Mark Rothko: „Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea“ (1944)

Mark Rothko: „Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea“ © Copyright Kate Rothko-Prizel & Christopher Rothko/ VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021.

„Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea“ von 1944 war wohl Mark Rothkos wichtigstes Werk, bevor er Ende der 1940er-Jahre zu „seinem“ Format fand, das aus übereinandergestapelten Rechtecken bestand, und es ist auch mein persönliches Lieblingswerk aus dieser Periode, in der Rothko noch stark von a) der griechischen Mythologie und b) der Lektüre von Nietzsches „Die Geburt der Tragödie“ beeinflußt war.

James E. B. Breslin beschreibt dieses Werk in seiner Biografie „Mark Rothko“ ausführlich. Er sieht da (hat Rothko sich dazu auch geäußert?) zwei Figuren (Tänzer?), die aber – so vorhanden – sehr abstrahiert sind. Ich persönlich halte davon wenig, finde ich „Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea“ doch einfach wunderbar subtil in seiner Farb- und Formgebung. Kräftige Farben fehlen nahezu völlig; lediglich zwei Farbakzente in Gelb und Orange leuchten dem Betrachter entgegen. Dafür dominieren zurückhaltende, teilweise gebrochene Farben: Ockertöne, Blau, Grün und ganz unten Braun.

„Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea“ schließt eine Phase ab, in der Mark Rothko sich noch am Gegenständlichen orientierte. Was folgen sollte, waren die sogenannten „Multiforms“, die schließlich zu dem Format führten, für das Rothko bekannt ist – eben den bereits weiter oben erwähnten Rechtecken.

Das vorliegende Gemälde befindet sich derzeit im Besitz des Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Antwort von Penguin Random House

Cover meines Science-Fiction-Romans. Gestaltung: Desygner.

Habe heute von der Verlagsgruppe Penguin Random House Nachricht bekommen, mein Science-Fiction-Roman, von dem ich ein Probekapitel (PDF) ans Lektorat des Goldmann-Verlags geschickt hatte, sei noch in der Prüfungsphase; ich würde Ende Juni Bescheid bekommen. Ok, das ist ja nicht mehr so lange.

Weiter in Blender 2.92

Menüpunkt ‚Select > Select All By Trait > Non Manifold‘ in Blender 2.92.

Beim Modeln eines Bilderrahmens stoße ich gerade auf Probleme mit dem sog. Select Non-Manifold. Ich will nur die Gehrung des Rahmens auswählen, und irgendwie funktioniert das nicht. Im Gegensatz zu früher macht das Arbeiten in Blender jedoch Spaß, werde ich doch vom hiesigen Blender-Meetup unterstützt.

Und hier noch ein Probe-Render von dem betreffenden Rahmen.

Test-Render eines Hinweisschildes (Modeling: Blender 2.92; Renderer: Cycles).

James Joyce: „Finnegan’s Wake“

Heutzutage, im Zeitalter der für mich offensichtlichen kreativen Stagnation wirkt das 1939 erschienene „Finnegan’s Wake“ von James Joyce wie eine Bombe.

Hier ein kurzer Auszug:

„riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend
of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to
Howth Castle and Environs.

Sir Tristram, violer d’amores, fr’over the short sea, had passen-
core rearrived from North Armorica on this side the scraggy
isthmus of Europe Minor to wielderfight his penisolate war: nor
had topsawyer’s rocks by the stream Oconee exaggerated themselse
to Laurens County’s gorgios while they went doublin their mumper
all the time: nor avoice from afire bellowsed mishe mishe to
tauftauf thuartpeatrick: not yet, though venissoon after, had a
kidscad buttended a bland old isaac: not yet, though all’s fair in
vanessy, were sosie sesthers wroth with twone nathandjoe. Rot a
peck of pa’s malt had Jhem or Shen brewed by arclight and rory
end to the regginbrow was to be seen ringsome on the aquaface.

The fall (bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntqnner-
nuk!) of a once wallstrait oldparr is retaled early in bed and later
on life down through all christian minstrelsy. The great fall of the
offwall entailed at such short notice the pftjschute of Finnegan,
erse solid man, that the humptyhillhead of humself prumptly sends
an unquiring one well to the west in quest of his tumptytumtoes:
and their upturapikepointandplace is at the knock out in the park
where oranges have been laid to rust upon the green since dev-
linsfirst loved livvy.“—James Joyce

Die sprachlichen Freiheiten, die sich Joyce hier herausnimmt, sind einfach ungeheuerlich. Ich habe den Anfang, den ich hier mal poste, vor langer Zeit in einer Buchhandlung gelesen, und das hat mich damals total umgehauen. In eine ähnliche Richtung geht vielleicht – ich bin ja kein Philologe – das Nadsat von Anthony Burgess („A Clockwork Orange“). Und: Der Übersetzer dieses Werkes möchte ich auch nicht sein.

Stanisław Lem

Grafik © Copyright 1956 by Mroz. Mit freundlicher Genehmigung.

Im Folgenden ein Artikel [englisch], den ich anno 2009 für den damals noch existierenden „American Chronicle“ verfaßt habe.

„Having read science fiction since my teens, my favorite author is still Stanisław Lem who died in 2006.

Actually, I got my first book of his („The Invincible“; 1964) merely by accident: it was a Christmas present sent to me by my grandmother who lived in the then GDR (this was in in early 1970s). Since the author was unfamiliar to me (and I have to admit that I was skeptical about books published in the GDR in general), I started reading with some reservation, but to my surprise, I found myself being more and more taken in by the story as well as the (for science fiction, for that matter) surprisingly good style the book was written in.

The story: The author describes the adventures of the starship „The Invincible“, which is on its way on a rescue mission to an apparently unpopulated desert planet in the star system Lyra, where the sister ship of „The Invincible“, „Condor“ went missing. The main character of the book is the sympathetically characterized navigator Rohan, whom we follow as the story progresses.

About the first thing that impressed me from the very first page were the very convincing, lively described technical details, which is imho one of the strong points of Lem’s prose in general: he had this knack of making the most advanced technical achievements look completely casual. The way he does this adds very much to the atmosphere of his novels. (He has written about a variety of subjects, of which science fiction is only one—albeit substantial—part.)

Another strong point are—in the case of „The Invincible“, but in other novels as well—the often fascinating stories as well as his ability to describe alien environments and alien creatures equally convincing; so convincing that they really are alien. Especially here his amazing, often nothing but breathtaking imagination comes into play. In this respect, he is (that’s at least my personal opinion) without peers throughout the entire genre.

While especially his novel „Solaris“ (1962) was made twice into a movie, none of those attempts really does the book justice. On the movie by Steven Soderbergh, Lem himself complained that, to his knowledge, the novel was definitely not about erotic problems in outer space. (Readers of the novel will quickly realize the truth of this statement.) Atmospherically, I find the (b/w) movie (1972) by Andrei Tarkovsky (which Lem criticised as being a „chamber play“) more convincing. At least this attempt manages to preserve much of the somewhat „provisional“ atmosphere of the space station where most of the plot is situated.

My personal favorites of Lem’s science fiction novels are „Eden“ (1959) and „Return from the Stars“ (1961). The former deals with a terrestrial space ship that crash-lands on an alien planet („Eden“) and the efforts of its crew to repair the ship and to explore the surroundings of the desert where the ship has crashed; the latter describes the adventures of an astronaut, who, after a space excursion to Fomalhaut, returns, due to time dilatation, more than one hundred years later back to a dramatically changed earth, where he tries to find a place for himself. (The description of the „station“ alone where the main character arrives from Luna at the beginning of the story is simply breathtaking.)

One thing I like about Stanisław Lem’s science fiction prose is that he makes his characters vulnerable. They are (luckily, I feel) far from being perfect—on the contrary: I think that their very vulnerability is what makes them sympathetic and human. Another, more subtle, twist is that in the drawing of Lem’s characters there’s a noticeable Eastern European influence present (Lem himself was Polish).

Besides his science fiction writing, for whom he probably is best known for, Stanisław Lem has written about a number of other subjects, such as essays on a variety of topics, crime, philosophy, cybernetics, a book about (among other things) fictitious weapons systems in the future, futuristic fairy tales, an reviews of fictitious books.

Stanisław Lem’s official website is a very recommendable resource with detailed descriptions of his writings, with photographs of the author, an online forum as well as a collections of (often humorous) futuristic drawings by Mroz and Lem himself.“

© Copyright 2009 by Claus Cyrny. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.