Saturday, May 9, 2020

the last book I ever read (Optic Nerve by María Gainza, excerpt six)

from Optic Nerve by María Gainza (Translated by Thomas Bunstead):

There are some thirty-five Courbet paintings of calm seas, and another thirty of squalls, but in Buenos Aires I have only ever seen two, and they are both in the National Museum of Fine Arts. Those I’ve seen in other forms—on the internet and in library books—are all surpassed by The Stormy Sea. When you stand before it, art disappears and something else rushes in: life, in all its tempestuousness. I would bet that Courbet himself, who used to boast of dashing off his seascapes in two hours flat, would have been proud of this one. He returned to it time and again, like a thirsty horse to its trough.

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