Friday, 17 April 2015

Hermann Hesse (1914) - Rosshalde

He showed him pictures of houses, streets, villages, and temples, of fantastic Batu caves near Kuala Lumpur, and of the jagged, wildly beautiful limestone and marble mountains near Ipoh, and when Veraguth asked if there were no pictures of natives, he dug out photographs of Malays, Chinese, Tamils, Arabs, and Javanese, naked athletic harbor coolies, wizened old fishermen, hunters, peasants, weavers, merchants, beautiful women with gold ornaments, dark naked groups of children, fishermen with nets, ear-ringed Sakai playing the nose flute, and Javanese dancing girls bristling with silver baubles.  He had photographs showing palms of every kind, lush broad-leafed pisang trees, patches of rain forest traversed by thousandfold creepers, sacred temple groves and turtle ponds, water buffalo in rice paddies, tame elephants at work and wild elephants playing in the water and stretching their trumpeting trunks heavenward.

The painter picked up photograph after photograph.  Some he thrust aside after a brief glance, some he placed side by side for comparison, some figures and heads he examined carefully through the cup of his hand.  Several times he asked at what time of day the picture had been taken, measured shadows, and became more and more deeply immersed.

Once he muttered absently.  "One might paint all that."

"Enough!" he finally cried out, and heaved a sigh.  "You must tell me much more.  It's wonderful having you here!  Everything looks different to me now.  Come, we'll walk for an hour.  I want to show you something."
Yes! Mr Hesse... please tell me much more... it IS wonderful having you here in my library... everything looked different after reading Hesse...

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