Friday, February 7, 2014

We, Weavers, of Such Lowly Order...

My frames are still in transit 3 weeks and two days on; the current old glasses are driving me batty, reducing my work productivity to nil, my housework capacity to 50-70%, and ballooning my junk food consumption by about 200%. And reading at around, oh, about the same.

Vincent has left prostitute Sien, escaped to Drenthe, but finding conditions too difficult, escaped yet again to his parents' house, now in Nuenen, where he seems to have had a shouting match with his father almost daily. He drew/painted weavers with his usual gust. Naifeh and Smith, Van Gogh: The Life, pp. 380-1:

"The weavers may not have suited Vincent's artistic struggle, but they perfectly suited his larger struggle. In Dorus and Anna's [his parents'] book of bourgeois bogeymen, weavers ranked with peddlers and grinders as rootless men of unconventional habits and unaccountable means. "[One] was not quite sure," wrote Eliot in Silas Marner; "that this trade of weaving, indispensable though it was, could be carried on entirely without the help of the Evil One." Within the Van Gogh family, weaving was considered "unhealthy" and "harmful," according to sister Lies. Weavers in Nuenen were seen abroad only at Sunday dusk - not a time for decent people to be out - when they came to exchange the past week's linen for the next week's yarn. Pale, spectral figures (Eliot called them "alien-looking men"), they usually traveled alone. Dogs barked at them. Rumor and legend attached to them. By the 1980s, labor militancy among weavers all over Europe had reinforced these old superstitions with new suspicions of political agitation and social insurgency.

"Vincent no doubt taunted his parents, just as he taunted Theo, with descriptions of his daily visits to the homes of these disruptive agents: of their "miserable little rooms with the loam floors" and the strange, "disgusting" apparatus that filled their houses with noise day and night. "They are but poor creatures, those weavers." If Dorus and Anna raised objections, he no doubt shouted them down, as he did Theo: "I consider myself absolutely free to consort with the so-called lower orders." As if to underscore the argument, at mealtimes he brought his paintings into the parsonage dining room and propped them on the chair opposite, defiantly inviting the weavers to his parents' table. "Vincent is still working with weavers," Dorus lamented after months of such incitements. "It's a shame that he wouldn't rather do landscapes."

Earlier in the week the screaming drama and escalating languages of Vincent and the authors when Theo tried to break up Vincent and Sien were approaching shrieky hysterical; is there no end to the hilarity to this book? And where is my Evil One??

3 comments:

  1. repent, repent we evil sinners!! :D
    and what about the joy of colored therads? of cutting a finished piece off the loom?of.....

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  2. Dogs often bark at me. I never realized why...

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  3. Gather, oh ye of evil pursuits, let us unite and topple the colorless dull world!!

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