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Friday, March 22, 2013

Mrs. Festini's Breakdown, parts 1366 - 1369

1366. But I had started to tell you about the old black and white photograph I found that had such an effect on me. It was during the lecture Mrs. Festini gave about Brunelleschi. As usual she was projecting a picture of the cathedral she had taken out of her hatbox, and the other papers were scattered all over the table in a heap. Among them was a tattered portrait of a young girl, taken a long time ago, torn on the edges, and creased.

1367. The expression on the face was one of anger mingled with confusion. One could see that it was a serious formal portrait of the type that is taken for a graduation, and by a professional with the proper equipment. But it was clearly a woman who had refused to smile at the photographer's request, or a shot taken in that telling moment when the true mood of the sitter shows.

1368.  It was one of those best pictures that must be rejected because it has no place in a yearbook. There is too much anger in the face, almost rage. Why would anyone have kept such a portrait so long I wondered? What was going on in her mind at the time; what could she have been thinking?

1369. What is more beautiful than an angry woman? Especially at that moment when her injury is transformed into rage, and a vein throbs in her temple. The moment when the fur rises up as on a cat's back, she stiffens her legs and makes up her mind to attack no matter what, rather than stand her ground. The adversary's blood runs cold and they slink quickly away, and her beauty at that moment is of complete indifference to her.

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