Wednesday, December 28, 2016

to show you where a particular place is

She was glad in autumn 1952 to hire a deaf housekeeper to whom she didn't need to talk, because out of the silence emerged some fine new paintings, inspired by her New Mexico life. She painted the head and horns of the handsome, half-tame antelope that was shot after it had tragically gored the Packs' governess to death.

(Laurie Lisle, Portrait of an Artist: a Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe, 1980)

this fundamental organization so evident that to show you where a particular place is, an apartment in a building, for example, they don't use your position at the moment as a reference point, but the constants of the landscape identical to the cardinal points, those absolute landmarks which even the walls of a room can't hide; and that, consequently, they will say to you, Take your first left, then turn right, but, Take the first street to the east, then turn north, go up the stairs, and it's the south door; that at the table one will even speak of a chair that is to the west of another chair.

(Michel Butor, The Spirit of Mediterranean Places, 1958, tr. Lydia Davis)

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