Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Squelch. "How pleasing that such profound prattle should inevitably find its way into print! 'Not precisely a symphony in white... for there is a yellowish dress.. brown hair, etc... another with reddish hair... and of course there is the flesh colour of the complexions.'
"Bon Dieu! did this wise person expect white hair and chalked faces? And does he then, in his astounding consequence, believe that a symphony in F contains no other note, but shall be a continued repetition of F, F, F? ...Fool!" - James McNeill Whistler, in The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, responding to a review of his painting "Symphony in White No. III" in the Saturday Review.
[The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, by James McNeill Whistler, Heinemann, 1890. Consists mostly of cuttings from Whistler's critics, followed by the slashings he sent in response. Lots of pettiness, lots of random French phrases, lots of English that doesn't make actual sense (or at least not now), but enough venom and penetration to remain addictive.]

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