One thing which grates a little with me in the new ‘Twin Peaks’ is the body count. Much of the power of ‘Mulholland Drive’ – & I intend to expand on this another time – seems to me to spring from a visceral attack on Hollywood’s capacity to easily kill (and to destroy) people; that is characters real or fictitious. To watch ‘Twin Peaks’ happily disposing of its cast is a little grueling – but maybe will come right as we proceed.
I have been watching the new series of Twin Peaks out of a great gutlevel admiration for David Lynch and his art. Partly also out of duty and of curiosity; I am a little cautious of the flash and whimsy.
[I have to say I adore the peculiar silences and creepy glib dialogue. The humour derived may occasionally fall flat but as a form of realism it is astute and grimly satirical. Subversive.]
Take away his status as a savant and the curious sweetness about him and Agent Dale Cooper is stumbling about in a sort of catatonic state that strongly resembles my understanding of the state depression can place a person in.
Another example would be ‘Ballad of a Thin Man’ by Bob Dylan.
Partly it is the responses of the people around him. No one pauses to ask why his behaviour is strange and no one looks for ways to communicate with him. He is alienated from common emotions. He has incomprehension in the face of all that should be familiar, difficulty in processing simple concepts or performing simple tasks. Loved ones become strangers with unfathomable motivations and a specific and inexplicable hostility usually complicated by a great deal of stress. Nothing seems very real. Depression.
Official Chang I was a great talker and enjoyed argument; he was capable of declaring black white and white black. Itinerant and braggart, he had a mouth that encompassed oceans and seas, and his tongue wagged as he boasted of seeing the curved roofs of mythical cities. This might be called the “colour” of windbags.
Finally, it should concern those who seek “colour” in writing and speaking that words and sentences have not only form but also sound.
Ah! Considering the vastness of the heavens and the earth, looking around at people and things, reading polished essays, listening to brave utterances, all these go together and make a whole and colourful world. How can colour be said to apply only to painting? Evan those who live good and pure lives are part of this world; they are like the landscapes in light ink by Ni Yun-lin at which the ignorant laugh and poke fun. Today so many people live in limited and colourless worlds. How may they be offered a fuller life and contentment? Pictures are one means, so let us speak of painting.
The mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting (excerpt), Trans. Mai–mai Sze
The Temple of Minerva by John Clare.
The ruin of a ruin – man of mirth
Pause o’er the past and immediate decay
The very stones are perishing to earth
Foundations though all’s left will waste away
Time’s chissel on what’s left still writes ‘Decay’
Which every season wrecks and wears away
A shadow it was present – but ’tis past
Time sickened and life’s nature met decay
Convulsive winds seemed sobbing out their last
When ruin’s piecemeal Temple passed away
The very stones like clay dissolving lye
And solitude half-fearing learns to sigh
See’st thou the steps of yesterday
The night before the last
See’st thou when darkness went away
And daylight winnowed past
The present is – and shadows are
What was so very bright and fair
Spring meadow-flowers was suns and joy
Of present happiness
But when the summer filled the sky
All was another dress
They changed to seed among the hay
And dyed when summer went away
Now evening rosey streaks – a ribboned sky
Spreads in the golden light of the far West
And mighty rocks are pillowed dark and high
The image and the prototype of rest
The heavens’ prophesy where peace is blest
A stillness soft as fall of silent dews
Is felt around – the very dusk looks blest
As is the maiden while her heart pursues
Her evening walk o’er fields in silent dews
Ave Maria, tis the hour of love
When sighs and pains and tears on beauty’s breast
Are whispered into blessings from above
Ave Maria, tis the hour of rest
For man and woman and the weary beast
And parents love the minature delights
That blesses all with sleep and quiet rest
Ave Maria, tis the hour of night
Like to an Indian Maiden dressed in white
The winter-time is over love
Whitethorns begin to bud
And brown and green of freshness love
Enlivens all the wood
There’s white clouds got agen the sun
One daisy open in the green
The primrose shows its sulphur bud
Just where the hazel stulps are seen
And ere the April time is out
Along the riding’s gravel walk
The bedlam’s primrose blooms about
Wi’ twenty blossoms on a stalk
How happy seems the drop of dew
That nestles in the daisey’s eye
How blest the cloud seems in the blue
That near the sun appears to lie
How happy does thy shadows seem
That stretches o’er the morning grass
They seems to walk as in a dream
I know their shadows as they pass . . .
(John Clare https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Clare)