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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Sunday, January 06, 2008

a little bulldog book

Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949) was a Belgian writer, whose work was Symbolist in approach and often concerned with the theme of death.

Believe me, I know how that sounds. When I tell you that he wrote a short book about the equally short life of his bulldog pup, you may think that sounds even worse. But it's not as bad as you think. In fact it can be lyrical:
And what a smile of attentive obligingness, of incorruptible innocence, of
affectionate submission, of boundless gratitude and total self-abandonment lit
up, at the least caress, that adorable mask of ugliness! Whence exactly
did that smile emanate? From the ingenuous and melting eyes? From the ears
pricked up to catch the words of man? From the forehead that unwrinkled to
appreciate and love, from the four tiny, white, projecting teeth that shone with
gladness against the dark lips, or from the stump of a tail that, with its
abrupt bend, the mark of his race, wriggled at the other end to testify to the
intimate and impassioned joy that filled his small being, happy once more to
encounter the hand or the glance of the god to whom he surrendered himself?

Symbolism was a supremely literate, if not exact movement. This book does have a number of appealing illustrations which I am sure you will enjoy, and you may see if you can download its PDF here -- otherwise you have to settle for the text file.

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