January 26: art galleries and my back

Today is the last day of the Daumier exhibition at the Royal Academy. I had planned going. I like Daumier. It rained today. I haven’t gone. I’m making a lentil soup instead. I nearly went on Friday. Friday is late night opening. I didn’t go. I put a chicken in the oven.

It’s not just the inconveniance of negotiating masses of people plonking their big heads flush in front of a little canvas or sketch. There’s my back too. My back mostly doesn’t trouble me much nowadays. Not since I started focusing on exercising it. But it remembers its role when I go to an exhibition. My assertion has always been that my back doesn’t like slow and interrupted walking, the stopping and starting of a museum visit. My back needs to be moving at a regular velocity. I don’t know what a back specialist would make of this. Though I think I am a bit of a back specialist myself by now. I think I’ve figured it out. My back also plays up on a shopping trip with someone who is more taken with shop windows than I am. It could be that these are activities I do not love and my unconscious, in the form of my back, is having its say. Maybe if I booked my back in for analysis it could really have its say, get the whole thing off its chest and never trouble me again.

There is also the little matter of payment. I am to pay the art gallery ten or fifteen pounds for the privilege of having it give me a backache for the rest of the day. Do you blame me?

Maybe I just don’t like art galleries.


2 thoughts on “January 26: art galleries and my back

    • Dear Emile Zola,

      With your Naturaliste background you will appreciate how much the collision between human frailty and culture can take its toll on the pauvre bete humaine that we are. And yet, lover of a good yarn that you also were, will also warm to the climax of a tradition narrative: the chicken was good!

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