Seventh Horse – Przekrój Quarterly

Leonora Carrington

“The Seventh Horse. Collected Stories”
via. Ushab, M. Kopukowski, Feltree Publishing, 2022

he is reading 3 minutes

Anyone interested in surrealism or the magic of painting must have come across the stunning and visionary work of Leonora Carrington. We can learn a lot about the artist herself and her way of life from the wonderful chapter in her autobiography The lord and the witches Alejandro Jodorowsky. The famous director, and at the same time an artist and spiritual teacher, told him how he “trained” with Carrington – he was sent to her by his Japanese Zen master Igo Takata, who said of Carrington that he “does not know any koan., but can solve them all.”

Not everyone knows that Carrington wasn’t just a painter. In 2019, her stage play was published in “Dialog” magazine. Penelope, made famous by Jodorowsky’s adaptation (black and white photos of the sets are still circulating on the Internet). However, the wider audience in our country has not yet known Carrington’s literary work. Of course, in different parts of Poland you can meet people who are familiar with a wonderful and funny novel trumpet to listen (I would classify it as one of my favorite novels myself), which was the only available sample of Carrington’s amazing prose. Only now a complete collection of the artist’s stories has been released seventh horsewhich is a translation of the Selections into English full stories. The book was translated by Marina Oshab and Michai Kopukowski, and wrote by MP Agnieszka Taborska, an expert on Carrington’s work, with whom she met in person.

As expected seventh horse The richness of imagination puzzles me. As in painting, sculpture, theater and v hear the trumpet, Here, too, Carrington highlights his epiphany leanings, vision and mysticism. Mythical elements, subtle symbolism, abrupt transformations – all the imagination with which Carrington created his worlds is filled with religious imagery, intertwined – lest they be pathetic – absurd humor. In her world, everything takes on a mystical character – cooking becomes an alchemical art, and orgies – spiritual liberation. But if a religious figure, a saint, or a nun appears, they are ridiculed.

If you try to define Carrington’s literary style, you can say that it is a mixture of Celtic mythology, which Carrington learned from childhood (her mother was Irish) and the atmosphere of Mesoamerican magic (the artist has lived in Mexico since the 1940s). This spherical Celtic aspect may explain why Carrington’s work is teeming with animals that speak, teach, and engage in religious rituals. in the story when they passed The woman, the main character of the story, is successfully seduced by a boar in a wig made of squirrel tails, with pierced ears, a purple head and a bird sitting on its head.

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Other consistent drivers in Carrington’s texts are feminism and an aversion to authoritarian patriarchal power structures (remember this in trumpet to listen The writer even ridiculed the Gurdjieff school, who was very interested in her teachings). It also gets into the strict British customs that Carrington struggled with since childhood. In a semi-autobiographical story Uncle Sam Carrington Uncle, seeing the full moon, could not help but laugh. When his wife sees the sunset, she also bursts into laughter. In this way, they both cause a lot of anxiety to their relatives who care about the good reputation of the family. Apparently a teenage heroine alternate character The writer, intending to help her relatives in peril: goes out in the dark night, meets, like Alice, vegetables quarrel with each other, an eloquent horse, and two big ladies deal with solving the problems of “the oldest and noblest English families”.

Much has been written about Carrington’s ties to the Surrealist movement, as well as about “who loved her”, thus obscuring the uniqueness and independence of this prominent figure. So I will only mention the opening seventh horse story debutante Found herself in the famous Anthology of black humor Compiled by André Breton. This best illustrates how highly valued Carrington’s literary output is.

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About the author:

Tomasz Vinniewski

Tomasz Vinniewski

Fiction writer and editor. Author of On the Origin of the Bastards, The Shockingly Handsome Man, and The Completely Undesigned Stories.

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