'The Scream ' has been found. Two cheers.

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2006-08-31 21:26

'The Scream ' has been found. The painting by Edward Munch was stolen two years ago, and was recovered this morning (our time). A shame. A great shame.

You see, here's an example of something that is good art -- very good art -- that I don't like at all. If anything better expresses the dis-ease and dislocation expressed by twentieth-century 'thinkers' -- the nausea and helpless angst of Jean Paul Sartre; "things fall apart, the centre cannot hold"; "alone and afraid in a world I never made"; etc; etc. -- then it is this piece.

That just one piece of art can pack that much sordid, helpless, whining meaning into one canvas suggests that the scope, depth and integration of the work has more than perhaps meets the eye. Almost the whole of the tortured twentieth-century on just one canvas. That's good art. And I hate it.

As Ayn Rand said once in reply to someone expressing the idea he was alone and afraid in a world he never made, "Why the hell didn't you?" Express that feeling in a canvas and I'll be your biggest fan.

Anyway, sorry to start your morning with that image. Just thought you should know. I promise to make it up to you later.

LINKS: 'The Scream' returns home - USA Today


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Capitalism the Unknown Ideal

James Heaps-Nelson's picture

I've got my own mea culpa. Alienation was published in Capitalism the Unknown ideal, not VOS. Also, kudis to Fred for the earlier cite from FNI.


Damn, Private Simovici ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

That *is* one better. Sorry Fred.

I'll do you one better, then.

Boaz the Boor's picture

It's a perfect depiction of what Robert Campbell looks like when he thinks he's discovered another "plagiarism" about an ARI scholar.

Priceless, Fred!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

It's a perfect depiction of what Robert Campbell looks like when he thinks he's discovered another "plagiarism" by an ARI scholar.


OK, I'm gonna collect these. At the end of the month (it's Sept 1 now in NZ) there'll be an award for the best one-liner.

Dover Beach

User hidden's picture

Anyone ever read that poem by Matthew Arnold? It is one of my favorites because of the language and beauty of it and because I understand Matthew Arnold's misery at seeing what the modern world (as opposed to classical Western civilization) has come to in many ways. But, it expresses the same kind of feeling as The Scream in a much more beautiful way. And while The Scream shows fear and panic and a loss of soul in the face of what the artist perceives as the downfall of civilization, Arnold faces it with sadness and with clinging to his love (his values) and with pride and the stature of a man.

Go read it.


It's not so bad, guys.

Fred Weiss's picture

It's not so bad, guys.

It's a perfect depiction of what Robert Campbell looks like when he thinks he's discovered another "plagiarism" by an ARI scholar.

Munch ado about nothing

Jameson's picture

I didn’t miss it - forgot it was stolen. Every time I see this monstrosity I'm left feeling, as Peter expressed, dis-eased. One of my girlfriend's friends, a socialist with ties to god and the tangata whenua, once stated that it was her favourite painting. As clear an indictment on an admirer of such fine art as one could illustrate.

Why didn't I?

James Heaps-Nelson's picture

Conspiracies abound Smiling.


Ayn Rand - again

Fred Weiss's picture

"If a society reaches the stage where every man accepts the feeling that he is 'a stranger and afraid in a world [he] never made,' the world it gives up will be made by Attila." For the New Intellectual, 1961, Ayn Rand

Why didn't I?

Peter Cresswell's picture

Because James Valliant put in a private call to me begging me not to credit NB. Phone records show he had previously received a call from Irvine, California, and you know what that means ...

Cheers, Peter Cresswell

**Setting Brushfires In People's Minds**

**Integrating Architecture With Your Site**

Why didn't you?

James Heaps-Nelson's picture

Ayn Rand may be the source for the reply to the A. E. Housman poem, but I remember it in print from Nathaniel Branden's article on Alienation in the Virtue of Selfishness.



JoeM's picture

Peter, I saw this face several times today before I read this post, because it's all too real.

This post sums up my whole day. My whole week, even. Working with people who are fed up but scared to say anything, acknowledge the problem but appease the problem. "Peace." "Diplomacy." Yada yada yada...diplomacy is for rational disputes between rational people...principles are sacrificed because "that's just the way it is, and we have to work with it."


(I was asked to "apologize" today to someone by another coworker who KNEW that the other party was in the wrong, yet wanted to appease them because that person was management. I wasn't mad at the manager, I was mad at the person who knew better. I've got stress pain from pinched nerves from tense muscles and it's suggested that I take medication for stress. That's today's answer to the stranger afraid in the world he never made-medicate. Then I get hit in the face on the street because I "bumped" someone, after I followed him two blocks, he apologized and said it wasn't personal...have a feeling he was not right in the head, but "not personal?" You hit me, you threaten me, and I shouldn't take it personal? I think what scared him to apologize was the fact that I didn't back down. There is such an atmosphere of intimidation in this city, and in other cities, I'm sure...)

This picture does everything Peter says. I used to associate this painting with the kid from HOME ALONE (you know the scene), but that's an insult to the movie. That little kid, home alone in a world he never made, made good with some paint cans and a child's imagination. Most adults simply walk around with this look on their face.

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