by Veil of Veronica Francisco de Zurbarán (1598 – 1664), Bilbao Fine Arts Museum version
I love the bodiness and sheer ‘physicality’ of relics (lit. remains, often of body parts ).
The French protestant satire
Apologie pour Herodote (1566) was one of the first texts to poke fun at the Christian obsession with relics:
“A monk of St. Anthony having been at Jerusalem, saw there several relics, among which were a bit of the
finger of the Holy Ghost, as sound and entire as it had ever been; the snout of the seraphim that appeared to St. Francis; one of the nails of a cherubim; one of the ribs of the (the word made flesh); some verbum caro factum rays of the star which appeared to the three kings in the east; a phial of St. Michael’s sweat when he was fighting against the devil; a hem of Joseph’s garment, which he wore when he cleaved wood.”–(tr. via ). Curiosities of Literature
(1566, English: Apologie pour Herodote The Apology of Herodotus) is a protestant satire of catholicism by French printer and classical scholar Henri Estienne .
Brutalism at the Schoonselhof. Unidentified grave seen from the back (rear).
Jan Willem Geerinck.
Milestones” by Miles Davis is the 829th entry in my top 1000 songs. There is no hierarchy in this top 1000 list. It’s like a giant mixtape you can put on shuffle.
829 songs (six years in the making; i.e. compiling) account for about fifty hours of music. When finished, the list will feature more than 58 hours of music. The average song length in my calculations is three minutes and a half.
I can’t remember exactly how but I managed to stumble on a complete version of the German short film Besonders wertvoll .
On Youtube, of all places:
(1968, English: Besonders wertvoll Of Special Merit) is a short subject directed by Hellmuth Costard and produced by Petra Nettelbeck.
The film, now almost fifty years old, criticized the new German
Film Funding Act of 1967 by way of a talking phallus representing German politician Hans Toussaint, co-sponsor of the new film funding law. The title Besonders wertvoll translates as ‘of particular merit’ (as in cultural significance vs. ‘ utterly without redeeming social importance‘) and is an allusion to the highest film rating given by Deutsche Film- und Medienbewertung.
Love misquotations? Here’s a good one. This film is famous for originating “
Only the perverse fantasy can still save us,” (misattributed to Goethe), which is shown at the end of the film credits.
For those of you interested in weird films, here
 is a Youtube playlist of films featured in Amos Vogel’s (1974) Film as a Subversive Art
The film is a milestone in the history of the
sexual revolution in Germany.
I’ve been furthering my research on the
history of caricature, aided by two books: (1864) by Thomas Wright and History of Caricature and Grotesque in Literature and Art (1877) by James Parton, the two earliest Anglophone studies on the subject. Caricature and Other Comic Art
Both mention amusing examples of
Roman caricature: the Pygmy caricatures in Pompeii.
Neither mentions the
Caricature of Innocent XI (1676) by Bernini (above).
It is with great pleasure that I present an almost complete set of
(1545, Abbildung des Papsttums Representation of the Papacy), a series of nine antipapal caricatures by Lucas Cranach the Elder.
Click here for the PDF.
These woodcuts were published in conjunction with the “
Against the Papacy at Rome, Founded by the Devil” a anticlerical and anti-Catholic pamphlet by Martin Luther.
The Catholic Encyclopedia mentions that they are “
the coarsest drawings that the history of caricature of all times has ever produced.”
The majority of this type of prints during the
war between protestants and catholics were produced by protestants, however, there is the fine example of a catholic counter-attack by the depicting ‘ Luther as the Devil’s Bagpipes‘.
Needless to say, I find this “coarseness” envigorating and I remember how amused I was when I first read “
You should not write a book before you have heard an old sow fart,” another infamous dictum by Luther.
You can find more at
Martin Luther’s anti-Semitic and antipapal pamphlets and protestant satire of catholicism.
In case you would like to purchase the set, it will cost €35,000.
by Odilon Redon represents yonic symbolism. The Shell
Already in 1916 the Hungarian psychoanalyst
Sándor Ferenczi in Sex in Psychoanalysis  wrote:
“The derisive remark was once made against
psychoanalysis that the unconscious sees a penis in every convex object and a vagina or anus in every concave one. I find that this sentence well characterizes the facts.” (tr. Ernest Jones)
I found the above dictum while researching
sexual symbolism. Ferenczi’s dictum was most famously referenced in by Life Against Death: The Psychoanalytical Meaning of History Norman O. Brown.
The Trees have Ears and the Field has Eyes is the informal title of a two-sided drawing by Hieronymus Bosch .
The disembodied eyes are on the ground, the disembodied ears float in the woods.
I previously published an example of disembodied eyes
disembodied and independent body parts.
Following my previous post on  the concept of the grotesque body in Bakhtin’s book Rabelais and His World (which mentions the term grotesque 91 times), I did some research on previous books Bakhtin mentions in Rabelais and His World with reference to the grotesque.
One of the authors whose name pops up most (13 times) is that of
Heinrich Schneegans, author of (1894). Geschichte der grotesken Satire
Bakhtin criticizes Schneegans for failing to notice the connection between caricatures of the human nose (above) and the
phallic symbolism of the human nose. Sometimes a nose it not a nose.