(remXIX) “…man is not truly one, but truly two.

September 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

I say two, because the state of my knowledge does not pass beyond that point.”  The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, R. L. Stevenson.

Really, this can be read as an INTRODUCTION.

 

We are about to begin. The psychology of the double is everywhere, and bipolarity, duality and split personality have been at the core of creation and inspiration for centuries. Heaven and Hell, bright angels against dark demons, the eternal war between light and darkness. So far so good for the easy biblical imagery. More recently – say, 150 years ago – art and literature became obsessed with the hidden evil side of virtue. Victorian ideology, austere and supposedly ordered, was trying to maintain a presbyterian serious face while faced with truly decadent society. That society gave birth to Mr Hyde. It also created Dorian Gray. And every other fictional characters — not so fictitious as some could have been our neighbours, easily, had we lived in London in the 1890’s.

Nowadays, we live an age of indecision. Constantly oscillating and flickering, secrets lurk and struggle to surface, as in these old fairytales, in which the child can sense something is concealed from him and kept out of reach, until one day, as an adult, he suddenly understands the metaphor for the Red Riding Hood, Snow White and other Sleeping Beauties. I still remember the day I realised all these fairytales were peopled with monsters… from real ordinary crude life, nightmares and sexuality. What a failure. No wonder we’re driven crazy when growing up. Look at this poor Natalie Portman in Black Swan… Aren’t we being eaten up by our own dreams and self-pressure? This is what literature and art have been trying to explore so far: how this basic contradiction, the politically/socially correct Vs the hidden desirable, respectable superficiality Vs repulsive fantasy.

Simple, but never-ending topic to explore. And I guess because I am still so young, I still have a lot to explore in this direction. I like the enchanting and the double charm and glamour of the world. Not only man, but also things, as objects created by man, are multiple and polysensible. This blog is going to explore time and space, but will focus mainly on the end of the nineteenth century and the twentieth, because that is from where most paradoxes of our modern and post-modern ages were born. I will try to rave from books to movies, and from painters to designers… Remember our fascination for the decadence of those ages, that we nevertheless keep on considering as Golden Ages.

EXPLORATION…on its way…

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