The Premature Burial

THE PREMATURE BURIAL

EDGAR ALLAN POE
1844

THERE are certain themes of which the interest is all-absorbing, but which are too entirely horrible for the purposes of legitimate fiction. These the mere romanticist must eschew, if he do not wish to offend or to disgust. They are with propriety handled only when the severity and majesty of Truth sanctify and sustain them. We thrill, for example, with the most intense of “pleasurable pain” over the accounts of the Passage of the Beresina, of the Earthquake at Lisbon, of the Plague at London, of the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, or of the stifling of the hundred and twenty-three prisoners in the Black Hole at Calcutta. But in these accounts it is the fact- it is the reality- it is the history which excites. As inventions, we should regard them with simple abhorrence.

I have mentioned some few of the more prominent and august calamities on record; but in these it is the extent, not less than the character of the calamity, which so vividly impresses the fancy. I need not remind the reader that, from the long and weird catalogue of human miseries, I might have selected many individual instances more replete with essential suffering than any of these vast generalities of disaster. The true wretchedness, indeed- the ultimate woe- is particular, not diffuse. That the ghastly extremes of agony are endured by man the unit, and never by man the mass- for this let us thank a merciful God!

To be buried while alive is, beyond question, the most terrific of these extremes which has ever fallen to the lot of mere mortality. That it has frequently, very frequently, so fallen will scarcely be denied by those who think. The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? We know that there are diseases in which occur total cessations of all the apparent functions of vitality, and yet in which these cessations are merely suspensions, properly so called. They are only temporary pauses in the incomprehensible mechanism. A certain period elapses, and some unseen mysterious principle again sets in motion the magic pinions and the wizard wheels. The silver cord was not for ever loosed, nor the golden bowl irreparably broken. But where, meantime, was the soul? Apart, however, from the inevitable conclusion, a priori that such causes must produce such effects- that the well-known occurrence of such cases of suspended animation must naturally give rise, now and then, to premature interments- apart from this consideration, we have the direct testimony of medical and ordinary experience to prove that a vast number of such interments have actually taken place.

There are moments when, even to the sober eye of Reason, the world of our sad Humanity may assume the semblance of a Hell- but the imagination of man is no Carathis, to explore with impunity its every cavern. Alas! the grim legion of sepulchral terrors cannot be regarded as altogether fanciful- but, like the Demons in whose company Afrasiab made his voyage down the Oxus, they must sleep, or they will devour us- they must be suffered to slumber, or we perish. – –

THE END

Introducing

“Introducing”, an exhibition of work by Kayla Ephros, Katja Farin, Vanessa Gully-Santiago, Ficus Interfaith, Maren Karlson, Amelia Lockwood, Gozié Ojini, Lauren Quin, Pauline Shaw, Alix Vernet, and Amia Yokoyama at in lieu in Los Angeles, CA

Two Roosters, 2020
18 x 20 x 1.5 inches

Selections from Omar Khayyam

XXVIII.
Oh, come with old Khayyam, and leave the Wise
To talk; one thing is certain, that Life flies;
One thing is certain, and the Rest is Lies;
The Flower that once has blown forever dies.
XXIX.
Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
About it and about; but evermore
Came out by the same Door as in I went.
XXX.
With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with my own hand labour’d it to grow:
And this was all the Harvest that I reap’d —
“I came like Water and like Wind I go.”
XXXI.
Into this Universe, and Why not knowing,
Nor Whence, like Water willy-nilly flowing:
And out of it, as Wind along the Waste,
I know not Whither, willy-nilly blowing.
XXXII.
Up from Earth’s Centre through the Seventh Gate
I rose, and on the Throne of Saturn sate,
And many Knots unravel’d by the Road;
But not the Master-Knot of Human Fate.
XXXIII.
There was the Door to which I found no Key:
There was the Veil through which I could not see:
Some little talk awhile of Me and Thee
There was — and then no more of Thee and Me.

Busby Berkeley Playlist

Noplace

PPOW_Summer Group Show 2020_20200708-CO0A9847_websizeIMG_2482

 

 

Noplace – PR

 

That Hideous Strength, 2020

cementitous terrazzo, zinc, brass, walnut, various veneers

30 ¾ x 48 inches (width, opened)

Vintage – A History Of Wine

Final Marks

http://www.folkstreams.net/film-detail.php?id=141

 

Since it was produced in 1978, Final Marks has become a classic documentary about lettercutting, in both monumental inscriptions and on gravestones. The filmmakers were given complete access over a two year period to the work of the craftsmen of the John Stevens Shop in Newport, Rhode Island, the oldest business in the United States still in continuous operation in the same colonial building. It chronicles the work of John ‘Fud’ Benson, then the owner and principal designer, and, arguably, one of the most accomplished letter cutters in the world, as he and his colleagues lay out and then execute the inscriptions on the then unfinished East Building of the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., designed by I.M. Pei.

While in Washington, Benson and the filmmakers revisit one of the John Stevens Shop’s most visible and demanding commissions….President Kennedy’s gravesite in Arlington Cemetery—a simple, evocative slate gravestone, and, nearby, the technically demanding series of inscriptions from his inaugural address on a dramatic, curving bench of Deer Island granite.

The second half of the film is given over to a step by step creation of an alphabet stone, commissioned by Michael Bixler, a celebrated typographer. We watch Benson design and lay out on a piece of black slate…..in pencil, then ink, then paint….the basic vocabulary of any lettercutter’s life: the Roman alphabet. The actual hand cutting of the letters is depicted in great detail, with Benson commenting throughout, the camera moving slightly closer as Benson works his way through the letters, culminating in an extended sequence, almost in ‘real time’ as he cuts an “R”, one of the more difficult of the letters. Then he and his associates finish the piece, gilding the cut letters, and polishing the stone.

Finally, the last section of the film follows Benson as he walks through the Common Burying Ground in Newport, with its wealth of beautifully lettered and decorated 18th century stones. Through his eyes, the visit becomes a surprisingly moving evocation of the beauty and power of gravestone carving in New England, and the ability of inscribed stones to record forever what should not be lost: the essential outline of an individual life.

Ornaments (architecture)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Ornaments_(architecture)

Animals In Antiquity

Animals in Antiquity: Virtual Exhibition (+ Physical Poster Exhibit at Langsam)

 

The exhibition (text written and images and ancient text passages selected by Rebecka Lindau) is dedicated to the memory of Cincinnatian Dog Tetris, Pig Georgi, and Rat Nug, Roman Cats Cleopatra and Francesca, Florentine Cats BJ and Ban Ki-Moon, and Roman Pigeon Cristoforo Colomba.