Sunday, February 15, 2015

Carpe Diem #669, Scream

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are going further with our exploration of impressionism here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. And today I have an impresionism/expressionism (?) painting which you either like or dislike.
"The Scream" is a very wellknown painting and as I stated above you like or dislike it. I am one of the people who dislikes this painting, but I know there are many people who like it, maybe that's because of the idea behind it. Let me tell you a little bit more about the ispirational background of this painting by Edvard Munch.
Credits: The Scream Edvard Munch
The original German title given to the work by Munch is Der Schrei der Natur ("The Scream of Nature"). The Norwegian word skrik usually is translated as scream, but is cognate with the English shriek. Occasionally, the painting also has been called The Cry.  
In his diary in an entry headed, Nice 22 January 1892, Munch described his inspiration for the image:

[...] “One evening I was walking along a path, the city was on one side and the fjord below. I felt tired and ill. I stopped and looked out over the fjord—the sun was setting, and the clouds turning blood red. I sensed a scream passing through nature; it seemed to me that I heard the scream. I painted this picture, painted the clouds as actual blood. The color shrieked. This became The Scream.” [...]
This memory was later rendered by Munch as a poem, which he hand-painted onto the frame of the 1895 pastel version of the work:

I was walking along the road with two friends
the sun was setting
suddenly the sky turned blood red
I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence
there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city
my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety
and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.

© Edvard Munch
Among theories advanced to account for the reddish sky in the background is the artist's memory of the effects of the powerful volcanic eruption of Krakatoa, which deeply tinted sunset skies red in parts of the Western hemisphere for months during 1883 and 1884, about a decade before Munch painted The Scream.
This explanation has been disputed by scholars, who note that Munch was an expressive painter and was not primarily interested in literal renderings of what he had seen. Alternatively, it has been suggested that the proximity of both a slaughterhouse and a lunatic asylum to the site depicted in the painting may have offered some inspiration. The scene was identified as being the view from a road overlooking Oslo, the Oslofjord and Hovedøya, from the hill of Ekeberg. At the time of painting the work, Munch's manic depressive sister Laura Catherine was a patient at the asylum at the foot of Ekeberg.

Edvard Munch (Source: Wikipedia)
In 1978, the Munch scholar Robert Rosenblum suggested that the strange, sexless creature in the foreground of the painting was inspired by a Peruvian mummy, which Munch could have seen at the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris. This mummy, which was buried in a fetal position with its hands alongside its face, also struck the imagination of Munch's friend Paul Gauguin: it stood as a model for the central figure in his painting, Human misery (Grape harvest at Arles) and for the old woman at the left in his painting, Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? (Source: Wikipedia)
I don't know if this painting is impressionism, but as I look at it and read the behind story then I think it's surely an impressionism painting ... the sexless creature has no real human features and the surroundings look more like an impression than the real world.

through the night
screeching tires resonate against the walls -
a hazy moon

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope you did like this new episode and I hope it will inspire you all to write an all new haiku (or tanka) impression ...

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 18th at noon (CET). I will try to post our next episode, bathing, later on.

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