-A window ajar is a prelude in building to the joy of being limitless! That uneasiness of being familiar somehow, sometime, somewhere.......

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Meme Machine...

Here is the new meme. It is simple, easy and gives no room for whining one usually associates with a meme. All you have to do is select and upload one photo that you have clicked this year that is special to you. Could be anything...aesthetic, technical or personal. Also, put in a short note why it is special.

Here’s mine:

This one is special because it opened worlds for me this year. We were driving towards Lucerne in summer. I was reading on the famous Lion of Lucerne (Löwendenkmal) when J asked me: If I knew who described the monument as the most moving piece of stone he has ever seen.

Robert Byron? Eric Newby? Oscar Wilde?
It was Mark Twain.

Later , when I stood before the monument, I was mesmerised. It was exactly as Twain had described it. Before this, I have never believed that a stone could be made to express such a primary human emotion of despair.

The lion is stabbed in the back and lies dying in dolour and with deep anguish of betrayal amongst the broken sovereigns and symbols of the French royalty.

The monument is dedicated to the six hundred Swiss Gaurds who lost their lives guarding the Tuilleries and Versailles palaces and their royal inhabitants during the French revolution. It was designed by the talented Dane Bertel Thorvaldsen. The Latin means: dedicated to the loyalty and courage of Swiss.

I observed how concise Twain was with his eyes and ink, hence dug up all his great travelogues, much to the shock of J who could never bring herself to believe that I hadn’t read them.

The Tramp’s Abroad
The Innocent’s Abroad

And the wonderful...Following the Equator (reading)

It has been a great find. Paul Theroux, Tony Hawks, Ewan McGregor, Bruce Chatwin, Bill Bryson, Stuart Maconie , Michael Palin I have read them a few adventurous travellers this year but No one has enriched me as much Twain has.

Here are the next, Thanks.


Mridula said...

Thanks a lot for including me in the meme, I will surely do it. And thoroughly enjoyed your story and the picture.

Madhuri said...

Hi - thanks for passing me the meme. It is - as you say a simple one and I will take it up soon.
I enjoyed your story and the picture and am tempted to take up Mark Twain.

parikrama said...

Hi Uber,

That's a truly moving and beautiful momument. Thanks for sharing the pic & the trivia (?) associated with it.

I have put up my favourite pic for 2007. Do check it out @ Roots

asuph said...

Okay done.


I hope I haven't disappointed you.

bottled - imp said...

uber what makes the lion so special? because it is a great sculpture? or because of its metaphorical representation? or because twain wrote about it? or because of this lion that you found twain?

and thanks, i'd look for recommending twain's travelogues. btw, have you read norman lewis? i wrote about his book "voices of the old sea" long ago? have you read it? i quite liked Chatwin's Songlines.

Ubermensch said...

Sorry if I was not clear, I suppose its a combination of all. As I have said, I have never seen a lion made of stone, for that matter any statue or sculpture designed to display such emotion. And prompted by the conversation, I discovered Twain's invaluable travelogues. Ergo its special.
No haven’t read Lewis yet, but know a lot about him. Thanks, and the link isn’t working

bottled - imp said...

sorry, here is the link . strange that i 'previewed' it and it worked.

you (and twain) are right about the expression of anguish on the lion. i dont remember clearly but i think i was quite impressed by the statues of surya on konark temple. the four sides had four different statues with different expression on each representing the intensity of the sun across the day.

not entirely unrelated but i am sure you know about the painting 'guernica'.

asuph said...

yes, the lion's expression is amazing. beautiful sculpture that is!

and, yoss, i've made amends for my sloppy camera work by tagging Atul, who's put up a worthy blog


Ubermensch said...

have to go to Orissa soemtime, i keep on telling mysel. I know it knwo better than timbuktoo.

Asuph thanks,
Atul is a PRO.

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