Friday, November 4, 2011

Not That You Can Choose These Things



Robert Krulwich has an interesting piece on his blog Krulwich Wonders (via NPR) comparing the death of two artists, David Wojnarowicz and Theodore Gericault, both who died young, the former of AIDS, the latter of some wasting disease, most likely Tuberculosis, "the AIDS of that day [1824]".

I find the piece very sad and very moving, but there was something that struck me as...I don't know...unkind...erm...or at least judgemental on Krulwich's part. He feels for Wojnarowicz but the ending of the piece rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it's that "the unlucky one" comment.

Death and dying isn't about luck, and if it's a matter of still being creative on one's deathbed, of being ABLE to be creative on one's deathbed (Krulwich talks about how Gerricault was still painting up until he died) then David was being creative: he was keeping his diary, he was leaving his mark on the world up until the end. IDK.

14 comments:

Stan said...

Having lived and cared for an end stage HIV person it's hard for them to even get up in the morning let alone find the strength to do art.

Arion said...

Indeed, it's not a matter of 'luck'.

This is my first visit to your blog, but I'll keep coming back.

In case you want to check out my blog here's a link: www.artbyarion.blogspot.com

I'm sure you'll find something interesting.

tamayn said...

Homophobia is something very hard to remove from society, but it's like any other type of prejudice. People are still racist, sexist, and or homophobic. It's just more hidden, like in the case you found it. I think I may have to look this up and see what was said.

becca said...

what a beautiful thought t continue to live till the very last breath

JamTheCat said...

I read the article and it is rather condescending towards Wojnarowicz because he only had words to build his worlds while Gericault had images, which only shows Krulwich's limitations in understanding creation and its impact on the individual.

There's a poem I read once, an Irish poem that's a lament from the 17th or 18th century written by a woman for her murdered husband. She went on about how wonderful he was, but this one phrase seared the image of purest love into my heart -- "Walls painted white for me." It cut into my soul and showed someone willing to join with another in a life that begins at its most basic. Their world had no past, only a future...until an English nobleman killed him.

You can't replicate the power of that phrase in images. It's just not possible. And therein lies the blindness of Krulwich's comment.

Damn, I wish I could remember the name of that poem.

Writer said...

Stan, all I know about it comes from HIV/AIDS-movies pre-1995. I hope that it is now somewhat different. Crosses fingers.

Writer said...

Hi, Arion. I've added your link to my bloglist and to the list of blogs I follow. :)

Writer said...

tamayn...well, basically, it was just that. That Wojnarowicz was "unlucky." It just struck me as wrong. And I don't think the commentator was trying to be homophobic, and maybe I'm just seeing HIV-stigma - and that the stigma of HIV is so pervasive, that the commentator does not realize, sort of like otherwise perfectly progressive people saying something is "gay."

Writer said...

I don't know, becca.

Writer said...

Kyle, I tried to google the phrase and it comes up with two hits...both of which occur on your blog. So that's no help. Be sure to post it if you find it.

becca said...

see i still think it's a beautiful thought to continue to create and live till that last moment. as someone who is dying of a renal disease i don't sit back and go aw i'm dying what's the point instead I want to live each moment to it's fullet to see and do and create till that very last breath to know that when my time does come i have no regrets about missing out on something i could have done. just saying

JamTheCat said...

Writer did find it. "Lament for Art O'Leary". Or "Dirge..." or "Keen..." I think it's just a different translation from the Gaelic that I read. See what happens when you ask a librarian? You get results.

Writer said...

becca, I guess my "IDK" is more about the blogger saying the Wojnarowicz didn't create until the end. He kept writing. I think I may have misunderstood your original comment. :)

Writer said...

Kyle, well, at least THIS librarian. ;)