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Another met pic

Mysterious smile. This one makes me shiver.

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
ba1126
May. 10th, 2014 09:09 pm (UTC)
That's a smile that could mean ANYTHING! From "Gee, it's nice to meet you" to "Take him down to the river and see if he can swim (with weights on his ankles)."
eglantine_br
May. 10th, 2014 09:15 pm (UTC)
Cement overshoes... yes. That smile is not very human is it? And if that is a goddess I think I am even more scared.
anteros_lmc
May. 10th, 2014 09:58 pm (UTC)
That is a very self possessed face isn't it?
steepholm
May. 10th, 2014 10:22 pm (UTC)
Someone on LJ reminded me of this passage from The Magus recently: so does that picture.

In a minute he appeared, carrying something heavy draped in a white towel. He put it carefully on the centre of the table. Then he paused, made sure I was looking, before gravely he removed the cloth. It was a stone head, whether of a man or a woman it was difficult to say. The nose had been broken short. The hair was done in a fillet, with two sidepieces. But the power of the fragment was in the face. It was set in a triumphant smile, a smile that would have been smug if it had not been so full of the purest metaphysical good humour. The eyes were faintly oriental, long, and as I saw, for Conchis put a hand over the mouth, also smiling. The mouth was beautifully modelled, timelessly intelligent and timelessly amused.

‘That is the truth. Not the hammer and the sickle. Not the stars and stripes. Not the cross. Not the sun. Not gold. Not yin and yang. But the smile.’

‘It’s Cycladic, isn’t it?’

‘Never mind what it is. Look at it. Look into its eyes.’

He was right. The little sunlit thing had some numen; or not so much a divinity, as a having known divinity, in it; of being ultimately certain. But as I looked, I began to feel something else.

‘There’s something implacable in that smile.’

‘Implacable?’ He came behind my chair and looked down over my head. ‘It is the truth. Truth is implacable. But the nature and meaning of this truth is not.’

‘Tell me where it came from.’

‘From Didyma in Asia Minor.’

‘How old is it?’

‘The sixth or seventh century before Christ.’

‘I wonder if it would have that smile if it knew of Belsen.’

‘Because they died, we know we still live. Because a star explodes and a thousand worlds like ours die, we know this world is. That is the smile: that what might not be, is.’ Then he said, ‘When I die, I shall have this by my bedside. It is the last human face I want to see.’

The little head watched our watching; bland, certain, and almost maliciously inscrutable. It flashed on me that it was also the smile that Conchis sometimes wore; as if he sat before the head and practised it. At the same time I realized exactly what I disliked about it. It was above all the smile of dramatic irony, of those who have privileged information. I looked back up at Conchis’s face; and knew I was right.
eglantine_br
May. 10th, 2014 11:29 pm (UTC)
Yes. Implacable. I am not at all sure I would want her in my sleeping space .

I am becoming more sure she is a goddess.
soon_lee
May. 11th, 2014 01:37 am (UTC)
It's the holes where eyes should be that I find disturbing.
eglantine_br
May. 11th, 2014 08:26 am (UTC)
For me it is the mouth-- that smile. Blergh!!
glumgrum
May. 14th, 2014 06:34 pm (UTC)
Glorius!)))
adam_0oo
May. 15th, 2014 01:53 am (UTC)
The smile is a bit smug. The gaping eye sockets and reduced pig like nose are a bit horrifying.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )