scotoma as a moral blind spot is simply a way to picture a disastrous failure of judgment in the perpetrators of mass killing. The common theme of both the Nazi genocide and the mass murders carried out by terrorists, despite different motivations, personal histories, and political aims, is that all entail the grossest possible harm to innocent people. Which you mostly do. Some among us act to deny this knowledge.
Steven E. Aschheim Berkeley: Univ. Press, p. Washington, D. Library of Congress, p. The bombing was carried out in the name of Jihad and encouraged by Abu Bakar Bashir, the radical spiritual leader of JI. Main organiser, Iman Samudra and the three brothers instrumental in executing the operation Amorozi, Ali Imron and Muhklas have been arrested for their roles. Three bombs, one in a car parked outside the Sari club and two from suicide bombers killed people including eighty-eight Australians holidaying on the island.
Despite the deaths of other international tourists, the Australian media jumped on the bombings as an attack directly aimed at Australians. Bali, a Hindu province of Islamic Indonesia, has become a playground for working and middle class Australians because of its geographical proximity and the value of the AUD dollar against the Rupiah. We are a flagrant show of wealth. The Australian media initially emulated the U. In a Jungian framework, this could be seen to deflect and superficially absolve these politicians and their governments from internal scrutiny — shadow material.
In the weeks following the Bali bombings print and electronic news services like Howard worked the moral high ground without taking time to process the ramifications of what had happened. They pumped out poignant stories and images, offered simplistic explanations for complex events, and blamed without valid justification. Human dis-interest Human interest stories, first introduced in the early s by the penny press encourage audiences to empathize and sympathize with accounts of adversity, generally from people without a public profile.
We were joined to the US in our suffering. Naive journalists, inexperienced in confronting people in states of extreme grief, probed the Bali victims and their families. One reason, to put it bluntly, is that it sells. After a suggestion from a caller, Victorian radio personality Neil Mitchell 3AW encouraged Melbourne listeners to create a Diana-like floral tribute on the steps of Parliament house.
Lost youth, beauty and athleticism appeared to be prerequisites for national media exposure. The push for patriotism Heroism is always marketable. End of season footballers and football teams caught in the bombings, dominated the early coverage. In Australia footballers are modern day gladiators. Promotions of the grand final game are highlighted with allusions to war and bravery, and a significant number of television sporting, variety and chat programs are dedicated to the sport and its celebrities.
These kinds of female images amongst the Bali wounded, were also given priority by the media. These images denoted a time-honored way of life in Australia: leisure and sport are our national obsessions. A typical image of this nature was of Hanabeth Luke 22 years old helping Tom Singer 17, who later died out of the Sari Nightclub. The survivors talked about war-zones. If we saw our contemporary selves in the Bali images, we were thus encouraged to project ourselves into a war setting.
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We were persuaded to empathize both with the wounded innocents and the heroes who would not be conquered by the terrorist tactics of the evil other. We were encouraged to be united as a nation. But of course, not all media audiences are fools, nor are they easily conned. What we were supposed to be alert about had us all mystified. This cost the tax payer twenty million dollars. Post offices were flooded with returned booklets, some with white powder to emulate anthrax, prompting posties to refuse to pick up mail from street postboxes.
Howard chose to ignore the public outcry. If the House of Representatives had done this Australians could have gone to an election or the opposition would have been implemented as government of the day. I will … be asking the Australian people to bear those circumstances in mind if we become involved in military conflict in Iraq.
The personal is indeed political. Many victimized Jews recall German either as the language of the perpetrator or as their mother tongue turned into a language of persecution. The responses were spontaneous but varied. I will return to these terms and their meanings later. Always linked to its roots in history, Nazi German shows that racial privilege served as justification for German hegemony. Nazi German expressed also the idea of eliminating people and finally, the legitimization of genocide.
The Jews and the Sinti-Roma Zigeuner were the first victims; there were plans to do away with some 30 million Slavs. Either completely concealed or shrouded in ambiguity, the government action for removal of Jews from German soil and society was called Umsiedlung resettlement and Evakuierung evacuation. What remained unstated was the intention to transport the deportees to their death in Poland.
Other terms are differently disturbing, such as Seelenbelastung. To this end, German technicians developed gas vans, then gas chambers that were meant to lessen the suffering of the murderers. Worse, behind its neutrality lay also the fact that the Germans employed Jewish concentration camp inmates, all male, to actually execute the mass murder in the gas chambers.
This idea of transferring culpability onto the victims turned them into collaborators. In addition, they were rewarded not only with a few extra months of life but also with an excessive lifestyle that was provided by the spoils from the murdered. The luxury was incongruous within the depravation existing in the death camp. The fact that they were then shot in cold blood was not.
It is exposed in its true meaning. But the Nazi-German insidiousness of using language to conceal a lethal actuality does not end here. Not only were the Jewish members of the Special Detachment active in the obliteration of their fellow Jews, they were also part of the deception that led to it. Just as the Germans throughout this entire process tried to make the potential victims believe that nothing untoward would happen to them, so did the Sonderkommando reinforce the face value of the false German signs that read, e.
In the same manner, they told them to remember the number of the hook on which they had hanged their clothes before entering the disguised gas chamber. A parallel pattern of trickery took place at the Buchenwald concentration camp, where Soviet prisoners were given a towel and soap to take a shower and then were shot in the back of the head from behind the wall by an SS officer.
The Nazis used words of betrayal already before the deportees reached the ghettos and concentration camps. All of Nazi German, including its muted discourse of evil and its less lethal forms, had to influence the thinking of anybody who was in contact with it. Even beyond the war, it allowed perpetrator and bystander to plead ignorance. That means people were actually being moved. But we can argue now, especially in view of the openly enforced anti-Jewish measurers in Nazi Germany then, that it was not normal that suddenly so many Jewish citizens should be forcefully resettled.
Euphemistic application allowed one to belief in the neutral, traditional meaning of the word without pondering a more sinister significance, or without admitting even the possibility of something else at stake. Many of the survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau live with the persistent memories of these German words and their meaning. They are of the direct interactions with the enemy, namely the verbalizations of degradation and humiliation that accompanied physical abuse and murder. Hence, when asked about recollections of such encounters, survivors will provide, without hesitation, expletives, such as Dreckjude filthy Jew or Schweinehund bastard.
There were also commands shouted by German SS and soldiers: Achtung! The fact that survivors still remember the naked truth behind German words as they experienced them, while Germans wish to cling to their neutral meaning crystallizes the parallel histories of victims and perpetrators. Understanding the language of the Third Reich in its historical context, perhaps with the aid of the Lexicon, will provide an additional aspect of an evil world that many can only imagine but that actually did exist.
His diaries from that period were first printed in and reissued in Germany in I propose, quite simply, to call this new figure by an old name, one, which more usually would not be associated with figures of speech at all—that is, the lie. New York: Arcade Publishing, E-mail from 12 Jan The film is written and directed by Time Blake Neslon. Michael Berenbaum and Abraham J. Suffering, of which there has always been too much on earth, is not the issue, nor is the number of victims. Human nature as such is at stake. The need to hold an assortment of jobs afforded him an irregular university education, concentrating on philosophy and literature.
He fled Austria for Belgium in , where he joined the resistance movement. At the height of his literary recognition, in , he committed suicide. In this way, a path will be opened for further investigation. The difficulties that are encountered in the course of such an investigation can better be met where we do not lose sight of the guiding force that questioning is.
We must be mindful, then, of what questioning is. To take hold of the neck, to bear down upon it, to yoke it, signifies in the one who suffers it a condition of submission, defeat, humiliation. It is the sense of sight above all others that is affected. Such reminders may humiliate: Greek divinity is scornful of mortals.
But God will redeem my soul from the hand of Sheol, for He will take me. What does it mean for us as readers of his work? How does it bear on the themes that we, who have assembled for this conference, are here to discuss? The self is never separated from the existential coordinates of embodiment. Any description that would look upon the nakedness of that existence and clothe it in a recuperative transcendence is rejected. How much home does a human being need? But, again, it was not apathy that made reflection upon them impossible; rather, on the contrary, it was the cruel sharpness of an intellect honed and hardened by camp reality.
Well, well Being. But in the camp, it was more convincingly apparent than outside that you get no where at all with beings and the light of Being. One could be hungry, be tired, be sick. To say that one purely and simply is, made no sense. To reach out beyond concrete existence Realexistenz with words became in our eyes a game that was not only worthless and intolerably luxurious, but mocking and evil.
It is that aspect of the posing of the question that I want to look at, in the time that remains. Here is the point that I would ask you to keep in mind: the question—How much home does a human being need? In order to understand this, we must inquire into what home itself is. Security is the elemental way in which we humanly encounter the world. To be secure, to be at home in the world, means that our experience of it is not merely sensory. That which we sense stands as an interpretable sign.
Deprived of this legibility, where sense gives itself as signification, our human frame is altered. It is instructive to pause at this point, and to note that Cain, whose exile was an exemplum, is portrayed in a great part of traditional commentary as marked by the movement of his body. The exile trembles in his earthly wandering. It is out of the resources of being at home that we find the means for commerce with the world, with no expectation of chance and nothing altogether strange to be feared.
Even here, however, for those who experience exile as adults, the native fluency that guarantees security does not materialize. Whoever has lost it, remains one who is lost. He reveals, as well, the role that is played by distance—where distance is understood as exile—in achieving this understanding. Such understanding is threatened by the language that is already present in advance of it.
Just as our hunger is not that feeling of missing a meal, so our way of being cold has need of a new word. They are free words, created and used by free men who lived in comfort and suffering in their homes. References are to the German edition. Translations of all texts are those of the author, unless specified otherwise. Barnard and D. Not unto us, Lord, but unto thy name be the glory.
A statement such as the one above is not a phrase that describes the attitude of many early twentieth-century artists. In fact, as Romanticism waned and Expressionism bourgeoned, artists searched for answers that the European Christian heritage seemed inadequate to produce. As artists looked for methods which could evoke personally subjective statements about art and life, a common thread among the diversity was the search for new spirituality.
Parisians Georges Rouault and Olivier Messiaen, a painter and a composer respectively, shared a deeply held Roman Catholic conviction that framed their independent manifestos and infused every work with meaning Hsu 24, ; Rouault 2. For the purposes of this paper, I will explore the commonalities of their Catholic heritage.
I will use Gothic stained glass window as an emblem of the Catholic legacy, a fruition of medieval philosophy embraced differently by Rouault and Messiaen, and a vital component in the development of personal styles of both artists. Stained glass windows were a fascination for both Rouault and Messiaen.
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Messiaen expressed his fondness for the interplay of colors on numerous occasions Messiaen Conversations 63; Griffiths Light was vital, because for him, light was divine Hsu Messiaen experienced acute synesthesia, which caused him to see colors while hearing sounds. His audiovisual associations were consistent and harmonically based. As I will discuss later, Messiaen used color as a structural device in his music. Rouault spoke of his experience handling pieces of old windows being repaired.
Then I used to be in seventh heaven. I dreamed of being the servitor of those beloved old masters, so remote from any commercialism, and I would shut my eyes and call up the image of them, distracted for an instant from the ridiculous work I was made to do, a parody of what I would have liked to do with flame- pure colours. He did become a painter, and his work, especially that of late periods, is suggestive of the living colors and bold black lines characteristic of Gothic Parisian windows. This work will be examined later in this discussion. The love Messiaen and Rouault had for Gothic art is a fruition not only of the pleasure they derived from gazing at cathedral windows, but of a fondness for the medieval world in general.
In the manner of medieval Europeans, both artists lived out a faith that they did not isolate to sacred subjects, but allowed to pervaded their lives. Messiaen was tempted by monastic life, and Rouault spent a brief time as a part of a monastic commune. The understanding of prevailing ideas of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries is vital for this investigation of the twentieth-century artists who lived by twelfth-century creed.
The monastic church of St. As one moves toward Light, though, one ascends from a fully material world to a decreasingly material world. Thus, though God is the ultimate Reality and Light, he is absolute Darkness and the person who knows him best is in incomprehensible ignorance.
Dionysius said: The higher we soar in contemplation the more limited become our expressions of that which is purely intelligible; even as now, when plunging into the Darkness which is above the intellect, we pass not merely into brevity of speech, but even into absolute silence, of thoughts as well as of words. The stained glass window, then, set high in the soaring walls of a cathedral, serves to unite Divine Light with what is material, therefore transforming matter in a beam of upward-leading light. For Abbot Suger, the initiator and the aesthetician responsible for the color-saturated windows of St.
Therefore, anything not of God cannot exist—it is a lack of essence. Any lack of perfect energy, rest, and harmony is at a level of divorce from God. Aquinas applied this idea in his consequent aesthetic. Three things are required for beauty. First, integrity or completeness, because what is unfinished is repugnant. Huisinga Given that the Catholic church claims Scripture and divinely inspired church tradition as foundational truth, it is not surprising that twentieth- century Catholics would adhere to their philosophical heritage.
What is fascinating, though, are the ways in which Rouault and Messiaen emphasize different aspects of this tradition and interpret these ideas in their work. Such a divergence is a result of their individual personalities, histories, and influences. This deviation as represented in their experiences and works merits investigation. Messiaen embraced Catholicism from an early age, and claimed never to have had a crisis of faith Messiaen Conversations As such, Messiaen was unencumbered by issues of immanence; he preferred to dwell on the eternal.
For the composer, the everlasting was a celebratory concept. He did not use Western tonality as a melodic and cadential basis, and he dabbled in serialism, but found it drab and inadequate for the splendor he wished to convey Johnson Messiaen actually inserts color instructions for his musicians to follow note m.
Even a cursory listening is enough to note how the instruments are used not as a consonant force, but as a sporadic infusion of soloistic chroma. The instruments do not interfere with each other, but rather peacefully coexist, taking turns in representation note, for example, mm. There is no thematic development, because there are no themes, but rather color blocks. Messiaen was not interested in the temporal dilemmas of earthly life. He gave us a taste for the heroic. The teacher longed for the Middle Ages, when the Divine was the only reality.
Moreau was not alone in his fascination with the medieval world. At the turn of the century, there was a prevalent medievalism among Catholic European intellectuals. He saw the world as dark, and began to detest the depravity of the city. Under the influence of J. Huysmans was obsessed with Christian symbolism of medieval Catholic art, and thought that all art should follow the medieval function of representing something outside itself. In his dedication to God, Rouault would make no concession to the public taste in his art Courthion The two thus began a mutually gratifying friendship.
This essence was the participation of humanity in the suffering of Christ on account of human sin. Their physiognomies convey rejection, emptiness, depravity, and victimization, and they force the spectator to suffer, too. Courthion quotes Charles Journet as saying of the prostitute: She reaches the point when she sells love, the love for which every creature thirsts as parched earth thirsts for water: human love, love of God, love of the dignity that was deposited in her the day her immortal soul was created, the day she was redeemed through the Cross of Christ.
Truly, her poverty is a mirror-image in despair of the poverty of the saints. John, and the Virgin. Their faces, while representing the sorrow of two historical people, depict the mourning of all of humanity for the suffering Christ. Rouault took both into consideration, but continued painting mainly his prostitutes and other social misfits until around As evidence of his next period of work, the Miserere series, largely executed in the s, is an interweaving of struggles of contemporary man and the redeeming affliction of Christ.
In this series, though, hope is brought back as a refrain more often than in the succession of painted harlots. Peace hardly seems to reign In this anguished world Of shadows and pretences Jesus on the cross will tell you better than I. Color and form work together, structure no longer subordinating color. Now color is structure. Colors live as if touched by divine Light, as they did for Suger. It is at the end of his career that Rouault is able to see the Essence of which Aquinas spoke in everything: a mythological king,26 a vase of glowing flowers.
Messiaen and Rouault each found life and purpose for individual expression in the creed that had been so integrally involved in the thought and practice of European history. This historic faith, the basis of the mystical rhetoric of the Middle Ages, was filtered through divergent personalities, life experiences, and needs. Eternity infused the works of these finite men, and truth was spoken uniquely. Messiaen seemed to possess his mature faith from the beginning of his craft. He composed in spectacular colors and energy that represented the joy of his faith.
Rouault was grateful for redemption, but wallowed in the misery of the damned before embarking on a slow ascent toward brilliant peace. Dionysius and Aquinas gave Messiaen his light and Rouault his prostitutes. These two artists, with their different media and intellectual proclivities, are a intriguing example of multifarious interdisciplinary interpretations of a central idea. As both artists were vocal about the thrust of their work, much research has been done on their religious stances. Scholars are silent, though, concerning whether or not Rouault and Messiaen ever met.
If they had, one may wonder about the hypothetical fruits of their affiliation. The relationship would serve as an example of the pollination of thought across media. Regardless of the actuality of their meeting, the central point for this study is that these Catholic men would, after embracing this faith so differently, settle consonantly on and emblem that unites their different interpretations: the stained glass window. Like the colored pieces in the window, the different hues of churchmen are juxtaposed, held together by the lead veins of creed, and displayed in a brilliant tapestry of color.
I am nothing, I am all.