Friday, 1 September 2006

'The Scream ' has been found. Two cheers.

'The Scream ' has been found. The painting by Edward Munch was stolen two years ago, and was recovered this morning (our time). A shame.

Here's an example of something that is good art -- very good art -- that I don't like at all. If anything better expresses the dis-ease and dislocation expressed by twentieth-century 'thinkers' -- of the nausea and helpless angst and the "blooming, buzzing confusion" of Jean Paul Sartre; of A.E. Housman "a stranger and afraid in a world [he] never made"; of William Butler Yeats for whom "things fall apart, the centre cannot hold"; of Dostoyevsky's Underground Man*, whose "irritability keeps him alive and kicking"; etc; etc. -- then it is this piece.

How much sordid meaning to pack into one piece of canvas: in it we can see almost the whole of the tortured twentieth-century.

But as Ayn Rand said once in reply to someone expressing the idea he was alone and afraid in a world he never made, "Why the hell didn't you?"
If a society reaches the stage where every man accepts the feeling that he is "a stranger and afraid in a world [he] never made," the world it gives up will be made by Attila.
Anyway, sorry to start your morning with that image. Just thought you should know. I promise to make it up to you later.

LINKS: 'The Scream' returns home - USA Today

* Yes, yes, 'Notes From Undergound' was written in 1864, but it summarises so well the existential angst of twentieth-century intellectual maggotry that it's the pre-eminent piece of representative twentieth-century literature.


  1. I thought it was W.B. Yeats, not Satre, who penned that line.

  2. Yeah, the middle line was Yeats, 'Turning and turning in the widening gyre' etc.

    I guess it was a little unclear. Call it lazy writing, perhaps. :-/

  3. There you go. Fixed now. :-)

  4. If it helps, it's not inconcievable the person who turned it in may have been hoping for an award of two million M&Ms.


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