Nino Haratischwili’s book The Cat and the General is a difficult book. It talks about guilt, and the unhealthy death wish that can come with it. It’s also a long book, and might not satisfy the reader expecting satisfying exterior context. This books is about minds.
The novel often appears to be talkative, giving too many irrelevant details, but these are just part of an undercurrent of themes that connect victims with perpetrators. One such pattern is that of Darkness and Light.
After Sonja’s Death, Ada had begun to be afraid of the dark. She only wanted to sleep in bright light, holding a pillow in front of her eyes.
“Why is there Darkness and Light”, he heard his daughter ask, then just five years old.
— Because we couldn’t see the light without darkness, and the darkness not without light, he answered, and felt doubtful.
— But why do I have to see darkness at all?
Darkness is nothing but a disguise for the light!
This dialogue between the general and his young daughter replicates a dialogue between Nura and her father, and is one of many parallels that live in the subtext of the book.
The pictures here were taken during a recent visit to Turkey Run State Park.
Besides Light and Darkness, there is also the theme of wood and rock in these images, of growth and strength.
Last October I went on an early morning to McCormick’s State park, not expecting to see anybody.
But there was this guy, sitting next to the little waterfall in the dark. We started chatting. He was from Florida, evacuating for the week because of Hurricane Matthew. Friends had told him to check out this place, and he was quite impressed.
They had also told him of a Spring of Healing that could be found here, and he wanted to know about it.
I couldn’t help.
But it is true that some places are special. My virtual substitute here can only be a reminder that they still exist.
They need our protection.
A while back I confessed that I had acquired a Velvet 56 from Lensbaby. Yesterday I decided to try this lens with street photography and architecture, abusing charming Columbus (Indiana) for that purpose. Of course, all images were taken wide open. Brace yourself.
Above is the entrance of the Cummins Headquarter building. This lens has clearly difficulties here. The overall softness distracts from the graphical elements. If you don’t know what Cummins is making, you can see one of their products below. It is not a space ship, nor a gun.
While Cummins would probably not use this image for marketing, the Velvet 56 does a much better job when there is an obvious foreground. With the rental bikes lined up below, one can see nicely how the lens progresses into unsharpness and how it deals with highlights.
I still like that image, and even more so the image below. Beautiful couple on beautiful bikes.
My favorite is the last one, however. The unreal mini-halos about all the highlights on the chairs complement the mural as if the lens just came out of the bar…