The Fascination of William Blake’s works, and His 102 Illustrations of The Divine Comedy


This week had run “again” such as like “Non Idea at all”! Although I have some new subjects to work on, but they are so deep that I need some certain strength to jump into the abyss!

Early today,, I came across one of the older posts about William Blake, and though I knew him back then, his works have caught my eyes totally.

The archetype of the Creator is a familiar image in Blake’s work. Here, the demiurgic figure Urizen prays before the world he has forged. The Song of Los is the third in a series of illuminated books painted by Blake and his wife, collectively known as the Continental Prophecies.
http://By William Blake – Library of Congress, Public Domain,

He was, without a doubt, an unconventional man. Maybe therefore I like him!

William Blake was a poet and a painter who was born in Soho in London in 1757. He is an important figure of the Romantic age. … As well as painting Blake also made books of his poems which he illustrated. One of his most famous works is a book called Songs of Innocence and Experience.

Songs of Innocence and of Experience Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul title page

For Blake, law and love are opposed, and he castigates the “frozen marriage-bed”. In Visions, Blake writes:

Till she who burns with youth, and knows no fixed lot, is bound
In spells of law to one she loathes? and must she drag the chain
Of life in weary lust? (5.21-3, E49)

He began working with radical publisher Joseph Johnson. Johnson’s house was a meeting place for some leading English intellectual dissidents of the time: theologian and scientist Joseph Priestley, philosopher Richard Price, artist John Henry Fuseli, early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft and English revolutionary Thomas Paine. Wikipedia

In his masterworks, he experimented with relief etching, a method he used to produce most of his books, paintings, pamphlets and poems. Something that wasn’t so easy those days, anyway.

Blake abhorred slavery, and believed in racial and sexual equality. Several of his poems and paintings (I forego the corresponding painting) express a notion of universal humanity: “As all men are alike (tho’ infinitely various)”. In one poem, narrated by a black child, white and black bodies alike are described as shaded groves or clouds, which exist only until one learns “to bear the beams of love”:

When I from black and he from white cloud free,
And round the tent of God like lambs we joy:
Ill shade him from the heat till he can bear,
To lean in joy upon our fathers knee.
And then I’ll stand and stroke his silver hair,
And be like him and he will then love me. (23-8, E9)

Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing circa 1786 William Blake 1757-1827 Presented by Alfred A. de Pass in memory of his wife Ethel 1910
http://By William Blake – Tate Britain Image, Public Domain,

Now, back to cause of this post: an interesting offer for a collection: Divine Comedy, of Blake’s Masterworks.

William Blake’s 102 Illustrations of The Divine Comedy Collected in a Beautiful Book from Taschen


In his book on the Tarot, Alejandro Jodorowsky describes the Hermit card as representing mid-life, a “positive crisis,” a middle point in time; “between life and death, in a continual crisis, I hold up my lit lamp — my consciousness,” says the Hermit, while confronting the unknown. The figure recalls the image of Dante in the opening lines of the Divine Comedy. In Mandelbaum’s translation at Columbia’s Digital Dante, we see evident similarities:

When I had journeyed half of our life’s way,
I found myself within a shadowed forest,
for I had lost the path that does not stray.

Ah, it is hard to speak of what it was,
that savage forest, dense and difficult,
which even in recall renews my fear:

so bitter—death is hardly more severe!

This is not to say the literary Dante and occult Hermeticism are historically related; only they emerged from the same matrix, a medieval Catholic Europe steeped in mysterious symbols. The Hermit is a portent, messenger, and guide, an aspect represented by the poet Virgil, whom William Blake — in 102 watercolor illustrations made between 1824 and 1827 — dressed in blue to represent spirit, while Dante wears his usual red — the color, in Blake’s system, of experience.

Blake did not read the Divine Comedy as a medieval Catholic believer but as a visionary 18th and 19th century English artist and poet who invented his own religion. He “taught himself Italian in order to be able to read the original” and had a “ complex relationship” with the text, writes Dante scholar Silvia De Santis.

His interpretation drew from a “widespread ‘selective use’” of the poet,” dating from 16th century English Protestant readings which saw Dante’s satirical skewering of corrupt individuals as indictments of the institutions they represent — the church and state for which Blake had no love.

Approaching the project at the end of his life, not the middle, Blake drew primarily on themes that Dante scholar Robin Kilpatrick describes as a “searching analysis of all of the political and economic factors that had destroyed Florence …. Hell is a diagnosis of what, in so many ways, can prove to be divisive in human nature. Sin, for Dante, is not transgression of an ordinary kind … against some law… it’s a transgression against love.”

Blake died before he could finish the series, commissioned by his friend John Linnell in 1824. He had intended to engrave all 102 illustrations, conceived, he wrote, “during a fortnight’s illness in bed.” You can see all of his stunning watercolors online here and find them lovingly reproduced in a new book published by Taschen with essays by Blake and Dante experts, helping contextualize two poets who found a common language across a span of 500 years. The book, originally priced at $150, now sells for $40.

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness.

Meryre and Iniuia: love for eternity

“  Statue of Meryre and his wife Iniuia High Priest of Aten and High Priest of the Temple of Neith. Private statuary in this period was very rare, so this statue is considered especially valuable.
Discovered in Saqqara. Amarna Period,...
Statue of Meryre and his wife Iniuia
High Priest of Aten and High Priest of the Temple of Neith. Private statuary in this period was very rare, so this statue is considered especially valuable. 
Discovered in Saqqara. Amarna Period, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, reign of Akhenaten, ca. 1553-1336 BC. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

Photo: Kenneth Garrett

A loving couple! So close and intimate. The old Egypt shows it in such a fascinating artwork. We can read the details in this brilliant article. With thanks to Marie Grillot. via

Statue representing Meryre (Meryneith) and his wife Iniuia (Anuy) – painted limestone – 18th dynasty – reign of Akhenaton
Discovered in 2001 in their tomb at Saqqara – Recorded at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo – JE 99076 – then transferred to GEM in September 2020

The couple is of refined elegance. And everything in this representation exudes good society, to with that engenders ease and luxury; the noble attitude, the fine clothes, the elaborate hairstyles, and even the seat with lion’s legs on which they take place for eternity …

And this overall harmony is sublimated by the tenderness of a gesture which concretizes the intimacy and the bonds uniting the spouses for life… and also for the beyond.

Meryre (Meryneith) and his wife Iniuia (Anuy) undoubtedly form a very close couple of notables, having a certain rank with their sovereign …

Is it because they are both dressed in white? Their hair is also white. The shade of their complexion varies little so that we might find them a certain mimicry, or even a certain resemblance?

Statue representing Meryre (Meryneith) and his wife Iniuia (Anuy) – painted limestone – 18th dynasty – the reign of Akhenaton Discovered in 2001 in their tomb at Saqqarah – Recorded at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo – JE 99076 – then transferred to GEM in September 2020

Meryre wears an elaborate hairstyle, similar to that of the scribe Meniou (Louvre Museum – E 11519) or those reproduced in the tomb of Ramose (TT55). The wig, entirely curly, covers a good part of the forehead as well as the ears. It is made up of a multitude of finely braided locks that come in a gradient starting from the forehead to the nape of the neck. “In fact, the starting point is a fairly long wig and entirely thrown reject in the back: the locks are divided into two equal parts and brought back to the chest so that the locks, now visible at this place, are those which, in the ideal primitive position, were not “(Jacques Vandier). And, on what the latter and Etienne Drioton call a “reverse wig”, Christophe Barbotin makes this pertinent analysis: “… it is not a transcription of reality, because no hairstyle could preserve an angle of this nature, but from the application to the previous fallout from two different points of view: global view on the head and detail view on the fallout “.

The rather round face, with full cheeks, is perfectly symmetrical and harmonious. The almond-shaped eyes are topped with arched, raised eyebrows. The nose is small, the lips full. The neck is adorned with the “two-tiered Shebiou Necklace, formed of threaded gold disc beads, a special royal gift presented with the armbands he also wears” (Abeer El-Shahawy, “The Egyptian Museum in Cairo”).

Statue representing Meryre (Meryneith) and his wife Iniuia (Anuy) – painted limestone – 18th dynasty – reign of Akhenaton
Discovered in 2001 in their tomb at Saqqara – Recorded at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo – JE 99076 – then transferred to GEM in September 2020

He wears a tunic that, we imagine, is made from the purest linen. The sleeves are short, pleated and slightly flared. Its long loincloth is aesthetically tied at the waist and falls in a pleated front. “His names and titles are inscribed on the skirt, giving the names of the two cities where he was stationed: Akhenaton, which is Tell El-Amarna, and Memphis, also attesting to the presence of the cult of Aten in the temple of Memphis “(Abeer El-Shahawy). His hands rest flat on his thighs, and the left firmly holds a piece of cloth: “a sheet folded nobly”. The feet are bare.

His wife is seated to his left and her right arm is placed tenderly, lovingly, on her husband’s shoulder.

Iniuia is as beautiful as her husband, and her face is treated almost the same, although with a smaller mouth but fuller lips. Her wig is very sophisticated. It is wavy and covers her shoulders. It seems that it is separated by a central stripe, covered with a fairly wide band (ribbon?), which surmounts the frontal “brace”. Two imposing masses of wide braids, which end in small thin braids, frame her face. On the right side, a charming movement returns the locks to the back, giving dynamism and originality to the hairstyle.

Her immaculate dress is embellished with charming piping and pleated sleeves. The very fine material, let’s guess: the small breast and the navel, marked in the hollow. The garment is very long and covers up to half of the feet. “Like her husband, she holds a folded tissue in her left hand” specifies Abeer El-Shahawy, who also indicates that how the couple is represented: “seated on a classic chair with animal feet. The back panel bears ten columns of offering formulas, for the benefit of both spouses “.

Statue representing Meryre (Meryneith) and his wife Iniuia (Anuy) – painted limestone – 18th dynasty – reign of Akhenaton
Discovered in 2001 in their tomb at Saqqara – Recorded at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo – JE 99076 – then transferred to GEM in September 2020

Meryre is generally presented as “the scribe of the temple of Aten in Akhenaton (Tell el-Amarna), and Memphis”. But, in the tomb (TA4), which he had built himself in the capital, founded by Akhenaton, is adorned with many other titles: “Grand Priest (lit: Great Seers) of the Aten, in the house of Aton in Akhenaton”, ” Flabellifère to the right of the King “(The Flabellifère designates the fan-holder),” Royal Chancellor “, ” Unique friend “, ” Hereditary nobleman and Prince “, ” Close to the King “!(The list taken from the site). As for Iniuia, she was the “favourite of the lady of the palace” (the queen).

This statue comes from another tomb, which they had built in Saqqarah (and could be the H9 mastaba described by Auguste Mariette). It was discovered in February 2001 by a joint mission from the National Museum of Antiquities of Leyden, the Faculty of Archeology – Department of Egyptology of the University of Leyden, and the Service of Antiquities of Egypt. In the article entitled “The excavations of Leyden in the tomb of Méryneith at Saqqara, campaigns 2001-2002”, published in the Bulletin of the French Society of Egyptology, 2002, (155), Maarten J. Raven thus relates the update of the dyad: “The southwest chapel contained a beautiful statue of Meryneith and his wife Anuy, which was glued to the ground. No indication was found for a similar type of object in the northwest chapel. One remarkable feature was present in the southwest chapel, although the room had been badly damaged over the centuries, it could still be seen that there was originally a small rectangular opening, very high in the west wall. Presumably, this formed a sort of skylight, from which the statue was lit “.

At the end of the excavation season, the limestone statue, 85 cm high, 60 cm wide, and 50 cm thick, was transported to the Cairo museum, where it was recorded in the Journal des Entrées, under the reference JE 99076.

Statue representing Meryre (Meryneith) and his wife Iniuia (Anuy) – painted limestone – 18th dynasty – reign of Akhenaton
Discovered in 2001 in their tomb at Saqqara – Recorded at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo – JE 99076 – then transferred to GEM in September 2020
(photo published on the FB page of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities on 20-9-2020)

On September 20, 2020, a statement published on the FB page of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced that this dyad was among the 2,000 pieces which had just been transferred from Tahrir to the Gem in Giza (Grand Egyptian Museum).

Therefore, Meryre and Iniuia have a new home now…

Marie Grillot


The Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Abeer El-Shahawy, Matḥaf al-Miṣrī, n° 131
Les fouilles de Leyde dans la tombe de Méryneith à Saqqara, campagnes 2001-2002 / M.-J. Raven [in] Bulletin de la Société française d’égyptologie, 2002, 155
The Tomb of Meryneith at Saqqara, Maarten J Raven; René van Walsem; Willem F M Beex; Amanda Dunsmore; Ladislava Horáčkova; Turnhout, Belgium : Brepols Publishers, [2014]
The tomb of Meryneith at Saqqara, Chapter 3: The Architecture, Willem Beex, M. Raven
Fouilles et travaux en Égypte et au Soudan, 2002-2003, (TAB. PM), Nicolas Grimal et Emad Adly
Manuel d’archéologie égyptienne”, tome III, Les grandes époques, la statuaire, 1958 (statue 111.1), Jacques Vandier
Les statues égyptiennes du Nouvel Empire au Louvre : une synthèse, Christophe Barbotin
BIFAO 111 (2011), p. 101-104 Cherpion (Nadine), Note rectificative sur les « vrais cheveux » des dames.
Les mastabas de l’ancien empire, Paris, 1889, Mariette Auguste, Maspero Gaston, p.449–g6Q

Fifty + years Loneliness IX


With a Little Help from my Friend, Mike. Mike Steeden

Currently, I’m reading a book: “An ‘Old Child’ & his Mum’s amazing Crem Phobia” by Mike Steeden. A great and highly recommended read. I’m reading it and at the same time learn how to write the story of life memories. Of course, I have begun to write mine a long time ago (as you surely have noticed), and now Mike, in this book, shows how wonderful and elegant it can be written, or shows the writing at all. It is clear why: He is a great writer. This book is the fourth book which I read from him: the first one was “Funny, I Think of You Often…” the second one was “Notoriously Naked Flames” and then “The Snow-White Tigress“, and the fourth one is his memories. (I have still more of him to read, and I’ll do it; slowly but surely). All great reads., and I really wonder, how can I, with my littleness, be a friend of such a brilliant writer. (Of course, I have to mention that fate has been more compatible with me! I have already many such brilliant writers at my side, like Shehanne Moore, Deborah Gregory, Ashen Venema, Elaine Mansfield, Chris Hall, Jean Raffa, Jean Lee, and more and more…) I was lucky for sure. Sometimes luck must be a part of life.

But let stay here with Mike. His memories, as a child, tapped on mine, as I was such a shy boy, almost like him.

Here, Al and I, an unwilling photograph!

I think my shyness was because of my mother’s lie: She had hidden the father’s death from us and said that he was travelling. It took me about a year to figure it out myself. That lie had left some deep traces on our soul, though on every one of us in a different way: our father died in the middle of the night when we were sleeping, and Al had immediately noticed in the mornings that something was wrong, he told me later.

I remained a happy child and didn’t see my mother’s over crying eyes. And when our mother said we could go out to stay with our uncle for few days, I was happier as more! That’s why Al had to try finding the balance in between, to keep mother’s secret hidden from me, and not to be shared with her in this. Even though, never found it. For me, as I noticed it later, it made me, slowly and more sadly, lonesome. A better word is; I become unsure and uncertain. It is still with me; the first and forever sign is my speaking: I speak, no matter in any language, not clear and precise. I am unsure in a mass, rather running away.

that’s all I can offer

I have some embarrassing memories. At school, for example: I was always the stupid one and got bullied and mobbed! Once, which I can never forget, I urgently needed to go to the toilet, and the toilet was the only one back in the schoolyard, and as I was inside, noticed that it had no lock on it, so I couldn’t lock it from the inside.

(If you are disgusted by some unpleasant things, please do not read any more!) Anyhow, the mobbers, who never wanted to miss any occasion, have run after me and wanted to come in. Here comes the eternal question: what the hell I didn’t cry out, that I had just to shit! You can never imagine, I bet, what could happen next… I’ve kept silent and hold the door, as if it’d been locked. And the boys kept pushing from the other side. I can’t really explain what was going on in that moments: it just seemed that I didn’t want to reveal my sin (to shit!), and the others wanted to prove that I had nothing to do there, only to occupied the public toilet!

Finally, there was the appalling result: I did all in my trousers and gave up my resistance. When I left the door open, nobody had the interest to come in! The schoolmaster called my mother to come and get me home for changing my trousers!!

Therefore, I became such a cool boy!!

I didn’t want to top Mike, though I won, I suppose! Never mind, let’s count it as one more episode. I will read further from the book, and it’d surely come out some more similarities in my mind. Have a wonderful weekend, and thank you all. 🙏💖🤗💖🙏



Today I would like to share a fascinating painter and his works (might not so well know to some of you). And, I could be valuable for my adorable wife, helping her clean the entire terrace and remove the moss!

I have got known him for his style of Symbolism. (Symbolism: Influenced by Romanticism, Böcklin’s symbolist use of imagery derived from mythology and legend often overlapped with the aesthetic of the Pre-Raphaelites. Many of his paintings are imaginative interpretations of the classical world, or portray mythological subjects in settings involving classical architecture, often allegorically exploring death and mortality in the context of a strange, fantasy world.)

Böcklin is best known for his five versions (painted 1880 to 1886) of the Isle of the Dead, which partly evokes the English Cemetery, Florence, which was close to his studio and where his baby daughter Maria had been buried. An early version of the painting was commissioned by a Madame Berna, a widow who wanted a painting with a dreamlike atmosphere. Wikipedia

Arnold Böcklin (16 October 1827 – 16 January 1901) was a symbolist Swiss painter.

The painter rejected the naturalistic trends of his time and created symbolic, mythological works.

Arnold Böcklin was born on Oct. 16, 1827, in Basel. He attended the Düsseldorfer Academy (1845-1847).

At this time he painted scenes of the Swiss Alps, using light effects and dramatic views subjectively to project emotional moods into the landscape. ARNOLD BÖCKLIN

So, now let’s have a view of his astonishing paintings. I hope you will enjoy it. 🤗💖

The Island of Life (Die Lebensinsel), 1888
HxB: 93.3 x 140.1 cm; Öl auf Mahagoniholz; Inv. G 1960.12
http://By Arnold Böcklin – 1. Copied from an art book2. Unknown source, Public Domain,

Hunter Thompson Explains What Gonzo Journalism Is, and How He Writes It (1975)

Demonising the media: Threats to journalists in Europe - Index on  Censorship Index on Censorship
http://Index on Censorship

It might have become obvious, for some of you, who have read my posts often, that I come, again and again, to the subject: Freedom. Although this issue is a known subject in western countries, but believe me, it has been used and discussed more often in the countries under dictators: like an unreachable aim. I ask for forgiveness. 🙏

Of course, it is not a new term for all of us, but since I have left my country and live in freedom, I have noticed that this is not the freedom, which existed in the late sixties and early seventies. That generation had fought to get its freedom and the new one, they have it already by hand.

As the American writer Elbert Hubbard said: Freedom cannot be bestowed – it must be achieved. I believe in this as I have noticed in Germany, most people don’t know what freedom really is. Because they got it by the Allies as a presence.

I have lived under one or more dictatorial regimes, and I know what freedom really means.

To be honest, I just want to say, with all of my prattles, that I’m living now in the free western, but nowadays, confronted with some failed ideas about freedom. Even among my friends, some valued people I know and honour, but notice that they are not really aware of freedom or being free. They mixed it up with somehow antisocial behaviour. Yes, I might swim against the stream, but I have surely my good reasons. You know what? If you’ve got your own safe home, you will never want to give it away at any price, whatever it costs, even if you’d become conservative!


Journalism is dead! Said my guest, a Frenchman, whom I picked up to bring to the train station one day in my working time. You know, when I was working every day as a taxi driver, I tried, if possible, to open dialogue with my guests, and actually got used to it being asked again and again where I come from and what I used to do (and sometimes: what the hell I’m doing here at all! It happened though so seldom, thank goodness!). Even though we started talking, and when I said that I’ve come from Iran and was a journalist, he said that sentence: Journalism is dead!

He saw my surprised face in the mirror. Therefore, he added that he’s also a journalist working in Paris, and he followed: I know once upon a time, in the 60s and 70s, journalism was alive! A reporter was working to find out the truth, no matter about what or whom. The point was the power of curiosity for discovering what was hidden behind. The cheekiness, the tension, the peculiarity, and the excitement. And when he looked me through the mirror said to me: I know that you also belong to this group. Otherwise, you were still in Iran and did your job, not here, working as a taxi driver.

As I once saw someone had commented: “I remember the days when Rolling Stone had writers. I remember the days when the Washington Post had writers. Nowadays, journalists are nothing but uneducated bloggers pushing an agenda.”

So! Here I have found a person, Hunter S. Thompson, a dreamer maybe just like me, who had had an idea (he is from the time which I mentioned: old time!) with the name: Gonzo Journalism. Let hear what he meant.

PS: I am so grateful to have some friends like you and a place just like here to open my heart thoroughly. Thank you all.🙏💖🙏💖



Gonzo journalism is a style of journalism that features the author as its protagonist, simultaneously experiencing and reporting on a story from a first-person point of view. The writer becomes part of the story, portraying events through their own experience, which offers readers their version of the truth.

There’ve been any number of aspiring “gonzo journalists” over the past half-century, but there was only one Hunter S. Thompson. Having originated with his work in the early 1970s, this sense of gonzo made it into the Random House Dictionary within his lifetime. “Filled with bizarre or subjective ideas, commentary, or the like,” says its first definitions. And its second: “Crazy; eccentric.” Thompson seems to have approved, seeing as he kept a copy of this very edition, put on display at the Owl Farm Private Museum (run by the Gonzo Foundation) after his death in 2005. Thirty years earlier, he had the question put to him in the interview above: “What is gonzo journalism?”

“That word has really plagued me,” Thompson says. But he also credits it with putting distance between himself and the recently ascendant “New Journalists” like Tom Wolfe, Gay Talese, and Joan Didion: “I wasn’t sure I was doing that, but I was sure I wasn’t doing what we call straight journalism.” Indeed, few pieces could have seemed less “straight” than “The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved,” first published in Scanlan’s Monthly in 1970. Assembled in desperation out of pages pulled straight from Thompson’s notebook and illustrated by Ralph Steadman (the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration), the piece struck some readers as a revelation. A friend of Thompson’s declared it “pure gonzo” — an unconventional name for an unconventional form.

“Christ,” Thompson remembers thinking, “if I made a breakthrough, we’ve got to call it something.” Why not use a label with at least one instance of precedent? (It also appealed, he admits, to his inner “word freak.”) As for the substance of gonzo, he attributes to it “a mixture of humor and a high, stomping style, a bit more active than your normal journalism” — as well as whatever gets him past his innate hatred of writing. “All I can really get off on,” he says, is “when I can let my mind run. I start to laugh. I understand that Dickens used to laugh at his typewriter. I don’t laugh at my typewriter until I hit one of those what I consider pure gonzo breakthroughs. Then it’s worth it.”

Published three years earlier, Thompson’s best-known book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas marked the culmination of a particular writing project: “to eliminate the steps, or the blocks, between the writer and the page. That’s why I always get the fastest and newest typewriter. If they make one that costs twelve million dollars, I’ll write a bad check and get it for a while.” Regulating this signature gonzo directness is a rigorous stylistic discipline. “That’s the one book of mine that I’ve even read,” Thompson says, thanks to the “four or five rewrites” he performed on the manuscript. “There’s not a word in there — I mean, there might be fifteen or twenty, but that’s about all — that don’t have to be there.”

Interviewing Thompson is veteran journalist Harrison Salisbury, the New York Times‘ Moscow bureau chief in the 1940s and 50s. He also wrote many books including The Shook-Up Generation, a 1958 study of juvenile delinquency (and a volume found in Marilyn Monroe’s personal library) that could have primed his interest in Thompson’s debut Hell’s Angels when it came out a decade later. Appear though he may to be the kind of establishment figure who’d have little enthusiasm for gonzo journalism, Salisbury’s questions suggest a thorough knowledge and understanding of Thompson’s work, right down to the “tension” that drives it. “It could be drug-induced, or adrenaline-induced, or time-induced,” Thompson says of that tension. “I’ve been told by at least one or two confident specialists that the kind of tension I maintain cannot be done for any length of time without… I’ll either melt or explode, one of the two.”

Related Content:

Read 9 Free Articles by Hunter S. Thompson That Span His Gonzo Journalist Career (1965-2005)

How Hunter S. Thompson Gave Birth to Gonzo Journalism: Short Film Revisits Thompson’s Seminal 1970 Piece on the Kentucky Derby

“Gonzo” Defined by Hunter S. Thompson’s Personal Copy of the Random House Dictionary

Hunter S. Thompson Chillingly Predicts the Future, Telling Studs Terkel About the Coming Revenge of the Economically & Technologically “Obsolete” (1967)

Hunter S. Thompson Talks with Keith Richards in a Very Memorable and Mumble-Filled Interview (1993)

A Young Hunter S. Thompson Appears on the Classic TV Game Show, To Tell the Truth (1967)

Read Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, as It Was Originally Published in Rolling Stone (1971)

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

The Louvre statue of “Amun protecting Tutankhamun”


Amun protecting Tutankhamun The god Amon protects Tutankhamun. His successors broke the arms of the god to cease the protection, the head and the arms of the pharaoh because they thought that he belonged to the heretic period of the replacement of the god Amon by the god Aton. Wikimedia Commons

A fascinating legacy of ancient Egypt. Here is again a brilliant article, by Marie Grillot, about this amazing discovery. With thanks. 🙏💖 via

The god Amun protects Tutankhamun – 1336 – 1327 BC – diorite.
Statue discovered by Auguste Mariette in Karnak in 1857
Collection of Prince Napoleon then Maison Feuardent
Acquired by the Louvre Museum in February 1920 – E 11609

Dated 1336 – 1327 BC, 2.15 m high, this statue is carved in the round from a block of very dark diorite. The “polish”, as impeccable as it is admirable, given to it by the sculptor seems to have attenuated its dark side, even giving it a shiny appearance. Georges Bénédite, who devoted a long study to this statue, brings this clarification: “We see at the top of the supporting pillar like a trail of pink granite, the witness of the vast syenite bank where the black rock flow was imprisoned”.

The statuary group represents the god Amun, seated on a cubic throne, with his hands resting as a sign of protection on the shoulders of Tutankhamun, who is standing in front of him and who is represented on a much smaller scale.

The god Amun protects Tutankhamun – 1336 – 1327 BC – diorite.
Statue discovered by Auguste Mariette in Karnak in 1857
Collection of Prince Napoleon then Maison Feuardent
Acquired by the Louvre Museum in February 1920 – E 11609

The face of the god, in an exceptional state of preservation, is perfectly symmetrical; he has an expression that is both gentle and distant at the same time. “Theban Amon is represented here in his canonical form, that is to say with his human face and the crown that characterizes him, made of a flat mortar surmounted by high feathers”.

Her cheeks are rather round, her eyes are almond-shaped. Her nose is thin and her mouth with full lips is small. He wears a braided false beard, slightly curved at the end. His neck is adorned with a six-row ousekh collar.

The god Amun protects Tutankhamun – 1336 – 1327 BC – diorite.
Statue discovered by Auguste Mariette in Karnak in 1857
Collection of Prince Napoleon then Maison Feuardent
Acquired by the Louvre Museum in February 1920 – E 11609

He is dressed in a tunic – or corselet – whose straps and braid are decorated with delicately chiselled friezes. The pleated loincloth leaves the navel visible. It is held at the waist by a nicely crafted belt which has an oval pattern in its centre under which is reproduced an Isis knot.

His body is of ideal proportions, with square shoulders and: “powerful legs, which help to accentuate the impression of strength and stability”.

The god Amun protects Tutankhamun – 1336 – 1327 BC – diorite.
Statue discovered by Auguste Mariette in Karnak in 1857
Collection of Prince Napoleon then Maison Feuardent
Acquired by the Louvre Museum in February 1920 – E 11609

The “symbolism” of the statue lies in the attitude that the god manifests to the sovereign: he, in fact, gives him “the investiture, because, the divine gesture is both of protection and presentation”. As Jacques Vandier translates it so well: “Amon stretches out his arms and puts his hands on the king’s arms. The divine hands were intentionally broken by sectarians who wanted, thereby, to prevent the divine fluid from permeating the former partisan of Aten. They also are who, without doubt, beheaded Tutankhamun “.

Of his head, broken at the base of the neck, only the two sides of the royal nemes remain.

The god Amun protects Tutankhamun – 1336 – 1327 BC – diorite.

Statue discovered by Auguste Mariette in Karnak in 1857

Collection of Prince Napoleon then Maison Feuardent

Acquired by the Louvre Museum in February 1920 – E 11609

The young king’s body is small, almost fragile. His arms were also damaged, but what remains allows us to see that his hands were laid flat on his loincloth.

He is dressed in the “costume of the priests of Amun, belted starched loincloth and feline skin on the left shoulder. He is shod in sandals and adorned with a wide collar.”

The destructive madness did not go so far as to destroy: “the cartridges inscribed on an adornment of the garment, suspended from the belt to the right of the loincloth” which name it …

Statue of Amun in the guise of Tutankhamun – limestone -18th Dynasty.
Provenance: Temple of Amun Karnak – Discovered in 1904 in La Cachette, north of the 7th pylon (K.535)
Louqsor Museum J. 198 (Cairo Museum JE 38689)

But Egyptologists would most certainly have identified it in analogy with other of its representations, so much the features of the god: “are the exact reflection; the soft, feminized face, generally characterizes the portraits of this dynasty”. This interpretation is thus further developed in the work “Ancient Egypt at the Louvre”: “The face of the god reproduces the characteristic physiognomy of the sovereign that many of his statues make known to us: that of a teenager whose cheeks are round and the full mouth with sinuous lips underline the youth, the expression remains however slightly melancholy. “

This statue, victim of the religious conflicts of a tormented time, was most certainly deposited, – perhaps even thrown – in a hiding place of the temple of Karnak …

It will not emerge until many centuries later and then, will begin the second part of its history …

Auguste Mariette
(February 12, 1821, Boulogne-sur-Mer – January 18, 1881, Cairo)

In the fall of 1857, six years after having discovered the Serapeum and after a “return” to France of three “long” years, Auguste Mariette finally returned to Egypt …

Its mission, “arranged” by Ferdinand de Lesseps, aims “official” to prepare the trip of Prince Napoleon (cousin “undisciplined” of Emperor Napoleon III, known by the nickname of Plon-Plon).

Saïd Pasha, who wishes to maintain the best possible relations with France, is delighted to receive this member of the imperial family, presented as: “a great art lover who would be keen to visit the monuments of Egypt and bring back some antiques “.

Prince Napoleon (dit Plonplon) (1822-1891) – Photo by Disderi

Also, for the organization of this princely stay, he gives “carte blanche” to Mariette. The latter will write to Ferdinand de Lesseps: “I think that with the instruments which have been placed in my hands, I will succeed in satisfying the viceroy and in procuring for Prince Napoleon some good monuments to take away” …

Worksites will be opened in Giza, Sakkara, Abydos, Elephantine, and Thebes. It is in this context that, during the excavations carried out in Karnak, the statue will be discovered.

The prince ultimately will not come to Egypt. In a kind of “diplomatic compensation” for this cancellation, his close advisers will encourage him to acquire the collection of antiquities made up for him. But, in his munificence, “Saïd Pasha refuses any payment and asks the excavator-diplomat (Mariette) to choose himself what will be offered to the Prince”.

It is thus as a “diplomatic gift” that the statue of Amun protecting Tutankhamun joined the collections of the Prince. Did he intend it for his Parisian mansion on Avenue Montaigne? Or at its Prangins Castle in Switzerland? Both hypotheses are mentioned. It is certain that a decade later – in 1868 precisely – it is presented and described by Wilhelm Fröhner, under number 520, of the “Catalog of a collection of antiquities of Prince Napoleon-Jérôme Bonaparte”: “Ammon, (seated statue in black granite), with a pointed beard, dressed in schenti, his arms glued to his body, is seated on a seat. Dedicatory inscription: He wears a mitre, surmounted by feathers around his neck, and below the breast, some bands can be compared in part to the Greek ketos. The god holds before him the statuette of King Amen-Toutanch (of the Eighteenth Dynasty), dressed in a pleated apron and lion skin… “.

It is useful to remember here that Tutankhamun’s tomb will not be discovered until 54 years later!

The god Amun protects Tutankhamun – 1336 – 1327 BC – diorite.
Statue discovered by Auguste Mariette in Karnak in 1857
Collection of Prince Napoleon then Maison Feuardent
Acquired by the Louvre Museum in February 1920 – E 11609

The statuary group will be acquired by the renowned French antique dealers Camille Rollin and Félix-Bienaimé Feuardent, the “Maison Rollin & Feuardent”. Then after being located at 12 rue Vivienne (Paris 2nd). On the death of C. Rollin the activity will continue at 4 rue de Louvois, but under the name of “Feuardent Frères”. It was in February 1920, at the instigation of its curator Georges Bénédite, that the Egyptian Antiquities Department of the Louvre purchased this statue from them.

Registered in the collections under the reference E 11609, it “welcomed” visitors during the great exhibition “Tutankhamun, the Pharaoh’s treasure” in Paris.

Marie Grillot


Statue of Amun and Tutankhamun

Amon et Toutânkhamon (concerning a group acquired by the Egyptian Louvre Museum), Georges BénéditeMonuments and memories of the Eugène Piot Foundation Year 1920 24-1-2 pp. 47-68

Egyptian statues from the New Kingdom in the Louvre: a summary, Christophe Barbotin

Egyptian statues from the New Kingdom. 1, Royal and divine statues, Christophe Barbotin Christophe, Louvre Museum, 2007

Ancient Egypt in the Louvre, Guillemette Andreux, Marie-Hélène Rutschowscaya, Christiane Ziegler, Hachette, 1997

National Museums Archives, Department of Egyptian Antiquities of the Louvre Museum (AE series)Detailed digital directory number 20144775

Interview with Vincent Rondot – Press kit for the exhibition “Tutankhamun, the Pharaoh’s treasure” at La Villette Manual of Egyptian archeology, volume III, The great times, statuary, 1958 (statue 111.1), Jacques Vandier

Tutankhamun, Marc Gabolde

Mariette Pacha, 1821-1881, Elisabeth David, Pygmalion, 1994

Mariette Pacha, Claudine Le Tourneur d’Ison, Plon, 1999

A letter written from Egypt by Mr. Mariette, Emmanuel de Rougé

Minutes of the meetings of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres Year 1858 2 pp. 115-121

Catalog of a collection of antiques [of Prince Napoleon-Jérôme Bonaparte], by M. Fröhner, Publisher: impr. by A. Pillet eldest son (Paris), 1868

Mikis Theodorakis; A Tribute.

Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis is pictured in Athens, Aug. 21, 1974. (AP Photo)
http://22 hours ago Spiegel

»I’ve seen everything there is. I’m so happy with all of this. It would be unfair to live longer «.

He actually experienced everything. He was celebrated worldwide for his music and was valued by critics and simple listeners alike. He lived an inconsistent, almost novel-like life that contained everything from exile to torture to universal love and appreciation. I (and Al) have learned a lot from him: over freedom and human rights. Therefore, I have to drop a line on him about his genial, and despite his pains, so sensitive music. I think I owe him that.

In fact, the Greeks have not only taught us Philosophy, Mythology, and parliamentary democracy, but they were the basis of freedom.

There are many artists, who were willingly or unwillingly, involved in the political condition of their countries. Like: Milan Kundera, Gabriel García Márquez, Pablo Neruda,… and even we can count Ernest Hemingway as a critical writer, and Victor Jara, the Chilean poet, singer-songwriter and socialist political activist who was not so lucky as Theodorakis and get torched and killed by Pinochet‘s coup in the year 1973. The artists, who were born in a country under the reign of dictatorship, without a doubt, will become critical activists. One must have lived in such a situation to understand it fully.

An artist is a creator, and it is not possible to create art without breathing freely.

Michail “Mikis” Theodorakis (Greek: Μιχαήλ (Μίκης) Θεοδωράκης [ˈmicis θeoðoˈɾacis]; 29 July 1925 – 2 September 2021) was a Greek composer and lyricist credited with over 1,000 works.

He scored for the films Zorba the Greek (1964), Z (1969), and Serpico (1973). He composed the “Mauthausen Trilogy“, also known as “The Ballad of Mauthausen”, which has been described as the “most beautiful musical work ever written about the Holocaust” and possibly his best work.[6] Up until his death, he was viewed as Greece’s best-known living composer. He was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize. Wikipedia

Of course, his name is always accompanied with one song (Sirtaki from Zorba the Greek), but I know mush more songs, beautiful songs from him:

Or from the movie: the State of Siege, by Costa Gavras: Paola, the requiem.

… And State of Siege Pt.2

Or from Z the movie: To Gelasto Paidi (Orchestral) 

And To Gelasto Paidi (Bouzouki Version)

He’s a great musician, a great thinker, and a great human. He will live forever through his works.

Dr Jung and Faust by Goethe. (An Appendix)

Faust und Mephisto im Kerker. Lithographie von Joseph Fay.

It was not planned, I must confess, to write any second part on this issue. But as I finished (almost!) my latest post, look here, I have noticed that I am missing the part in which Dr Jung refers to Goethe’s Faust. Therefore, I add some notes here and hope not to bore some of you.

Actually, we don’t have to be religious to enjoy such brilliant work. Just like the Goethe’s Faust or Dante’s Inferno, they are Masterworks.

What does Faust mean for Goethe?
Faust is chosen as a human prototype of the crown of creation as a demonstration object to show whether the creation succeeded in principle, as God and the angels believe, or completely failed, as Mephistopheles claims.

Second part. Third act.
Faust and Helena

Why does Faust make the pact with the devil?
The Lord (God) believes in the good in people – also in the good in Doctor Faust. Mephisto (the devil) made a bet with him that he could lead the scholar off the right path. This bet is reminiscent of the Job bet in the Old Testament.

(Although, I always have asked myself: What really is the purpose of religion? Isn’t it to show how the dark (devil) side is much more charming and appealing than the bright side?)

Second part. Second act.
Rocky bays of the Aegean Sea.
Sirens in the moonlight
“lying around on the cliffs, fluting and singing”.

Let’s now have a read on the master words of Dr Jung: From the very book reference, which I mentioned last time. “The relationships between the self (“I”) and the unconscious.” (Die Beziehungen zwischen dem Ich und dem Unbewussten.)

The Freudian theory of neuroses seems to provide a far better instrument for combating transmission. The dependency of the patient is explained as an infantile-sexual claim that takes the place of the sensible use of sexuality.
Adler’s theory grants an equal advantage, explaining the transference as an infantile power intention and a tendency towards security. Both approaches fit so well with the neurotic mentality that one can explain every case of neurosis with both theories simultaneously. This actually bizarre fact, which every impartial person has to confirm, can only be based on the fact that Freud’s infantile eroticism and Adler’s tendency towards power are one and the same thing, relatively unconcerned about the dispute of opinions between the Freudian and Adlerian schools. It is simply a piece of wild and initially uncontrollable, original instinctual nature that comes to light in the transference phenomenon. The archaic forms of fantasy that gradually reach the surface of consciousness are nothing but further evidence of this fact.”

Study room.
Mephistopheles ensnares Faust “with sweet dream figures.
Xylographische Anstalt Michael.

One could not say that this outcome would be “eo ipso” (of itself, on its own) a disaster for all people, then there are all too many who, because of their notorious unsuitability, thrive better in a rationalistic system than in freedom. The latter is one of the more difficult things. Those who can endure this outcome can say to themselves with Faust:

The earth is known enough to me,
the prospect over there has run away for us;
Gate, who directs his eyes there, blinking,
composes himself above clouds of his own kind!
He stands firm and looks around here;
This world is not mute to the able.
What does he need to wander into eternity!
What he recognizes can be grasped.
He walks along the earth day when ghosts spit,
he goes his way …
(Goethe; Faust ll, 5, act, midnight, in; works in ten volumes.)

This solution would be happy if one really succeeded in shaking off the unconscious to such an extent that one could also deprive it of its energy to the point of ineffectiveness.

And further:
It would, therefore, be a delusion to believe that one could finally wrench the Libido from the unconscious with some kind of magical theory or method, and thereby so to speak: switch it off. One can indulge in this illusion for a while, only to have to say with Faust one day:

Now the air is so full of such spit,
That nobody knows how to avoid him.
Even if one day clearly laughs at us sensibly,
The night entangles us in a web of dreams;
We return happy from the young hall,
A bird croaks; what is he croaking? Misfortune.
Obsessed with superstition early and late,
it is suitable, it shows, it warns.
And so intimidated we stand alone.
The gate creaks and nobody comes in …

“He who strives on and lives to strive, can earn redemption still”, declare Angels, who arrive as messengers of divine mercy, at the end of Act V. And ultimately, Faust goes to Heaven, for he loses only half of the bet.

angels strewing roses on the body of Faust, act V, Faust II, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

In the end, I again add some text in the original, may some know German and enjoy reading it. 🙏🤗

Ein weit besseres Instrument zur Bekaempfung der Uebertragung scheint die Freud’sche Neurosentheorie zu gewaehren. Die Abhaengigkeit der Patienten wird als infanti-sexualler Anspruch erklaert, der anstelle der vernuenftigen Anwendung der Sexualitaet stehe.Einen gleichen Vorteil gewährt die Adler’sche Theorie, welsche die Uebertragung als eine infantile Machtabsicht und als Sjcherungstendenz erklaert. Beide Theorien passen so gut auf die neurotische Mentalitaet, dass man jeden Neurosenfall mit beiden Theorien zugleich erklaeren kann. Dies eigentlich sehr merkwuerdige Tatsache, die jeder Unvoreingenommene bestaetigen muss, kann nur auf dem Umstand beruhen, dass Freuds infantile Erotik und Adlers Machttendenz ein und dieselbe Sache sind, ganz unbekuemmert um den Streit der Meinungen zwischen der Freud’schen und der Adler’schen Schule. Es ist einfach ein Stueck unbeherrschter und zunaechst nicht beherrschbarer, urspruenglicher Triebnatur, die im Uebertragungsphaenomen zutage tritt. Die archaischen Phantasieformen, die allmaehlich die Bewusstseinsoberflaeche erreichen,sind nichts als ein weiterer Beweis fuer diese Tatsache.

Wer diesen Ausgang wohl ertragen kann, der darf sich mit Faust sagen; 

Der Erdenkreis ist mir genug bekannt,
Nach drüben ist die Aussicht uns verrannt;
Tor,wer dorthin die Augen blinzelnd richtet,
Sich über Wolken seinesgleichen dichtet!
Er stehe fest und sehe hier sich um;
Dem Tüchtigen ist diese Welt nicht stumm.
Was braucht er in die Ewigkeit zu schweifen!
Was er erkennt, lässt sich ergreifen.
Er wandle so den Erdentag entlang,
Wenn Geister spucken,
geh’ er seinen Gang…
(Goethe; Faust ll, 5,Akt, Mitternacht, in; Werke in zehn Bänden.)

Diese Lösung wäre glücklich, wenn es einem wirklich gelänge, das Unbewusste dermaßen abzuschütteln, dass man ihm auch die Energie bis zur Unwirksamkeit entziehen könnte.

Und weiter: Es wäre daher eine Täuschung, wenn man glaubt, man könnte mit irgendeiner sozusagen magischen Theorie oder Methode dem Unbewussten endgültig die Libido entreißen und es dadurch gewissermaßen ausschalten. Man kann sich dieser Illusion für einige Zeit hingeben, um eines Tages mit Faust sagen zu müssen:
Nun ist die Luft von solchem Spuck so voll,
Dass nimand weiß,wie er ihn meiden soll.
Wenn auch ein Tag uns klar vernünftig lacht,
In Traumgespinst verwickelt uns die Nacht;
Wir kehren froh von junger Flur zurück,
Ein Vogel krächzt; was krächzt er? Mißgeschick.
Von Aberglauben früh und spat umgarnt,
es eignet sich, es zeigt sich an, es warnt.
Und so verschüchtert stehen wir allein.
Die Pforte knarrt, und niemand kommt herein…