300 • Postcard (4)

300 • Postcard (4)

My postcard to Wole Soyinka
Said ‘How d’you like Rodin’s “The Thinker”?’
‘Not as good as “The Dunce”,’
He responded at once
(I got the same answer from Glinka).

It’s encouraging, of course, to receive fresh evidence of empathy-across-time between writers and musicians, but it’s unsettling to discover that both spurn a sculptural masterpiece in favour of a work so definitively substandard that not a single art historian bothers even to mention it. Yet it sounds like a statue for our time, when so many forcibly-emptied plinths stand ready to accommodate images of some contemptible thick-head, should such a person come to public attention.

4 thoughts on “300 • Postcard (4)

  1. Your 300th prompts associations for me.
    Wole Soyinka recalls my time in Nigeria back in the 60s during the Civil War there, running a small Educational Publishing House called Pilgrim Books for Cecil King.
    Rodin means Rilke for me. An amazing association for both of them.
    This morning I was wrestling (again) with the 9th Duino Elegy, and moved on to the 10th for respite.
    I look forward to your 400th, and everything in between.

    1. Hi Patrick,

      Thanks for your message; I notice now that I have perpetrated two Rodin-inflected rhymes in a row … who knows what tomorrow morning will bring.

      In view of your admiration for Rilke – a formidable wrestling partner – I wonder if you have investigated the works of Russell Hoban, a fellow devotee, and strongly recommended?

      Rilke is taken a good deal more seriously by most thinking people than Glinka is; but I am often possessed by an earworm from ‘Russlan and Ludmilla’ which can probably be exorcised only by mainlining his curious Mozart treatments.

      Thank you for your anticipation of my 400th, but the present plan is to stop at 366; I suppose we’ll have to wait for the start of a fresh year to be sure how My Dog Errol will respond.

      Best wishes


  2. Mr. Lime,
    Forcibly emptied plinths have suddenly become a real hazard in my neighborhood. Only the other day a dogooder from the past was found missing. The clamor to repopulate the plinths has deafened cooler ears and I may have to move. I don’t think that any of us could have foreseen this. Of course there are always those who object, if only as an existential position.

    1. Ms Nisbet,

      You speak (or write) most infallibly; but what are we left with, if not existential positions? If a plinth could be devised for such manifestations, I am sure the pigeons would be lining up to evacuate on it.

      Best wishes
      Richard E Lime

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