Wednesday, June 17, 2009

from Letters on Cezanne

Rainer Maria Rilke (trans. Joel Agee)

It's strange to walk through the Louvre after two days in the Salon d'Automne: you notice two things right away: that every insight has its parvenus, upstarts who make a hue and cry as soon as they catch on,--and then, that perhaps these aren't particularly illuminating insights at all. As if these masters in the Louvre didn't know that painting is made of color.

The copyist's disclosure: I've never been to France, let alone to either of these museums. I don't know very much about Cezanne. And I can't help recasting the final sentence as "As if these prizewinners didn't know that poems are made of words." 

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