The end sends advanced warning. Molten suns and empty roads, barren hillsides like swelling oceans, windows like blocks of ice — we learn the signs. But to warn us, the end must let another speak for it. This is the artist, who throws his colors into the inferno, stoking the fire. Without him, the end would not know itself — could not reckon its score of starveling trees and shrunken shores . . . Back on the leveled ground of this book, the reader examines the pictures in private devotion, running her fingers on empty fields. If only imps and other charlatans of the margins were responsible for this withdrawal of all sense. But they too have left the scene, the fornicating troubadours and friars with their casks of ale, the pimply summoners and proud cocks who pass the time. Only the artist remains, a superintendent of the state, a night watchman fumbling for his keys, unwilling to leave.
October 24, 2018 at 6:00 AM EDT