Thursday, December 10, 2009

something jane said

Last weekend I was given this enormous tin-type by another CCA student in my studio building named Rebecca Wallace-- a frame repairman she knows found it taped on the back of an old mirror. It's about 8 inches tall and 6 inches wide-- once made with a huge camera with the weight and portobility of a mini-fridge. The images background is etched with acid to make it look brown, the face and dress of the woman painted and drawn upon to add to its coloring and detail. Some of this drawing is comically clumsy. I've never even seen a tin-type this large and can't stop thanking Rebecca for this amazing gift. And now for something era-appropriate, written by Jane Austen in her novel Mansfield Park.

"If any one faculty of our nature may be called more wonderful than the rest, I do think it is memory. There seems something more speakingly incomprehensible in the powers, the failures, the inequalities of memory, than in any other of our intelligences. The memory is sometimes so retentive, so serviceable, so obedient; at others, so bewildered and so weak; and at others again, so tyrannic, so beyond control! We are, to be sure, a miracle every way; but our powers of recollecting and of forgetting do seem peculiarly past finding out."

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