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Claudio Magris, color, art, soul

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CLAUDIO MAGRIS, ” THE PATCHES OF ARLECCHINO. DO COLORS EXIST? ” (La Nave di Teseo, page 34, Euro 8.00). ” Color is music because it says and does not say; its value and its meaning are not denotative, they do not indicate an object but, even when they appear indissoluble at that moment from that object – a rose, a cloud – they do not designate so much that object but what it evokes, translating into the heart of those who look at it. This is what binds color to the word, when it does not have, at that moment, a mere demonstration value, the word ‘chair’ which indicates that thing with four legs on which one sits ”. The word, like color, can be discolored like the color that, between symbolic value and poetic value, crosses the history of our literature, the history of art. Claudio Magris tells it in a small, dazzling volume, ” Le patches di Arlecchino. Are there colors? ” The colors, explains Magris, listed in the Great atlas of colors are 999, ” there are so many shades of color that a human eye can distinguish ”. ” The colors are not there, but they can be seen; many colors like the patches on Harlequin’s dress, but which, unlike these, can be seen but not touched ”. In this immateriality that borders on non-existence, the whirlwind of meanings appears, each category has a vast range of them for use and consumption by the world it has to build. A philosophical problem, that of colors, which however finds its objective concreteness in the feelings that every nuance manages to evoke in the human soul. The blue “ perhaps because of the sea – is the color of my life ”, writes Magris who truly proceeds like the patches of Harlequin, building his dress through the work of Goethe, passing from Guercino to the stained glass windows of Chartres, from Picasso to Baudelaire from Rilke to Van Gogh, from Kandinskij to Benn. Just to name a few of which he pursues the relationship with individual colors. There is the blue of art but also that of music, ” the American black folk song of the United States ” for example, ” notes that give a total indefiniteness ”. But Magris explains, ” no muse can ignore blue and cinema proves it ” where the discourse would never end. Perhaps the colors, writes the author admirably, ” know only one verb, to discolor ”. and at the same time evoke meanings that can sometimes be contradictory. As well as white which is the true color of horror, not black, which instead has an interesting line of continuity with blue and light blue. White so well described by Melville in Moby Dick, where there are ” the highest, most disturbing, metaphysically and physically and psychologically unsustainable pages on a color. Horror, madness and absolute ambiguity is also white in Poe’s Gordon Pym or in Lovecraft’s short stories and novels ”. In short, as Magris writes, who confesses never content to quote Biagio Marin in a letter to his Chinese translator, ” Our contingencies color the eternity of God ”.
(ANSA).

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Source From: Ansa

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