Thursday, March 20, 2014


More than midway through life's journey, my good Gallic friend Currado Malaspina finds himself at a crossroads. He feels the frosty augury of death with an immediacy bordering on fear. The snowy down that coats his wrinkled face belie his still vigorous  constitution. At yet he's obsessed with the idea of an impending infirmity. That he still frolics with damsels half his age changes nothing of his gloomy foreboding. He sees the Book of Revelation as his personal talisman and he reminds anyone within earshot that "the Lamb has opened the seventh seal ..."

On the other hand, there is a competing force that guides Currado like a divining lodestar. He explains it with a famous French syllogism: All men are dogs - Malaspina is a man - Malaspina is a dog.

The pleasures of the flesh are never far from Currado's mind and it is this very tension between the sybarite and the sinner that tears his mortal soul apart. He wants desperately to be at peace with his god before he dies but in his recognition that life is fleeting he needs equally to bathe in the corpuscular present. The sad truth is that the deadly trespass of fornication is a venal kindness he simply cannot do without.

Not too long ago Currado began to track his urges in a notebook complete with strange little drawings. He annotated those drawings with cryptographic jottings
whose specific meanings even he sometimes forgets. His struggle with the antagonistic clash between religious redemption and sensual satisfaction is his defining motif and his markings betray the seriousness of his ambivalence. Through logarithmic calculations and pictorial juxtapositioning Currado has reconciled the opposing forces of his nature in a jarring display of graphic rationalization.

His message is clear: If I can draw my way through the torment no ill can ever befall me.

It is completely idiotic but that's what happens when you've gone to a Catholic school in France with a fairly decent art department.

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