Saturday, September 22, 2007

Statue: The Disappearing Man, Prague

Someone just mentioned walking in a sculpture garden as a metitative thing to do for Yom Kippur. I remembered this sculpture which I tried three different times to photograph, and deleted most of the attempts. This is less than wonderful but gives some idea of the meditative nature of the sculpture. It is in Prague, on stairs in a park which was across the street from our hotel.

It is called The Disappearing Man and is a memory of what it was like to live under Communism. On the lowest, nearest step the man is whole, but successive replicas, on succssive steps, show him beginning to disintegrate. It was moving and very effective, seen both in the daylight and one evening after dinner when there were street lights but the "man" not only became sketchier but also disappeared into the shadows.

I have just finished Mary Lee Settle's novel, CELEBRATION. In it each of the main characters is changed and matured by contact with death, in very dramatic settings. At the end as we seem to have a happy ending, the one truly good and whole character is murdered in a random act of violence, it is not a deus ex machina, she is [was, for I believe she died recently] a fine writer. The end was unsettling but not entirely surprising ... I am still unsettled. I get deeply into fiction, the stories become part of my life. Being sad about that reminded me, after reading the comment I mentioned, of this powerful sculpture. Art -- literature, visual arts, music -- enrich and enlighten my life immeasurably.

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