Friday, September 18, 2009

Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog

Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich
I have great appreciation for art, but alas, no formal training. I love art that speaks to me and makes me identify with it.

When I look at this painting, it makes me think of new beginnings, or reflecting on your past. At the end of high school, I replicated this painting in my own way.
This was taken on Stuart Island, in the San Juans. I was looking down the cliff, towards Sidney, British Columbia. You can imagine how pensive I was about high school, which was not much. I was ecstatic for college and living on my own!

The Wanderer also reminds me of the book, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke.
"Centuries ago, when magic still existed in England, the greatest magician of them all was the Raven King. A human child brought up by fairies, the Raven King blended fairy wisdom and human reason to create English magic. Now, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, he is barely more than a legend, and England, with its mad King and its dashing poets, no longer believes in practical magic.

Then the reclusive Mr Norrell of Hurtfew Abbey appears and causes the statues of York Cathedral to speak and move. News spreads of the return of magic to England and, persuaded that he must help the government in the war against Napoleon, Mr Norrell goes to London. There he meets a brilliant young magician and takes him as a pupil. Jonathan Strange is charming, rich and arrogant. Together, they dazzle the country with their feats.

But the partnership soon turns to rivalry. Mr Norrell has never conquered his lifelong habits of secrecy, while Strange will always be attracted to the wildest, most perilous magic. He becomes fascinated by the shadowy figure of the Raven King, and his heedless pursuit of long-forgotten magic threatens, not only his partnership with Norrell, but everything that he holds dear. This fantastic story combines the dark mythological fantasy of J.R.R. Tolkien with the social comedy of Jane Austen." (Summary from jonathanstrange.com)

The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog is particularly reminiscent of the end of the book.

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