Sunday, September 16, 2012

ruskin as veruca salt: "I want a BEAN feast!"

JR to Charles Eliot Norton, 28 December 1858:

I want to get all the Titians – Tintorets – Paul Veroneses, Turners and Sir Joshuas – in the world – into one great fireproof Gothic gallery of marble and serpentine. I want to get them all perfectly engraved. I want to go and draw all the subjects of Turner's 19,000 sketches in Switzerland & Italy elaborated out myself. I want to get everybody a dinner who has'nt got one. I want to macadamize some new roads to heaven with broken fool's heads. I want to hang up some knaves out of the way: not that I've any dislike to them; but I think it would be wholesome for them; and for other people, and that they would make good crow's meat. I want to play all day long and arrange my cabinet of minerals with new white wool. I want somebody to nurse me when I'm tired. I want Turner's pictures not to fade. I want to be able to draw clouds, and to understand how they go – and I can't make them stand still – nor understand them – They all go sideways – plagiai [Greek] – (what a fellow that Aristophanes was – and and yet to be always in the wrong, in the Main – except in his love for Aeschylus and the country – Did ever a worthy man do so much mischief on the face of the Earth?) Farther, I want to make the Italians industrious – the Americans quiet; – the Swiss Romantic; – the Roman Catholics Rational – and the English Parliament honest – and I can't do anything and don't understand what I was born for.

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