“In George Bernard Shaw’s preface to Three Plays he wrote, “I have noticed that when a certain type of feature appears in painting and is admired as beautiful, it presently becomes common in nature; so that the Beatrices and Francescas in the picture galleries of one generation come to life as the parlor-maids and waitresses of the next.”
At the height or Rosamond’s success, I noticed a sudden change in department stores mannequins. Overnight they began to look like Rosamond posters that were everywhere. Someone must have noticed that mannequin-women were modeled after women of the forties. Now, they look like Rena, a woman of the sexy seventies. She now has a vagina and a womb. These vamps stare out at you from behind large panes of glass, they following your every move as you make your way in the dangerous city landscape. However, they do not care what happens to you. As long as you notice them, and their new look, their job was executed to perfection.
I had to make an appointment to see my sister.
Before we can enter the Museum of my Muse, I need to give you two more art lessons. The first is about Life imitating art. I suspect Sir Ian Easton was a well-read man, an avid reader since he was a boy. There was no T.V. watching in the Easton home. What am I – a psychic?
Kathleen Easton was a parliamentary debater. You need to be a Reader to be this. Then there was the mention of Kathleen’s quirky sense of humor – that most readers have, and thus, they are in a world of their own – surrounded by stupid people.
I do get a picture of Ian going through his home, touching bases with his beautiful readers. Then there are the discussion he encourages at the dinner table.
Rena was a beautiful reader. She would not look at the sea, and sat behind a pile of sand reading Jane Erye. Not being raised by her mother and father, like Erik, she learned how to live via the books she read.
Now, I would have loved to have been there when Ian and Irene first lay eyes on each other. Was Rena an exotic dancer at an exclusive D.C. Nudie Club? Did Irene make a grand entrance at a cocktail party, a couple of her sisters introducing her to that crowd? Here’s what I see. Rena is visiting her sister, and is on the couch reading a book, when Easton comes over for a visit. He walks into the living room, and Rena looks up from her book. It was love at first sight.
“What are you reading?” asks Ian, his heart pounding, he not able to believe his eyes.
Rena was Ian’s fifth wife? I bet you Ian’s ex-wives hated to read books, or, never read one. They were vain stupid creatures. On the other hand, Rena had a master-plan, a literary blueprint, thus her well deserved vanity was overlooked.
I suspect Rena has kept contact with my ex-friend, James Harkins, who read Keroac’s ‘On the Road’ while we were – on the road. Rena cooed up to him as he read to her. I got pissed because I could not get anyone to leave the soft afterglow that filled the Dodge to put more oil in it – but me! The only time Robert Delano got out of the car, was to run into the convenience store and get some more No-Doz – so he could chat up the Bohemian Goddess, too, get a word in as James pretended he was Jack.
Hey! slow down. You’re getting ahead of yourself. But, why am I feeling Jame’s vibes all of a sudden? I know he thinks he rescued Rena from me. But, I was the only reader out of four readers – that could drive the damn car, make it go down the road! When it broke down, my fellow travelers could not comprehend our road trip was over.
“But, James is not finished. He has three more chapters to go!”
“Get out! Get out of my car! This is not a library! It’s……a Dodge!”
Hitler was a reader, writer and artist. He looted Europe of most of its art, much of it commissioned by the Habsburgs and their related families. Most men of that day never dreamed of being a soldier, but, when true evil knocks on your door, you have to answer a divine calling.
I think Rena saw her dark boyfriend as Edward Rochester. He had big mysterious eyes like Orson Welles who played Edward, thus I suspect Rena saw the movie. That she ends up homeless just after they parted ways, is weird. Edward has turned Jane into a authentic Hippie-Bohemian while he only plays at it, he having too much money to make it real.
“Mr. Rochester asks Jane to go with him to the south of France, and live as husband and wife, even though they cannot be married. Refusing to go against her principles, and despite her love for him, Jane leaves Thornfield in the middle of the night. Thereafter, Jane was forced to live in the streets begging for food.”
Ian was the real deal. He was a hero who fought the Nazi – and won! However, we can not run our history through a military funnel, or, we become what Germany became. We must run our history through our readers, our artists, our poets,and our thinkers, for these are the ones worthy of being imitated. There will be more days where we are bid to put down our books and pick up a gun – for a little while.
What Ian saw in his wife to be, was an archetype. I longed to see what Rena would look when she was twenty-five. She was just seventeen when my Muse took me into the Museum and gave me a wonderous Art Lesson. She had this show all choreographed, but then had to do some major improvisation when I pointed out her boyfriend should have done a statue of – his Muse?
The actor Robert Powell has the same face-type Ian and I have. The movie Tommy is a Arthurian Tale.
When the two acid-heads cruelly called Rena a “pretty bird” I watched her take a look inside before she went and got her things, as I bid her to do.
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“What the f_ _ _ ? Did these jerks get in my things and peek at my book?’
“Life imitating Art my dear! Just this, and nothing more.”
Rena and I are not creatures of the flesh! We are creatures of the book! Is Rena authoring a autobiography as I type, she wondering for months how she shall recall her wild and reckless years, when, her dancer friend calls. Now she and her publisher are pouring over my blog, and there is now a mad dash to the presses!
Like two phantom books, passing in the night!
If the truth be known, Ian, Rena, and I are rather ‘Nerdish’. But, so were the Bronte Sisters. Readers make good warriors because they want to get back to their reading – and kill the asshole who interrupted them!
“Please let me go to him. He calls to me!”
“If you make any contact with that Bohemian, my attorneys will tear up our contract – and the movie deal will be curtains! His attorneys will sue us for plagiarism, accuse you of already going to him, as you put it!”
British Army Captain Walker goes missing during an expedition and is believed dead (“Overture”). His widow, Mrs. Walker, gives birth to their son, Tommy (“It’s a Boy”). Years later, Captain Walker returns home and discovers that his wife has found a new lover. The Captain murders this man in an altercation (“1921”) and then convinces his wife to take him back; to cover up the incident, Tommy’s parents tell him that he didn’t see or hear it. Traumatised, Tommy drops into a semi-catatonic state and becomes deaf, dumb, and blind. Years pass, during which he is outwardly immobile. Inside his head, however, sensations from the outside world are changed into amazing visions accompanied by music (“Amazing Journey/Sparks”).
Life imitating art
Anti-mimesis is a philosophical position that holds the direct opposite of Aristotelian mimesis. Its most notable proponent is Oscar Wilde, who opined in his 1889 essay The Decay of Lying that, “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life”. In the essay, written as a Platonic dialogue, Wilde holds that anti-mimesis “results not merely from Life’s imitative instinct, but from the fact that the self-conscious aim of Life is to find expression, and that Art offers it certain beautiful forms through which it may realise that energy.”.
The philosophy holds that art sets the aesthetic principles by which people perceive life, and does not imitate life. What is found in life and nature is not what is really there, but is that which artists have taught people to find there, through art. As in an example posited by Wilde, although there has been fog in London for centuries, one notices the beauty and wonder of the fog because “poets and painters have taught the loveliness of such effects…They did not exist till Art had invented them.”.
McGrath places the antimimetic philosophy in a tradition of Irish writing, including Wilde and writers such as Synge and Joyce in a group that “elevate blarney (in the form of linguistic idealism) to aesthetic and philosophical distinction”, noting that Terry Eagleton observes an even longer tradition that stretches “as far back in Irish thought as the ninth-century theology of John Scottus Eriugena” and “the fantastic hyperbole of the ancient sagas”. Wilde’s antimimetic idealism, specifically, McGrath describes to be part of the late nineteenth century debate between Romanticism and Realism. Wilde’s antimimetic philosophy has also had influence on later Irish writers, including Brian Friel.
Halliwell asserts that the notion that life imitates art derives from classical notions that can be traced as far back as the writings of Aristophanes of Byzantium, and does not negate mimesis but rather “displace[s] its purpose onto the artlike fashioning of life itself”. Halliwell draws a parallel between Wilde’s philosophy and Aristophanes’ famous question about the comedies written by Menander: “O Menander and Life! Which of you took the other as your model?”, noting, however, that Aristophanes was a pre-cursor to Wilde, and not necessarily espousing the positions that Wilde was later to propound.
In George Bernard Shaw’s preface to Three Plays he wrote, “I have noticed that when a certain type of feature appears in painting and is admired as beautiful, it presently becomes common in nature; so that the Beatrices and Francescas in the picture galleries of one generation come to life as the parlor-maids and waitresses of the next.” He stated that he created the aristocratic characters in Cashel Byron’s Profession as unrealistically priggish even without his later understanding that “the real world does not exist…men and women are made by their own fancies in the image of the imaginary creatures in my youthful fictions, only much stupider.” Shaw, however, disagreed with Wilde on some points. He considered most attempts by life to imitate art to be reprehensible, in part because the art that people generally chose to imitate was idealistic and romanticized.
“Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal — as we are!”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
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“Jane, be still; don’t struggle so like a wild, frantic bird, that is rending its own plumage in its desperation.”
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.”