Tuesday, March 5, 2019


"The False Mirror" by Rene Magritte (1928)
In England the problem is that everyone speaks with an English accent. So it’s more difficult to get the feeling Americans almost always have of being culturally inferior. The same thing applies to France.  Only it has to do with looks and sexuality. There are so many good looking people and especially women with perfect Gallic features, that a set of morphological characteristics that might turn heads on say Jones Beach doesn’t have the same effect in Paris or St. Tropez. It’s reminiscent of an old episode of The Twilight Zone, The Eye of the Beholder. A female patient is told that surgeons will operate one more time in order to remove her deformities. The operation turns out to be a failure, but when the camera pans up from the face of what's obviously a preternaturally beautiful woman, the audiences see the that the faces looking down on the operating table are hideous gargoyles. Now the state of affairs for French and English folk living with their alternating air of cultivation or attributes of beauty is not as dramatic, but the shock for either a patient or observer simply lies in the mundaneness of it all. In a place where lots of people speak the King’s English or have beautiful features, individuals have the burden of finding other ways of distinguishing themselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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