Roger Sandall on the delusions of ‘romantic primitivism’

“Bohemian primitivism is [mainly] in the mind. The community yearned for is symbolic, not actual. Its undivided organic wholeness is something imagined rather than observed. The unique aesthetic sensibilities remote communities embody are hypothesised — deduced from pretty textiles or attractive pots. And even if one takes the trouble to visit such places, one is still only a tourist who stays briefly before returning to the safety of a waiting metropolis with hot baths and digestible food.

“But the cream of the jest is to come. This is a tale of unrequited love. The French intellectual may admire the Andalusian muleteer, but the muleteer thinks he’s mad. There may indeed be a brown-skinned woman with burning eyes waiting for Flaubert, whispering the language of the houris. But the words she whispers are

Posted by | Comments Off on Roger Sandall on the delusions of ‘romantic primitivism’  | June 22, 2005
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

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