07 May 2024

Magical surrealism

I've just had a "writing week" in Shropshire and picked up this book on Chagall in a charity bookshop on my travels, for the princely sum of £1.50, and since poured out 1,000 words in a sort of experimental style (not poetry nor prose) inspired by his “magical surrealism” and taking as its start (and end) point my encounter with the ceiling he painted in the main auditorium at the Opéra Garnier in Paris, which was unveiled 60 years ago to, of course, both acclaim and derision. 

It (the ceiling) has his signature flying folk and funny animals and embracing lovers and bright colours and circus motifs and also sights in my favourite city, including le Tour Eiffel and l’Arc de Triomphe and Sacre Coeur. I don't have a photo of the ceiling, I don't think, as when I visited it was all film, baby, and I was young and skint and couldn’t afford much in the way of development so didn’t take tons of pictures aside from my arty stuff (City & Guilds in photography, I’ll have you know).

I do remember snapping the other Paris opera, the one at Bastille, as I really liked the juxtaposition of old and new architecture, and Paris really was falling down in parts at that time (the 90s, since you're asking), but with these big shiny edifices plonked in the middle of the crumbling masonry. I'll have to dig out the photo; I feel it was in black and white for extra contrast.

My mum's just dropped off another Chagall book, so I'll be having a leaf through that when I get a chance. Right now, I'm trying to finish the latest novel in Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City series, as it's due back at the library. He swore the Anna Madrigal one was the last, but then snuck this in ten years or so later. You'd have thought he might have been able to find a decent proofreader in all that time...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.