As Ellen had yesterday written a quotation of Walter Benjamin in my guestbook - an interpretation of a picture of Paul Klee's.
"..zu Walter Benjamins Geschichtsphilosophischer These IX Paul Klee, Angelus Novus. Es gibt ein Bild von Klee, das Angelus Novus heißt. Ein Engel ist darauf dargestellt, der aussieht, als wäre er im Begriff, sich von etwas zu entfernen, worauf er starrt. Seine Augen sind aufgerissen, sein Mund ist offen und seine Flügel sind ausgespannt. Der Engel der Geschichte muß so aussehen. Er hat das Antlitz der Vergangenheit zugewandt. Wo eine Kette von Begebenheiten vor uns erscheint, da sieht er eine einzige Katastrophe, die unablässig Trümmer auf Trümmer häuft und sie ihm vor die Füße schleudert. Er möchte wohl verweilen, die Toten wecken und das Zerschlagene zusammenfügen. Aber ein Sturm weht vom Paradiese her, der sich in seinen Flügeln verfangen hat und so stark ist, daß der Engel sie nicht mehr schließen kann. Dieser Sturm treibt ihn unaufhaltsam in die Zukunft, der er den Rücken kehrt, während der Trümmerhaufen vor ihm zum Himmel wächst. Das, was wir den Fortschritt nennen, ist dieser Sturm.
I got curious about the described (interpreted) picture & soon found it in the net:
Well you probably don't understand a word so I thought about translating it into English. I can express myself at least understandable in English, but I couldn't do lyrics or poetry in English & so I doubt, whether I could give a proper translation to this quotation. - but of course the net gives it all (sometimes):
A Klee painting named "Angelus Novus" shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned towards the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grow skyward. This storm is what we call progress.
I like this interpetration of which of course Paul Klee had no idea of. - It's the imaginary eye of a writer, a thinker, a philosoph who sees, who makes a story out of a small fragment, whereas men without perceptions see nothing at all. - & also of course there is no unique real interpretation to a picture because it's all in the eye (mind) of the observer.
I would like to turn the picture over & see the other side of the angels head - may it's a Janus head? (mankind doesn't know very much about the backsides of images)
There are pictures that can inspire an author to write a whole story, that get alive & can jump in with your imagination like in Mary Poppins street painter pictures - 'Just jump inside!'
This all remembered me, that once a very, very long time ago, when I was still scribbling little drawings with china ink on paper, some better some worse. -
Well to one of this little drawings I wrote some lines, giving it a symbolic interpretation (yes the drawing should have been better) - so I searched for it in one of least larders of memory & staples of paper in one of my flat's last larders & strange hideaways I could imagine or remember to exist.
Here the scribbled drawing:
May you can't see much in it, but I could see a lot - the text I wrote to it in that time is here (you see it is written still with typewriter - it was pre-computer time, but cars & telephones did exist already):
Ah - now the problem is that the text is in German & I can't find a translation in wikipedia or elsewhere in the net (so at least the contents of my hidden larders are not yet available via google)
I try to translate, but I know it will lose something by my translation:
prisoners of beauty we pray to the clouds and the sun - but skulls at our feet - those who got tired already are collected to the beyond of the big stream by the snail with the childhoods whip which strives through the lands - but we are building a massif and are very strong - those who see the doom coming try trembling to embrace each other - cargo vessels on the stream of live nourish us and we don't see the black birds circling behind our backs - those who turn around turn to black, who see those ominious birds turn as black as them and cease to recognize black as black anymore - children still marvel - we meanwhile got used to it all.
Hmm - I saw once a lot in this drawing - I hope you noticed at least the faces in the mountains - By the way I see 8 protagonists (performers) with faces in this scene - not counting the 8 birds above..
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