“this pig snout which represented the war’s true face.”

Surrounded by masked men during a phosgene attack at Verdun, Pierre de Mazenod was reminded of a ‘carnival of death.’ For many, gas took the war into the realm of the unreal, the make-believe. When men donned their masks they lost all sign of humanity, and with their long snouts, large glass eyes, and slow movements, they became figures of fantasy, closer in their angular features to the creations of Picasso and Braque than to soldiers of tradition. [Roland] Dorgelès called the gas mask ‘this pig snout which represented the war’s true face.’

»Modris Eksteins. Rites of Spring : The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age. Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1989.

 

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“The Oscar”

Quoted in Richard Ellman’s Oscar Wilde:

I started as Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde. All but two of the five names have already been thrown overboard. Soon I shall discard another and be known simply as ‘The Wilde’ or ‘The Oscar.’

Thus anticipating his countrymen Bono and The Edge by nearly a century. Oscar was nothing if not ahead of his time.

Shiny

… the shiny might be a modern sublime, which is fully reflective, absolutely present, and returns the gaze. This feels like a new way to think about the non-objective object.

»Anish Kapoor. “Anish Kapoor in conversation with Heidi Reitmaier.” Tate Magazine, July 2007.