July 31, 2010


me :  Titian, women and Wollstonecraft


I am still not well and do not do the things I want because I can't. So what follows is mainly because I met it and liked it, following the links in ME + me :  Finally, at long last... a bit of decent prose to the English Wikipedia that indeed do form a little course or even a bit of liberal education in English literature + history of the 18th C and the Romantic Period, if you take the trouble to read them.

I did so and in fact did some more. Namely, having read Hazlitt enthusing

Mr Northcote enlarges with enthusiasm on the old painters, and tells good things of the new. The only thing he ever vexed me in was his liking the Catalogue Raisonnée. I had almost as soon hear him talk of Titian's pictures (which he does with tears in his eyes, and looking just like them) as see the originals,

what I did was check out Titian and especially

In that list you'll find a long list with many smaller pictures, with titles, dates, sizes and museums, where the smaller pictures when clicked produce such beauties as this:

Isabella of Portugal (1548)

And this rather humorous representation of Venus with a mirror:

Venus with a mirror (c. 1555)

Here the same subject in another pose:

                                                            Venus of Urbino (1538)

And a whole lot more, all very much worth seeing at List of works of Titian, for Titian was an amazing painter. (Also - in case you wondered - there are painting without women, but these are hors concours here and now.)

As it happens I don't like modern art, and perhaps the above provides some visual reasons why.

As it also happens I don't like modern feminism, but I do like classical feminists like Emma Goldman and in particular Mary Wollstonecraft, or Mary Woolstonecroft as Hazlitt wrote her name. Here she is as painted by Opie in the year of her death, 1797:

Mary Wollstonecraft (John Opie, 1797)

Mary Wollstonecraft's

is well worth reading (the above links to the Gutenberg project copy of the text).

And here is William Blake, who knew her and had illustrated some of her work, on her - and it helps if you know some about her (Mary Wollstonecraft at Wikipedia is fairly good if too modernistically feminist for my refined tastes, but has the merit of explaining that she really had character and courage):


Sweet Mary, the first time she ever was there,
Came into the ball-room among the fair;
The young men and maidens around her throng,
And these are the words upon every tongue;

`An Angel is here from the heavenly climes,
Or again does return the golden times;
Her eyes outshine every brilliant ray,
She opens her lips--'tis the Month of May.'

Mary moves in soft beauty and conscious delight,
To augment with sweet smiles all the joys of the night,
Nor once blushes to own to the rest of the fair
That sweet Love and Beauty are worthy our care.

In the morning the villagers rose with delight,
And repeated with pleasure the joys of the night,
And Mary arose among friends to be free,
But no friend from henceforward thou, Mary, shalt see.

Some said she was proud, some call'd her a whore,
And some, when she passèd by, shut to the door;
A damp cold came o'er her, her blushes all fled;
Her lilies and roses are blighted and shed.

`O, why was I born with a different face?
Why was I not born like this envious race?
Why did Heaven adorn me with bountiful hand,
And then set me down in an envious land?

`To be weak as a lamb and smooth as a dove,
And not to raise envy, is call'd Christian love;
But if you raise envy your merit's to blame
For planting such spite in the weak and the tame.

`I will humble my beauty, I will not dress fine,
I will keep from the ball, and my eyes shall not shine;
And if any girl's lover forsakes her for me
I'll refuse him my hand, and from envy be free.'

She went out in morning attir'd plain and neat;
`Proud Mary's gone mad,' said the child in the street;
She went out in morning in plain neat attire,
And came home in evening bespatter'd with mire.

She trembled and wept, sitting on the bedside,
She forgot it was night, and she trembled and cried;
She forgot it was night, she forgot it was morn,
Her soft memory imprinted with faces of scorn;

With faces of scorn and with eyes of disdain,
Like foul fiends inhabiting Mary's mild brain;
She remembers no face like the Human Divine,
All faces have envy, sweet Mary, but thine;

And thine is a face of sweet love in despair,
And thine is a face of mild sorrow and care,
And thine is a face of wild terror and fear
That shall never be quiet till laid on its bier.

From: William Blake: The Pickering Manuscript.
(circa 1803).

P.S. Well - I don't always do ME, don't you see...

As to the possibility that there may be more on the amazing genius that calls itself Esther Crawley, there is still no promise in view of what is in the P.P.S. (But if there is hope, there is life, and that is logic, more or less.)

P.P.S. It may be I have to stop Nederlog for a while. The reason is that I am physically not well at all. I don't know yet, but if there is no Nederlog, now you know the reason.

As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

6. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7. Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)

Short descriptions:

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:
   "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon
     insufficient evidence
7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.

"Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!

No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure.
I ask the Earth, have not the mountains felt?
I ask yon Heaven, the all-beholding Sun,
Has it not seen? The Sea, in storm or calm,
Heaven's ever-changing Shadow, spread below,
Have its deaf waves not heard my agony?
Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!
     - (Shelley, "Prometheus Unbound") 

    "It was from this time that I developed my way of judging the Chinese by dividing them into two kinds: one humane and one not. "
     - (Jung Chang)

See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources

P.P.S. ME - Resources needs is a Work In Progress that hasn't progressed today.

Maarten Maartensz

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