Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for October 22nd, 2019

Surrealistic barnacles, continued

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In a comment on the previous post, Shannon Westveer referenced the photograph showing barnacle shells on a larger shell against a background of cumulus clouds, and she mentioned the Belgian painter Magritte, whom I’d referred to in my post. That dose of Surrealism apparently primed me to misread* her next sentence, “I’m greatly looking forward to your artistic view of the barnacle covered log,” as “I’m greatly looking forward to your artistic view of the barnacle covered dog.” A barnacle-covered dog would indeed be surreal, as dogs don’t live in the ocean. Neither do large trees, yet the hefty stump shown above had spent enough time underwater in the Gulf of Mexico to acquire a crusting of barnacles before ending up on dry land again.

The second picture provides a closer look from a lower vantage, and the third one gets even more detailed. All are from our time at the Kelly Hamby Nature Trail on October 6th.

* In Nadja, published in 1928, André Breton (the leader of the Surrealist movement) gives value to the misreading of words. In particular, he tells how the poet Louis Aragon pointed out to him that from a certain angle the word ROUGE (red) on a hotel sign can be read as POLICE. I did my reading of Nadja in college in 1966–67 and still have my yellowing Livre de Poche paperback copy from way back then. It let me retrieve the details of what got misread as what, which I didn’t remember on my own after all these years.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 22, 2019 at 4:15 PM

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