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Beautiful Theology

Signifying truth in more than words alone

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Musée des Beaux Arts

Dusting off the old blog, and leaving a link here to Auden’s ‘Musée des Beaux Arts’ with Breughel’s ‘Fall of Icarus’, with a view to using them if I again lecture on Fun Home for ‘Woman as Hero’.

Friday, February 20, 2009

about Digital Comics

Here’s a link to Yves Bigerel’s “about DIGITAL COMICS,” and one to “About ‘about DIGITAL COMICS’ ” thrown in for good measure.

Oh, and I just remembered: the Snack Pack Cartoon Course. Who needs to spend years at SCAD when you can learn everything you need from a pocketable tract? And the comments there point to more goodies: the U.S. Army’s Handicraft Guide to Cartooning, parts One and Two (sexism and racism alert).

Saturday, February 07, 2009

More Comics Links

Last fall, John asked me for resources for teaching his fifth graders some comics theory; I scoured the web to find a handful of items I'd downloaded at time before. I’ll re-link them here, in case I haven’t linked them before. One is “Wally Wood’s 22 Panels That Always Work”; another, the comic version of Martin Luther King’s role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. I think I have more somewhere, but these are here, now.

Comics Grammar

Nate Piekos, letterer and type designer extraordinaire, has published the Manual of Style for comics lettering. As with most prescriptivist efforts, it blends public convention with private preference, and it invites rebellion from venturesome avant-gardistes, but it very helpfully codifies an array of contemporary norms as they prevail at major comics-publishing houses.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

“Not Just Remembering But Visiting”

The New York Times Mothers Day op-ed page featured this comic by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki. Margaret and I each made theological connections to the short narrative and the way that the Tamakis represented it.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Seeing the Bible

Two links:

First, a connection at Boing Boing pointed to Clarence Larkin’s marvelous (if theologically debatable) charts illustrating the principles of dispensationalist biblical interpretation. I’m wondering whether it might not make a good assignment or exam question to ask students to explain problematic aspects of these charts, or to design alternatives.

Second, Bibliodyssey pointed to blockbook illustrations of the Book of Revelation. This, too, would make a useful assignment; compare the illustrations with what you read in Revelation, and come to class prepared to discuss the congruence (or the discontinuity) of the illustrations with what your text suggests.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Magritte in London

Saturday I indulged my fascination with Magritte by buying a second-hand copy of The True Art of Painting, which — to my delighted surprise — includes not only a version of “Les Mots et Les Images” (hitherto I’ve made do with photocopies) but also a relate presentation that he gave at Marlborough Fine Art Ltd in London, in 1937. The numbered sections seem to correspond to images displayed at the same time he spoke, but the source does not make that explicit. The typescript does include some very rough sketches at particular points; I’ve represented these with words in braces. The argument of the presentation tends to follow that of “Mots et Images,” as you’ll see. Occasionally, though, his text departs from the compressed prose of the published predecessor.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The presentation we are about to undertake together will endeavor to show several characteristics proper to words, to images, and to real objects.

(1) A word can replace an image: (followed by the words “Chapeau” and “HAT”)

(2) An image can replace a word. I will show this using a text by André Breton in which I will replace a word with an image:

[Magritte inserts a few words of French followed by his translation of the whole passage; I’ll omit the French and give only his translation, with an indication of the picture in braces.]


By Jean Scutenaire:

By Paul Eluard:

By Paul Colinet:

By David Gascoigne: [apparently blank]

By [E. L. T.] Mesens

By Humfrey Jennings:

(3) A real object can replace a word [“real” inserted with a carat]

(4) Any form whatsoever can replace the image of an object a word.

(5) A word can do the work of an object:

(6) One can designate an image or an object with a different word name than its own.
{image of an egg} THE BIRD
{image of a bird} THE MOUNTAIN
{obscure image} BEHOLD THE SKY [Magritte writes this out phonetically in French: “skaie”]

(7) There is a hidden affinity between certain images. It applies equally to the objects represented by these images. Let’s examine [“rechercherons”] together what one should say about this. We recognize the bird in the cage. Our interest is awakened anew if the bird is replaced by a fish or a shoe.
These images are peculiar. Unfortunately they are arbitrary and accidental.
{images of a cage, bird, fish, heeled shoe, and an oval}

It is nonetheless possible to obtain a new image that would better resist the spectator’s examination. A large egg in a cage seems to be the needed answer.
{image of a doorway beside a gap in a wall}
Let’s now consider the door. The door might open on a landscape seen on the other side.

The landscape can be represented on the door.

Let’s try something less arbitrary: beside the door let’s make a hole in the wall which also makes another door.

This juxtaposition will be perfect if we reduce the two objects to a single one. The hole thus fits naturally in the door, and through this hole one sees darkness.

This image could be enriched again if one illuminates the item made invisible, hidden by the darkness [originally: “by illuminating the invisible thing that the darkness hides from us”]. Our gaze always aims always to go further, aims to see at last the object, the reason for our existence.

I’m not going to comment further in the body, here, save to note that the translation is my own, though I consulted the translation offered by Harry Torczyner in the appendix to The True Art.