How, then, am I mad? The multiple dashes, the unusual syntactical arrangement, the exclamation and question marks: all suggest someone who is, at the very least, excitable. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire.
I think it was his eye! He had the eye of a vulture — a pale blue eye, with a film over it. One can imagine a police detective doing a double-take in the interview room. Motiveless murderers are often the most unsettling. I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise, when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been ever since growing upon him. He had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not. All in vain; because Death, in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him, and enveloped the victim.
But of course this is really the narrator projecting his own unease around sounds; and it thus foreshadows his later paranoia over the supposed sound coming from under the floorboards — the sound that will drive him to confess to his crime. It seems most likely that the sound exists only in his head, since the policemen are apparently oblivious to it as they continue to chat away calmly to the narrator. Even if the sound is supernatural in origin — and Poe was obviously a master of the supernatural, as several of his other best stories attest — it may be that his victim is making his ghostly heartbeat heard only to the narrator, burrowing away deep within his mind.
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Glad you enjoyed our analysis :. Ahhhhh…and now here you have brought forth one of my most beloved tale tellers. Poe has influenced not only my own tales but my early life as well. Penney, and disseminated across the United States as the railroads connected city with city. The cloth is denim, from Nimes in France, introduced by Levi Strauss of blue-iean fame. The design can be traced to no less a person than Herbert Spencer, who thought he was creating a utilitarian one-piece suit for everybody to wear.
His own example was of tweed, with buttons from crotch to neck, and his female relatives somehow survived the mortification of his sporting it one Sunday in St. James Park. His jacket is the modification of that of a Scots shepherd which we all still wear. Grant Wood's Iowans stand, as we might guess, in a pose dictated by the Brownie box camera, close together in front of their house, the farmer looking at the lens with solemn honesty, his wife with modestly averted eyes. But that will not account for the pitchfork held as assertively as a minuteman's rifle.
The pose is rather that of the Egyptian prince Rahotep, holding the flail of Osiris , beside his wife Nufrit-strict with pious.
This formal pose lasts out years of Egyptian history, passes to some of the classical cultures-Etruscan couples in terra cotta, for instance-but does not attract Greece and Rome. It recommences in northern Europe, where to the dismay of the Romans Gaulish wives rode beside their husbands in the war chariot. Kings and eventually the merchants of the North repeated the Egyptian double portrait of husband and wife: van Eyck's Meester and Frouw Arnolfini; Rubens and his wife Helena.
It was this Netherlandish tradition of painting middle-class folk with honor and precision that turned Grant Wood from Montparnasse, where he spent two years in the s trying to be an American postImpressionist, back to Iowa, to be our Hans Memling. If Van Gogh could ask, "Where is my Japan? Just thirty years before Wood's painting, Edwin Markham's poem, "The Man with the Hoe" had pictured the farmer as a peasant with a life scarcely different from that of an ox, and called on the working men of the world to unite, as they had nothing to lose but their chains.
A digging fork appears in five of Van Gogh's pictures, three of them variations on themes by m l l e t , and all of them are studies of grinding labor and poverty. And yet the Independent Farmer had edged out the idle aristocrat for the hand of the girl in Royal Tyler's "The Contrast," the first native American comedy for the stage, and in Emerson's "Concord Hymn" it is a battle-line of farmers who fire the shot heard around the world. George , indeed, referred to his American colonies as "the farms,'' and the two Georges of the Revolution, Hanover and Washington, were proudly farmers by etymology and in reality.
The window curtains and apron in this painting are both calico printed in a reticular design, the curtains of rhombuses, the apron of circles and dots, the configuration Sir Thomas Browne traced through nature and art in his Garden of Cyrus, the quincunxial arrangement of trees in orchards, perhaps the first human imitation of phyllotaxis, acknowledging the symmetry, justice, and divine organization of nature.
Curtains and aprons are as old as civilization itself, but their presence here in Iowa implies a cotton mill, a dye works, a roller press that prints calico, and a wholesale-retail distribution system involving a post office, a train, its tracks, and, in short, the Industrial Revolution. That revolution came to America in the astounding memory of one. The apron is trimmed with rickrack ribbon, a machine-made substitute for lace. The curtains are bordered in a variant of the egg-and-dart design that comes from Nabataea, the Biblical Edom, in Syria, a design which the architect Hiram incorporated into the entablatures of Solomon's temple- "and the chapiters upon the two pillars had pomegranates also above, over against the belly which was by the network: and the pomegranates were two hundred in rows round about" 1 Kings and which formed the border of the high priest's dress, a frieze of "pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, around about the hem thereof; and bells of gold between them round about" Exodus The brass button that secures the farmer's collar is an unassertive, puritanical understatement of Matthew Boulton's eighteenth-century cutsteel button made in the factory of James Watt.
His shirt button is mother-of-pearl, made by James Boepple from Mississippi fresh-water mussel shell, and his jacket button is of South American vegetable ivory passing for horn.
The farmer and his wife are attended by symbols, she by two plants on the porch, a potted geranium and sanseveria, both tropical and alien to Iowa; he by the three-tined American pitchfork whose triune shape is repeated throughout the painting, in the bib of the overalls, the windows, the faces, the siding of the house, to give it a formal organization of impeccable harmony. If this painting is primarily a statement about Protestant diligence on the American frontier, carrying in its style and subject a wealth of information about imported technology, psychology, and aesthetics, it still does not turn away from a pervasive cultural theme of Mediterranean origin-a tension between the growing and the ungrowing, between vegetable and mineral, organic and inorganic, wheat and iron.
Transposed back into its native geography, this icon of the lord of metals with his iron sceptre, head wreathed with glass and silver, buckled in tin and brass, and a chaste bride who has already taken on the metallic thraldom of her plight in the gold ovals of her hair and brooch, are Dis and Persephone posed in a royal portrait among the attributes of the first Mediterranean trinity, Zeus in the blue sky and lighming rod, Poseidon in the trident of the pitchfork, Hades in the metals.
It is a picture of a sheaf of golden grain, female and cyclical, perennial and the mother of civilization; and of metal shaped into scythe and hoe: nature and technology, earth and farmer, man and world, and their achievement together. The ox rib found at Sarlat was published before a learned community in Toronto by Alexander Marshack in a paper given to the American Anthropological Association in December Alexander Marshack whose reading of prehistoric notation The Roots of Civilization is as brilliant and surprising as that of Andre Leroi-Gourhan Treasures of Prehistoric Art , dates the Sarlat ox rib at , years, and its discoverer, Franfois Bordes, Director of the Laboratory of Prehistory at the University of Bordeaux, places it at , It is man's oldest known work of art, or plat of hunting rights, tax receipt, star map, or whatever it is.
Just a little over a century ago, John William Burgon, then an undergraduate at Worcester College, Oxford, wrote a poem about the desert city Petra, which the traveller Johann Ludwig Burckhardt had come upon thirty years before. Except for these magic lines, much anthologized, the poem has been forgotten, along with its poet:.
The Symbol of the Archaic Four years ago1 there was discovered near Sarlat in the Dordogne the rib of an ox on which some hunter engraved with a flint burin seventy lines depicting we know not what: some god, some animal schematically drawn, a map, the turning of the seasons, the mensurations of the moon. Many of these objects, the engraving of which is not in the least primitive or unsophisticated, are fifty millennia old.
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. San Antonio USA. But when a rumour has crept out that he is not the son of the clergyman nor of the clergywoman, and he is taunted with being a gipsy and a vagrant, he lays his bare hands on those nearest to him, my daughter, and comes away on his bare feet. And all this in the service of quasi-inquisitorial excruciation. His hands are something dark for the son of such a delicate white lady-mother, but they can be covered with the kid gloves of gentility. All of the elements of the Gothic novel are here: the subterranean secret, the Gothic space scaled down from a full-blown castle to a single room , the gruesome crime — even the hovering between the supernatural and the psychological.
Not saintly grey, like many a minster fane That crowns the hill or sanctifies the plain: But rosy-red, as if the blush of dawn Which first beheld them were not yet withdrawn: The hues of youth upon a brow of woe, Which men called old two thousand years ago! Match me such marvel, save in Eastern clime, A rose-red city-half as old as time!
Burgon, stealing half a line from Samuel Rogers' Italy, makes Petra "half as old as time," for creation was still an event dated B. The eighteenth century taught us to look at ruins with a particular frisson, to thrill to the depths of years in which we can stand. The discovery of the physical past generated a deep awe and Romantic melancholy, positing a new vocabulary of images for poetry. Petra, carved in red Nabataean stone, became an image resonant with meaning.
Without its name, and with a sharper Angst than Romantic wonder, it can still move us in Eliot's evocation in The Waste Land:. A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief, And the dry stone no sound of water.
Only There is shadow under this red rock Come in under the shadow of this red rock. From the visits in and of English merchants t o Palmyra, which they supposed to be the Biblical Tadmor, providing Gibbon with a sceptical footnote, Thomas Love Peacock with a fashion-setting poem, and the Romantic poetry of Europe with a new. In our time we have Charles Olson's "The Kingfishers," the central poem in the Projectivist School of poets and a meditation o n ruins, demonstrating that the form is far from exhausted.
It is even Volneyesque, and, for all Olson's stringent modernity, can be read as an inquiry into the rise and fall of civilizations that continues a subject taken up in the earliest days of Romanticism. Like his master Pound, Olson sees civilizations grow and perish against a continuum of nature, though he is modern enough t o know that nature's moments are not really eternal; they are simply much longer than those of civilizations.
Nature herself has her ruins, deserts, and flooded lands. Olson was writing poems about the drift of continents when he died. Olson's "The Kingfishers" was inspired in part by Pablo Neruda's Alturas de Machu Picchu, a masterpiece among poems about ruins by a travelled poet who had been t o Angkor Wat and the Athenian acropolis, Yucatan and Cuzco. At the heart of Olson's poem is "the E o n that oldest stone" meaning the epsilon o n the omphalos stone a t Delphi, which Plutarch puzzled over at the behest of Nero.