Tuesday, January 09, 2018

January's Paris

In Giles Fletcher’s Of the Russe Commenwealthe, written in 1591, there is a marvelously tossed off phrase in high Elizabethan style: after describing the terror of the Russian winter, Fletcher says: “It would breede a frost in a man to look abroad at that time, and see the winter face of that countrie.” The idea of inner temperature mirroring outer, or rather, inner weather being the broadcast of outer vision, is a powerful thought. The icicle is the icicle of the mind, so to speak – to paraphrase the Macbethian theme of daggers. I find it interesting, although impossible, the way the visual takes a different track from the tactile: Though the imagination may well break through time, so that one loses track, such is time’s touchlessness, it never breaks through temperature – however much I dream of Florida in the streets of January’s Paris, it provides no kindling. 

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