Mission

Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.
A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Picture My Reading World

Simon of Stuck-in-a-Book posed an interesting query recently.  I found the idea intriguing yet overwhelming.  I spent two years in art school, worked in an art gallery and a museum, and was a semi-starving artist for a little while.  I have so many pictures and artists in my head; but which image was the image of myself as a reader?  I kept thinking about this, and it just simmered on the back burner for a week or more. Then I was here, at the glittering burn, and saw the Hodgkin painting, and said "maybe that's it?" But not quite, or not entirely.  The Bonnard painting of his wife in the bathtub (imagine posing for that) had popped into my mind; it was starting to come together, because Hodgkin's work derives from Bonnard.  A little more poking around, and I came up with this combination.  The joyous urgency of the Hodgkin, the sheer sensuality and vibrancy of the painting--that is attentive reading.  And the Bonnard, with interior and exterior captured in one scene, flowing one into the other, the woman half in the world of nature, half in the world of home--lovely.  That is reading, too:  flowing loosely from one world to another, an interior world and an exterior world, the world of the book, the world of the mind.

11 comments:

Cozy Book Nook (Lesa) said...

ooo, that is a clever one. Interesting that are an artist-- how did you happen to end up teaching lit and not art?

bibliophiliac said...

Lesa, I have gone back and forth between literature and art my whole life. I studied art, and then found I missed books. I studied literature, and missed my paints! I have considered getting certified to teach art (even found out what I would have to do). The thought of not grading papers! But in this economy, the arts are the first discipline to be cut, so I stay right where I am! Future career: art critic?

Kimberly said...

I love this idea! I'm going to search for some artworks that I think represent me as a reader.

Brenna said...

This is lovely. I love the idea of reading of moving from one world to the next.

Brenna said...

as* moving

tea lady said...

I think that this is my favourite response to Stuck In A Book's challenge so far! I like Bonnard too and love the way that you have used the two paintings to describe your feelings about reading.

The visceral feeling that I get from the Hogkin is very similar to the way I feel when in the grip of a great book.

tea lady said...

...and thank you for mentioning my blog!

Julie P said...

I really love the second painting. Thanks for sharing it...

Iliana said...

Lovely post! I think Bonnard was the first painter whose work I went to see at a museum. Wonderful. I'm going to see if I can come up with something to post too.

StuckInABook said...

That domestic scene is such a beautiful, interesting picture - great choice!

bibliophiliac said...

For all who were interested in this post idea, Simon of Stuck-in-a-Book has a new post with links to the numerous responses to the picture idea, along with reproductions of the many pictures posted. Great idea that really took off!