Monday, June 28, 2010

Collage 105

What in the world was I thinking/feeling when I made this one? A figure missing their head? Sometimes I wish that I could correlate the collage to the text on that page. But alas, I can't.

I continue to plod through the book (in English). Last night I was reading Part Three, Chapter XI. This is a scene where the tsar has been to visit the troops and has fallen ill. The war is uncertain, with some wanting to go on the offensive against Napoleon. Here is a long passage that I enjoyed:

"As in the mechanism of a clock, so also in the mechanism of military action, the movement once given is just as irrepressible until the final results, and just as indifferently motionless are the parts of the mechanism not yet involved in the action even a moment before movement is transmitted to them. Wheels whizz on their axles, cogs catch, fast-spinning pulleys whirr, yet the neighboring wheel is as calm and immobile as though it was ready to stand for a hundred years in that immobility; but a moment comes -- the lever catches, and, obedient to its movement, the wheel creaks, turning, and merges into one movement with the whole, the result and purpose of which are incomprehensible to it.

As in a clock the result of the complex movement of numberless wheels and pulleys is merely the slow and measured movement of the hands pointing to the time, so also the result of all complex human movements of these hundred and sixty thousand Russians and French -- all the passions, desires, regrets, humiliations, sufferings, bursts of pride, fear, rapture -- were merely the loss of the battle of Austerlitz, the so-called battle of the three emperors, that is, a slow movement of the world-historical hand on the clockface of human history."

That perspective always make me feel so insignificant. Is that the narrator's intention? How stupid we all are, thinking that we are all the center of our own universe? -- Lola

Lola Baltzell
from page 217-218 of original text
collage, acrylic paint
made 5/14/10

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