caged painting/caged painter -> -> -> -> an adequate image of internal exile -> -> -> n-set

– Arthur Boyd, Figure supporting back legs and Interior with black rabbit, 1973-4

the image is from Arthur Boyd’s ‘caged painter’ series, commenced in 1971 upon his return to Australia after over a decade in England. The year he left Caetano Veloso was recording his own record of exile, ‘A Little More Blue.’

Norman Manea repeats the mantra he learnt from Franz Kafka: in the confrontation between oneself and the world, take the side of the world.

Jorge Luis Borges is a poet of the pathos of time. He writes of Citizen Kane that it links the Koheleth to the memory of another nihilist, Franz Kafka. [Jorge Luis Borges, Selected Non-Fictions, ed. Eliot Weingberger, Viking, New York, 1999, p. 259]

Emptiness, emptiness, says Koheleth, emptiness, all is empty.

So I came to hate life, since everything that was done here under the sun was a trouble to me; for all is emptiness and chasing the wind.

I considered all the acts of oppression here under the sun; I saw the tears of the oppressed, and I saw that there was no one to comfort them.

Woe betide the land when a slave has become its king, and its princes feast in the morning.

Whatever has already existed has been given a name, its nature is known, a man cannot contend with what is stronger than he. The more words one uses the greater is the emptiness of it all; and where is the advantage to a man?

and the Koheleth, said to be a sage whose sayings were recorded in the second century BC and collected in Ecclesiastes, also wrote the song which goes … a time to be born and a time to die, and so on.

There is an empty thing found on earth: when the just man gets what is due to the unjust, and the unjust what is due to the just. I maintain that this too is emptiness. So I commend enjoyment, since there is nothing good for a man to do here under the sun but to eat and drink and enjoy himself; this is all that will remain with him to reward his toil throughout the span of life.

… and I bethought myself of all the fury and hatred I had to bring against the world and its illusions and because the door opened a crack I heard the engine pounding, its hammers beating. I wondered if this was the engine, the war-machine with which I was to assail the transcendental empiricism of Gilles Deleuze; albeit that its hammers were butterfly wings shamanically grafted onto it and that its beating was only theatrical: the apocalypse is achieved with a backlit gauze on a proscenium arch stage. It is sheer melodrama.

Nothing is more terrifying writes Borges than a labyrinth without a centre.

And if for every step the thread was cut?