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  • Keith Johnson
    October 26, 2018

    The Uncertainty of the Poet

    “De Chirico’s quiet square evokes the classical arcades and statuary of antiquity (the sculpture is a torso of Aphrodite). In contrast, the passing train and perishable bananas suggest a sense of the contemporary and immediate. The distorted perspective and shadows undermine the conventions of pictorial space and time. De Chirico’s early works were enthusiastically embraced by the Surrealists, who saw in them a dream-like parallel existence. The poet Paul Eluard wrote: ‘these squares are outwardly similar to existing squares and yet we have never seen them … We are in an immense, previously inconceivable, world.’”

    I hadn’t twigged before on the punning between Old Age and Surrealism – or indeed on the significance of bananas as images of spindly legs, sources of pratfall slips and the ephemeral. Marvelous stuff that sets the mind ticking as it droops over its tree branch – but go easy on the frozen veg ice-packs. Best K

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