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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Captain's Sculpture, parts 268 - 271


 
268. As I was saying all these mean things, I was also thinking about why I seemed to be angry as well. I think it was because I did not like the fact that she had, just before my tirade, been severely criticizing her husband.


 
269. I found her criticism of her doctor husband very threatening. All along, even since all of that business about her hat box and the photographs of her as a young woman, my feelings about Agnes had been changing.


270. I had to admit to myself that I was more than simply attracted to Agnes; perhaps I was actually in love with her.


271. But I did not want to be in love with my sculpture teacher, what would be the point in that?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Captains Sculpture, parts 264 - 267


 
264. On the contrary, I became even more severe, and even accusatory. I pointed out that her own work was not abstract in any way, and that she avoided scribbles and dripping paint in her paintings.


265. “If drips and smears are so important, and so creative, why do you go to the trouble of making sure nothing like that appears in your still life painting?”


266. “Why not just slobber all over the thing?” I concluded. I have to remind you however, that I was saying all of this, in a slightly angry tone; on the very day she had been informed that her painting had been rejected from the Detroit museum show.


 
267. Why was I being so mean to my instructor, what do you suppose was the force behind my comments? Even as I was speaking, I had to subject my actions to some analysis.

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Captain's Sculpture, parts 260 - 263


260. Although we might not live to see it, the day will arrive when all the people who groveled in front of those huge empty canvas things will find themselves out of fashion, and embarrassed by their former opinions.


261. After I said all that, surprising even to myself in that situation, I suddenly felt a pang of alarm. I sensed suddenly that I was going to far, and risked the possibility of needlessly hurting my teacher’s feelings.


262. I saw what I thought was a tremor pass across her face as she listened to me wide-eyed, but did I relent?


263. Did I temper my comments; did I offer any qualifying remarks? Not a bit.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Captain's Sculpture, parts 256 - 259


 
256. But behavior like that must result in a rupture in the end, even if one never sees it coming. So I said to Agnes Festini…

257. “I have to tell you that I think that this ‘twombley’s scribbles are just scribbles, like anyone else’s scribbles, and Mr. Pollock’s drips are just drips no different that any other drips.

258. No one is ever going to shed tears over Mr. Warhol’s soup cans, and I am sure the day will come when all those things will be in permanent eternal storage.


259. There are paintings worth millions that not so long ago were worth nothing, and I think the reverse is probably also true.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Captain's Sculpture, parts 252 - 255


 
252. That is a good question and goes right to the heart of the matter.


253. I did not want to appear to be stupid; that is all there is to it.


254. It was a convoluted situation. For almost three years I had, over and over again, found myself treating with respect and admiration, things I thought were stupid and pointless, so as not to appear ignorant.


 
255. That is my explanation of my duplicitous behavior, deceptive and false to nobody but myself.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Captain's Sculpture, parts 248 - 251


248. I don’t know, I just do not know what possessed me to suddenly attack my sculpture instructor that Saturday afternoon, after she said the word ‘twombly.’


249. The word somehow set me off, and an entire disjointed, frustrated diatribe burst out of me, ostensibly in defense of her husband, and his intention to write a limerick instead of an epic poem.


250. I had become sick of pretending to appreciate various works of art presented to us as worthy of consideration, that seemed to me to be entirely without merit of any kind.


251. And why, you ask, would I pretend to appreciate a work of art that I felt was pointless?

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Captain's Sculpture, parts 244 - 247


 
244. That poster had annoyed me for a long time. It looked like a picture of a chalkboard, on which someone had scrawled a series of ovals.


245. It was obvious that it was not just a chalkboard, because the poster was an announcement for an exhibit, held some years ago, at a museum in Germany.


246. Twenty years ago, apparently, someone’s scribbling was considered art in Germany, and ever since this poster had been in our sculpture studio, yellow around the edges.


 
247. “But that’s Twombley,” my teacher explained, as if uttering a person’s name would be sufficient explanation of the poster.

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Captain's Sculpture, parts 240 - 243


 
240. “One needs to know something in order to take out a person’s gall bladder, but all poetry, just like all paintings, are just a matter of whatever some person feels like doing.” That is what he said, and that is what he thinks.


241. Have you ever been in the position of listening to an angry person’s denunciation of their spouse, and as you listen to the narration of events you can’t avoid the realization that you are entirely in agreement with the other party.


 
242. I felt a strong desire to come to the defense of the Good Doctor, and yet I was hard for me to admit that I strongly agreed with his ideas about painting and poetry.


243. “Certainly,” I said, “It you consider the great artists of the past, you can see clearly at a glance that they knew a great deal. But what about this?” I said, pointing to a poster on the wall of the sculpture studio.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Captain's Sculpture, parts 236 - 239


 
236. On the yellow legal pad on which he had written the first line of his poem, he has listed all the words that rhyme with ‘mind’, and he is trying to write out lines that will end with those words.


 
237. I said to him, “You are not writing a poem, you are composing a limerick.


238. My husband does not understand the difference between a poem and a limerick, and my attempts to explain the difference just threw him into a rage.


 
239. He thinks the idea that there is something one needs to know about writing poetry is just as absurd as needing to know things in order to paint a painting.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Captain's Sculpture, parts 232 - 235


 
232. “My husband”, she explained, “not content with his exalted position in the world of medicine, has decided to embark on a literary career. He is writing poetry, or rather, he is attempting to write a poem.”


 
233. He has completed the first line of his poem, it goes like this, “The knowledge weighed heavily on my mind.”


 
234. His idea is to write a poem about that period of time when he is in possession of some critical information about a patient. He knows that some person is going to die, or on the other hand, some patient is going to be just fine.


235. He wants to compose a poem about that situation, and you have to admit, it is a good concept for a poem, but his approach is quite childish.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Captain's Sculpture, parts 228 - 231


 
228. It was obvious that he was very proud of this line of poetry of his, and repeated it to me several times with urgency, examining my face to see if I understood how great it was.


229. Then he said, “When my Language Arts teacher read this line she said that I would have a brilliant career as a poet if I chose to go in that direction.”


230. Well, I chose to be a surgeon, and I am a great surgeon as everybody knows, but I could have been a great poet if I had chosen that path.


231. I was quick to agree with him in order to put an end to what I felt was an embarrassing conversation, but that was far from the end of it.

Monday, May 30, 2016

The Captain's Sculpture, parts 224 - 227


 
224. It did not surprise me that her husband had such negative ideas about his wife’s concerns; it was obvious to me that he considered all of his wife’s art interests to be simply social activity, the same as a bridge club.


 
225. But it was much more complicated than I could have ever imagined. After telling me the high points of their argument she added this: “I came into the kitchen this morning and he had some old papers and notebooks of the table that he was looking through.”


226. He handed me a faded mimeographed booklet from junior high school, he was listed in the content page because of a poem he wrote.


 
227. His poem in the booklet was called “The Cat’s Shadow,” and in the poem there was the line, ‘the shadow of the cat, was more catlike, than the cat.’

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Captain's Sculpture, parts 220 - 223


 
220. She was in the habit of calling her husband ‘The Good Doctor.’

221. “He simply does not understand that he is asking me to do something which is not possible, and it is actually unethical, unprofessional, na├»ve, simpleminded, stupid…” Here she ran out of adjectives with which to condemn her spouse.


222. I said nothing, but it was apparent that the two of them had a serious argument; the kind of argument wherein things are said that should never be said in a relationship.


223. He said that her artwork was pointless, stupid and a waste of time and money, and now that she had a real opportunity to use her drawing skills for the advancement of science, she refused.