Sunday, May 6, 2012

Primitive painters

In case you missed it, Tommi Uschanov quotes Angela Carter in comments on this post:
A very nice man who edits a magazine called Rabies came and did a modest Verlaine. He performed a poem containing a variety of farmyard impressions. We all liked it very much but afterwards a crisp, grey-haired lady put us down terribly by saying: "I suppose he thinks we don't know what Dada is in Ilkley." She turned out to be a marvellous primitive painter. She was mad as fire about the way people like me sneered at people like her - "little old ladies", she said. "They go on and on about little old ladies not knowing nothing about anything." She had a painting of a waterfall done in silver paint. She said it had been especially difficult to do, since she was trying to get the sound.
And he links to the longer essay from which this comes, in which I found these great lines:
Jean and I soon discovered the Oxfam shop and the Shelter shop and combed them, exclaiming. Nothing but good tweed, sturdy jersey; name brands. I had spent the money I’d earmarked for a winter coat on Barbara Whalley’s paintings but, lo and behold, I managed to purchase a square-cut early sixties coat in a fabric we used to call poodle cloth for the price of a kebab and chips in The Smoke.
The lady volunteer at the tea bar in the festival club admired it, but she said she herself never dared buy anything from the Shelter shop — though often tempted — for fear she might meet its donor in the street when she was wearing it. That is what I call real life. You could write like Balzac if you lived in a town like that. Indeed, it would require the intransigence of a Brontë not to write like Balzac in a town like that. 
What follows is not much of a video, but a tremendous song (especially once Elizabeth Fraser comes in, around 1:40).

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