member of:Observers of the Interdependence of Domestic Objects and Their Influence on Everyday Life


This group has been active for a long time and has already made some remarkable assertions which render life simpler from the practical point of view. For example, I move a pot of green color five centimeters to the right, I push in the thumbtack beside the comb and if Mr. A (another adherent like me) at this moment puts his volume about bee-keeping beside a pattern for cutting out vests, I am sure to meet on the sidewalk of the avenida Madero a woman who intrigues me and whose origin and address I never could have known...
--Remedios Varo


(Artwork by Remedios Varo)
By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.
--Franz Kafka

Friday, January 29, 2010

What the East Wind Told Me

“I have never been anywhere except Richmond, Virginian, and New York, because I have always been told that only grown-up people were allowed to travel. But the good East Wind and the kindly Moon have taken me on rapturous journeys high above the world to get an enchanted view of things. In this book I have put some of my discoveries, but if you are looking here for real likeness of the things that any one could see if he were grown up, you had better close the covers now. You cannot expect me to draw an exact picture of the North Pole or of a Chinese lady's feet or of a sea-cucumber. But if you are interested in what the East Wind or the Father Stork or the Moon told me, then look with my eyes and you will not mind very much if the courtiers in the ogre's court, or the dock leaves in the Garden of Paradise, are not just as a grown-up person thinks they should be. After all is said and done, what the young ones say about it is the all-important matter.”
--from Walker’s forward to Fairy Tales from Hans Christian Andersen (1914)




For each of his illustrations for Anderson’s fairy tales, Walker provided a short story of his own beneath the image, tales I find as creative and enjoyable as the drawings themselves:



“Fairy children are never bad until their second teeth come; and no one knows they are bad then except their mother. She thinks it very pretty, but of course she pretends she doesn't. if she had a corner she would stand them in it, but as she hasn't, she takes her naughty child's chin in her hand, very gently, and she says: "Child, you have lost your nose. Go look for it at once. And if you don't stick you finger in the hole where your nose used to be, before you find it, you will find a pot of gold at the same time." Now fairies, you know, never think; for if they did they would see they could not use a pot of gold if they found one. So before they stop to think, off sails each naughty fairy up into the air to look for its nose with its hands for oars, so that it can't stick its fingers into the hole where its nose used to be. And fanning its wings, it sails straight up into the air, and on still wings drifts down again — and up and down again it sails, looking all over the sky for its nose, which is another proof that it doesn't think, for what, pray, should its nose be doing there? Until by and by it forgets all about the pot of gold and forgets it is using its hands for oars. And then! Well, of course, you know what it does at once. Just what you did with your tongue when you lost your tooth.” (Source)



I

”Fairies say: "to play that you are doing something is as nice as doing it. They have a play called L'Envoi, that is quite the nices of all plays, that is, if you are a fairy. One has a flower whose blooms hand from the stalk like little bells, the others follow in a line that flutters from onse side to the other. The leader holds her flower high and calls, "L'Envoi! L'Envoi! L'Envoi!" And whichever side she dips the little bells in, the fairies march in that direction. After they have marched several inches, they lie down and quickly jump up again. Then the leader goes to the end of the line, and the next one becomes leader, then the third, then the fourth, and so on until each fairy has been the leader once. It sounds very stupid, but if you are a fairy, it is the most delightful play int he whole world. If only human beings weren't so dignified, there are many delightful things they could learn from the fairies. L'Envoi. L'Envoi!”






And here is the video, by Andrea on YouTube, of Walker’s illustrations in the book “Dream Boats,” which introduced me to this artist.




1 comment:

  1. Hello zoe.

    Thank you so much for this lovely post!! I loved it! The youtube video you placed is fantastic! I didn't know about Walker well. I only saw a couple of his drawings. I would often read HCA's fairy tales when i was a child but the illustrations were not his.

    As for the Japanese salamander, I'll post it in the near future.

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