© 2017 Euros Rowlands 

Rilke on visual harmony in the everyday

08/01/2017

"How much a small moon can do. There are days when everything around you is luminous, scarcely intimated in the bright air, and yet quite distinct. The foreground takes on the colours of distance, is remote and merely shown from far away, not given to you. And everything related to expanse - the river, the bridges, the long streets, and the extravagant squares - has taken that expanse behind it, is painted on it as if on silk. It is impossible to say what a bright-green carriage on the Pont-Neuf can then become, or a red so vivid that it can't be held back, or even a simple poster on the division wall of a pearl-gray group of houses. Everything is simplified, brought onto a few correct, clear planes, like the face in a Manet portrait. And nothing is trivial or superfluous. The booksellers on the quai open their stalls, and the fresh or worn yellow of the books, the violet brown of the bindings, the larger green of an album: everything is in harmony, has value, everything takes part and forms a plenitude in which there is nothing lacking." Rainer Maria Rilke, from 'The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge'.

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