Modernist Patterns: in Literature and the Visual Arts by Murray Roston (auth.)

By Murray Roston (auth.)

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Yet despite this ostensible dissociation from its practices, he repeatedly incorporated Christian elements as central motifs in his work. One out of every ten canvases he produced included such Christian themes, in a manner scarcely indicative of a rejection of the faith. 54 Conrad's Stylistic 'Mistiness' 35 Those motifs, significantly, were not presented in traditional form but in terms of universal, archetypal myth. Te Tamari No Atua - The Birth of Christ, the Son of God, now in the Neue Pinakothek in Munich, like the similar version in the Hermitage Museum, startlingly transposed the Nativity scene to a Tahitian setting, depicting a dark-skinned woman delivered of a haloed baby within a stable, a canvas believed to have been painted at the time Gauguin' s mistress Pahura gave birth to their short-lived child.

They heed only the eye and neglect the mysterious centres of thought ... ,74 It was that dream landscape, and the mysterious centres of thought stimulated by it, that fascinated Conrad too, expressed by hirn stylistically in those 'misty' passages which have so long disturbed the critics but were so integral to his art, his sense of im palpable, enigmatic forces motivating even the most sophisticated and seemingly civilised forms of human society. 2 T. S. Eliot and the Secularists Even those critics SUSPIClOUS of intermedia studies have come to acknowledge that the innovative aspects of T.

But that approach involved a fundamental misconception of his purpose. For the empirically based principles by which they were evaluating his writing were diametrically opposed to those Conrad was consciously cultivating, as an early and leading exponent of a movement countering the empiricist tendencies of his time, and projecting a disturbed awareness of the imponderables in human existence, of mysteries upon which the new science could shed little light. In turning to the visual arts, we shall need to resort to a major principle governing this present investigation.

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