Publius Ovidius Naso: The Exile of Beauty.

Publius Ovidius Naso was exiled out of Rome into a small village on the coast of western coast of the Black sea called Tomi. He was banished by Augustus, who never banished another writer after Ovid. It is unknown what Ovid did to be banished. Of his banishment Hughes writes, ” …was a terrible waste of life0enhancing talent.” (Hughes 87)

ovid

He then continues to quote some of Ovid’s poetry which I found very moving.

“As I can,

I solace myself with song.

There is no-one to listen.

In pretence I spend the day.

The fact that I am alive, that I put a firms front on hardship,

That I look sorrow in the face,

I owe to poetry. It offers me comfort,

Rest and remedy,

It is my guide and companion…

Our age has produced great poets,

But my reputation stands,

There are many I rank above myself,

But others rank me with them,

And I am the best-seller.” (Hughes 87)

I’m sure that artists and non-artists alike can relate to this poem. Everyone has something in their life that gives them comfort, and rest. For most it is some form of art. I have gotten into the Portland Poetry slam scene lately (solely as an audience member), and it’s quite fascinating to watch someone perform a poem they have written and realize that writing that poem and performing it was the only way for them to tell that particular story. Poetry for them in comforting, safe, and freeing. Additionally I like the moderate insecurity in this passage. I like how even back then it was common to not be confident in one’s art form. There are so many artists who do not like what they produce, yet it is enamoring to others. I think it has everything to do with how close the artist is to what they create. They have invested so much time, energy and emotion into a piece that they see it only for that and not for the beauty that it is. I just really loved this passage.

-Travelin’ Tori

Text:

Hughes, Robert. Rome : A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History. 1st Vintage Books ed. New York: Vintage, 2012. Print.

Feature image source:

http://www.crystalinks.com/ovid.html

Image in post source:

http://imgbuddy.com/ovid-statue.asp

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The Work Behind Art- Bernini’s Fountain.

Making art is always work. The artist slaves away for hours, day, weeks, months, even years. They overcome obstacles, find great inspiration, lose that inspiration, and find new inspiration. It is a challenge, yet it is incredibly rewarding. I have done many types of art in my days. Drawing, painting, sculpture, and most recently linoleum block printing. This last year I spent block printing was quite life changing. It was the first art form that 1) I didn’t pick up on right away and 2) had the most steps, materials, details, and variables to work with. I was amazed at just how much work went into one single print. Let me elaborate. Here is a print I did this year.

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Here’s the break down. I spent around 30 hours first drawing the image onto my $29+10 shipping linoleum block. I then spent upwards of 50 hours carving every line and shape with my $15 linoleum tool. I then spent around 3 hours calibrating the press, mixing ink, preparing my $10 a sheet paper, applying the ink to the board, placing the paper on the inked board and rolling it through the press in order to produce this one print. Now granted I can now produce hundreds of these prints, but isn’t it crazy how much work goes into just one? The best part about it all, however, is that the work behind the art is usually the most interesting part for people.

bernini

In Rome Hughes says, “It was gradually borne in on me by Rome that one of the vital things that make a great city great is not mere raw size, but the amount of care, detail, observation, and love precipitated in its contents, including but not only it’s buildings.” (Hughes 11)The magnificence of the famous Bernini fountain is so captivating because of this fact I feel. We as humans recognize and appreciate the incredible work that was put into art. We can’t imagine how it was made to be so perfect, amazing, and gorgeous in a time that seems as though it had nothing. I also think this is why digital art has such a hard time getting a following or recognition because it is viewed at “lazy” or “easy”. There isn’t the same sense of miraculous wonder that ancient art or even a photo-realistic painting offers. As an artist of sorts I am glad that the work I produce is admired as a whole including the process, and I’m glad as a society we have not lost that admiration for the process, work, and love that produces art.

-Travelin’ Tori

Image source:

Carol Raphael- Guest Lecturer; Finding the Hidden Treasures.

Carol was such a wonderful guest lecturer. The way she spoke about art, it’s history, and the magnificence of seeing it in person was inspiring. She gave us so much information with so many different artist and pieces it’s all still settling. there was one moment I distinctly remember in her lecture. She showed us a picture of a hidden little place called San Pietro in Montorio and inside this church is a small commemorative tomb called Il Tempietto meaning small temple.

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This is a woodcut rendition of Il Tempiatto. I spent this last year doing block prints and actually hope to do some based on pictures I take in London and Rome. inside

As she described this gem I was suddenly overwhelmed by emotion. I was in awe of the fact that these things are within my reach. The fact that in a few weeks I too could be nestled inside Il Tempietto gazing at it’s beauty, listening to it’s history and admiring it’s art and architecture. I was also enlightened to the idea that some of these beautiful things are hidden. They must be found. I think we all regularly desire to find the hidden, unseen and secret. If you ask someone what their favorite bar or restaurant is chances are it won’t be the most popular one in town but it will be the one that is tucked away in a neighborhood that they once “found”. I think this is one of the aspects of our trip I most look forward too. Wandering, discover, and experiencing the not so touristy parts of London and Rome. I told my boyfriend a few weeks ago that I really just want to wander and kind of get lost(not really lost!) in Rome during our free time. Sometimes the things hidden from view are the most miraculous. I hope to find some; It sounds truly splendid.

-Travelin Tori

Rome- Chapter 1, The Sabine Women.

“…The kidnapped Sabine women flung themselves between the two sides of furious males–brothers, fathers, husbands– and persuaded then to make peace not war. ” (Hughes 19)

As I read chapter one of Rome: A Cultural, Visual and Personal History by Robert Hughes there were definitely parts that were hard to get through. I am a primarily visual learner, so facts, dates and names are hard for me to absorb. There were many instances, however, where Hughes used a description of a painting to describe a moment in the story. These really resignation with me. The most profound for me was the description of this painting called Sabine Women by Jacques-Loise David.  sabine best pic

This painting depicts the moment when the Sabine women through themselves into the crossfire, so to speak, to convince the men who loved them, to fight for them with peace instead of war. I absolutely love the contrast of the the very white dress on the prominent women in the middle. She is the most boisterous in there gestures to the men to cease their fighting, so I feel it is appropriate for her to be in such contract with the rest of the image. I also very much enjoy how many stories there are within this image. To the left of the women in white you can see a women holding her child while also gently holding a man’s leg, whom I’m assuming is a loved one of some sort. This woman has such a loving calmness to her. I also like the woman to the right of the woman in white wearing green. I like that this woman is a bit older and seems quite disturbed or desperate in her plea. You can feel the tension in her arms and shoulders as she pulls on her dress. Lastly I find the sky quite perfect in this painting. There are grey, stormy clouds in the sky that could be compared to this dark, war-filled time. However, there are little bits of blue showing through. The pieces of hope shining through the storm. It is all very satisfying. I very much like this image.

-Travelin Tori

Image Source:

http://photobucket.com/images/jacques-louis%20david%20-%20intervention%20of%20the%20sabine%20women

A Room With a View- The differences in characters while in Rome vs. England.

There are many times when Forester articulates the differences in expectation of behavior of the English in Rome versus in England quite clearly. It is found more subtly through reactions, descriptions, and dialogue. There are two moments when we see the true, whimsical nature of Lucy that show the contrast between Rome and England expectations. The first is on page 73, the surprise, passionate kiss Lucy receives from George. Although Mrs. Bartlett witnesses the kiss there is no outward dialogue in this moment. It is almost as if, since they are in Rome Mrs. Bartlett accepts the beauty of the moment instead of condemning the behavior. Once they are back in England Mrs. Bartlett suddenly has plenty to say about the situation. Additionally, when they arrive back to England there is scene between Mr. Beebe, the clergyman, and Cecil, Lucy’s betrothed. Mr. Beebe is describing the way Lucy plays the piano. He watched her play while they were in Rome and was enamored at the fact that she had so much passion within her and yet that passion is regularly stifled. He says, ” Does it seem reasonable that she play so wonderfully, and live so quietly?” He goes on to say, ” The water-tight compartments in her will break down, and music and life will mingle.” (Forester 100) Beebe sees that Lucy is playing the role expected of her as a proper English young lady. He sees that inside Lucy is passion, and emotions that are unacceptable in her culture. He himself seems to admire the passion within Lucy in Rome more than the proper behavior she exhibits in England. He looks forward to the day when her passion bursts from her seems and she is able to live the life she wants to. It’s a great comparison of behaviors, feelings, and expectations in the different cities.

-Travelin’ Tori

Image from:

http://cinema-fanatic.com/2013/03/18/oscar-vault-monday-a-room-with-a-view-1986-dir-james-ivory/

The Lack of Respect for Culture.- A Room With a View by E.M. Forester

In E.M. Forester’s A Room With A View there are many  instances where Forester highlights the way the English often didn’t respect the language, culture and land of the Italians. There are two places where I felt this was articulated well by Forester. First, on page 67 Forester describes the differences between an Italian native speaking Italian and a visiting English man.He Writes,

“Italian in the mouth of Italians is a deep-voiced stream, with unexpected cataracts and boulders to preserve it from monotony. In Eager’s mouth it resembled nothing so much as an acid whistling fountain which played ever higher and higher, and quicker and quicker, and more and more shrilly, till abruptly it was turned off with a click.” (Forester 67)

I really loved the juxtaposition of descriptions here. I loved the way that Italians speak like a river, something that is beautiful and soothing where English speak Italian like acid, which is toxic, unwanted, burning.

Second, snuggled in between two seemingly normal scenes Forester writes, “An Italians ignorance is sometimes more remarkable that his knowledge.” Just a blatant statement as to how the English view the Italians. Ignorant, unintelligent and in the way of their relaxing vacation.

When traveling, or even in our home towns, I think it is easy to forget the culture and passion connected to any given thing. In A Room With a View, the English see Rome as a vacation getaway spot. They don’t seem to want to recognize that Rome is a place others call home. Rome is a place filled with history, culture and life. I know I do it too, we all do. However, being aware of this fact and choosing to educate oneself on the culture and history of one’s vacation spot, changes one’s attitude towards the place thus showing respect for it as well. I do hope that through this class I will be more of a traveler as opposed to a tourist.

-Travelin’ Tori

Forster, E. M. A Room with a View. New York: Vintage, 1961. Print. A Vintage Book ; V-187.

The Colors of the Wind…and Mexico…and Rome.

I am a color connoisseur, I love colors, the brighter the better. Things in my life have colors associated with them in my mind. I can like a person simply because of the color they are wearing. When I dream of far off places, or even my home town in Idaho my dreams have a certain sort of unique filter on them, depending on the place. If you’ve ever watched Breaking Bad ( who hasn’t at this point almost) you may have noticed how every time the scenes occur in Mexico there’s a yellowish filter over all the filming.My boyfriend and I also had a giggle about it.

Observe:  This first image is from a scene in the desert of New Mexico with the main characters Walter White (Left) and Jesse Pinkman (right).breaking-bad-heisenberg-jesseAnd this one is “in Mexico”

mexicoI find it moderately humerus, but at the same time it kinda does the trick of transporting the viewer to a new country.

In the prologue of Rome: A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History by Robert Hughes I was immediately captivated by his description of the color of Rome. He says, first of the light, “The enveloping light can be of an incomparable clarity, throwing into gentle vividness every detail presented to the eye.” (Hughes 4)

Then of the color, He continues,

“…the color, which was not like the color of other cities I had been in. Not concrete color, not cold glass color, not the color of overburned brick or harshly pigmented paint. Rather, the worn organic colors of the ancient earth and stone of which the city is composed, the colors of limestone, the ruddy gray tufa, the warm discoloration of the once-white marble, and the speckled, rich surface of the marble know as pavonazzo, dappled with white spots and inclusions like the fat in a slice of mortadella.” (Hughes 5)

This little section was so captivating for me. The description of the cold, concrete gray, we all seem to see a lot, compared to the warm discoloration of the marble, is so alive for me. Most surprising, perhaps, is the fact that this is truly what the “filter” over Rome in my mind is. It is warm, earthy, textured, and filled with so much history and story you can simply feel it pulse through you. I’ve seen picture after picture of Rome and each one makes me feel warm, overwhelmed (in a positive way) and enamored.

Rome-Italy_2501454bAm I right?

I am truly excited to be transported to a new country not by an instagram filter, but by the true atmosphere of the place. It’s amazing to think about all the places around the globe that, despite being under the same sky and lit by the same sun, all have completely different looks to them. We forget that a city is so much more than the air around it. A city is influenced and made up of the people, the architecture, the art, the colors, the weather, the nature, even the ground. Think of our paved roads compared to the cobblestone ones in Italy. Think of the ways those two things make you feel so incredibly different, even though when it comes down to it they are both roads for us to travel about on. Really awesome to think about. Each unique feature a city possesses adds to the uniqueness of it’s aesthetic. I can’t wait to see it with my own eyes. I better bring my glasses cleaner.

-Travelin’ Tori

Citations:

First Image: http://screenrobot.com/anti-hero-new-hero/

Second Image:http://www.amc.com/shows/breaking-bad/talk/2010/03/video-season-premiere-sneak-peek

Third Image: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/italy/rome/9911839/Julius-IIs-Rome-the-pope-who-rebuilt-the-city.html

Hughes, Robert. Rome : A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History. 1st Vintage Books ed.     New York: Vintage, 2012. Print.

Mie Belle Avventure- My beautiful adventures.

Well my last payment is in, my tickets are purchased, I will soon purchase all the other items I need for my trip and in exactly 51 days I will be heading across the pond to spend a week in London and 2 weeks in Rome. This was all made possible by getting a second job, saving as much as possible, selling a total of 15 block prints at $20 each, receiving 23 generous (AMAZING) donations, 2 scholarships, and having an AMAZING boyfriend who made up the difference. When I originally signed up for this trip I had ZERO idea how I was going to pay for it, and yet, in my heart, I knew it would all work out. I took and leap and holy crap, I landed.

The itinerary for the trip is so packed full it’s both exciting and frightening. I have already had a few emotional burst when it hits me that, truly, I am going on this trip. (one of which happened in the middle of the Hillsboro Hops game right as my friend was trying to get Kirk and I on the kiss cam. Timing is hilarious.) I am going to London and Rome. I am finally seeing the world.

This blog is part of the class. I will be posting things about the trip, about the texts and films we are watching and about my fears, hopes, and excitements for this adventure. 27 posts total by the end of my trip. I’m excited to take you all on this ride with me. This blog may be boring here or there if you’re not into Roman and English  literature and art but it may also be fun for you to learn along with me! Whatever you choose I hope you enjoy!

-Travelin’ Tori.