Sunday, June 04, 2017

smize, clown, smize!


     "Quiet was, except the wind
Lifting the water's murmur as a girl
May lift the fold of some sad Eastern silk."

--Trumbull Stickney

Camera Fantastica.

“The Puritans unconsciously sought to do a supremely artistic thing—to mould all life into a dark poem; a macabre tapestry with quaint arabesques and patterns from the plains of antique Palestrina…(sic) antique Palaestrina with her bearded prophets, many-gated walls, and flattened domes. The fatuous floundering of the ape and Neanderthaler they rejected—this and the graceful forms into which that floundering had aimlessly blunder’d—and in place of slovenly Nature set up a life in Gothick design, with formal arches and precise traceries, austere spires and three interesting little gargoyles with solemn grimaces, call’d the father, the son, and the holy ghost. On shifting humanity they imposed a refreshing technique, and to an aimless and futile cosmos supply’d artificial values which had real authority because they were not true. Verily, the Puritans were the only really effective diabolists and decadents the world has known; because they hated life and scorned the platitude that it is worth living.” --1923 HPL letter to Frank Belknap Long, qtd in: Barton St Armand- H P Lovecraft: New England Decadent (1979)



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