Leonora Carrington – Top 10 Quotes

1. “Military people never seem to apologize for killing each other yet novelists feel ashamed for writing some nice inert paper book that is not certain to be read by anybody.”


2. “People under seventy and over seven are very unreliable if they are not cats.”
The Hearing Trumpet


 

3. “Do you believe, she went on, that the past dies?
Yes, said Margaret. Yes, if the present cuts its throat.”
The Seventh Horse And Other Tales


 

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5. “One has to be careful what one takes when one goes away forever.”
The Hearing Trumpet


 

6. “The task of the right eye is to peer into the telescope, while the left eye peers into the microscope.”


7. “I do miss England. Well, I miss the idea of England, I think. But I haven’t been back for years. I probably just miss the past.”


8. “There are things that are not sayable. That’s why we have art.”

9. “I do not know of any religion that does not declare women to be feeble-minded, unclean, generally inferior creatures to males, although most Humans assume that we are the cream of all species. Women, alas; but thank God, Homo Sapiens! Most of us, I hope, are now aware that a woman should not have to demand Rights. The Rights were there from the beginning; they must be Taken Back Again, including the Mysteries which were ours and which were violated, stolen or destroyed, leaving us with the thankless hope of pleasing a male animal, probably of one’s own species.”


10. “I had no idea what maternal instinct was until I had my children.”

Leonora Carrington – Top 10 Quotes

Leonora_Carrington

Leonora Carrington was one of the lesser known figures of the 1930’s Surrealist movement. She was born in the UK but spent most of her life in Mexico and died there in 2011.

Leonora Carrington was briefly married to Mexican poet and journalist Renato Leduc. Some of her more famous visual pieces are The Giantess, The Meal of Lord Candlestick, Portrait of Max Ernst, Adieu Ammenotep and The Artist Traveling Incognito.

  1. You may not believe in magic but something very strange is happening at this very moment. Your head has dissolved into thin air and I can see the rhododendrons through your stomach. It’s not that you are dead or anything dramatic like that, it is simply that you are fading away and I can’t even remember your name.
    Leonora Carrington, The Hearing Trumpet 2000
  2. Reason must know the heart’s reasons and every other reason
    Leonora Carrington
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  4. Do you believe, she went on, that the past dies?

    Yes, said Margaret. Yes, if the present cuts its throat.
    Leonora Carrington, The Seventh Horse And Other Tales tout_small_9_Leonora_Carrington_INT-el_mundo_magico_maya

  5. There are things that are not sayable. That’s why we have art.
  6. the-task-of-the-right-eye-is-to-peer-into-the-telescope
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  8. I never eat meat as I think it is wrong to deprive animals of their life when they are so difficult to chew anyway
    Leonora Carrington maxresdefault-1
  9. Houses are really bodies. We connect ourselves with walls, roofs, and objects just as we hang on to our livers, skeletons, flesh and bloodstream. I am no beauty, no mirror is necessary to assure me of this absolute fact. Nevertheless I have a death grip on this haggard frame as if it were the limpid body of Venus herself.
    ― Leonora Carrington, The Hearing Trumpet
  10. Leonara-Carrington-Painting-is-a-need-not-a-choice.

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5 Days of Short Stories. 1: The Debutante by Leonora Carrington

Image via Photobucket and Art Images Library

Let’s have five days of short stories. We’ll begin today with Leonora Carrington’s The Debutante, a story of a girl and a hyena.


“The Debutante”

by Leonora Carrington

WHEN I was a debutante I often went to the zoological garden. I went so often that I was better acquainted with animals than with the young girls of my age. It was to escape from the world that I found myself each day at the zoo. The beast I knew best was a young hyena. She knew me too. She was extremely intelligent; I taught her French and in return she taught me her language. We spent many pleasant hours in this way.

For the first of May my mother had arranged a ball in my honor. For entire nights I suffered: I had always detested balls, above all those given in my own honor.

On the morning of May first, 1934, very early, I went to visit the hyena. “What a mess of shit,” I told her. “I must go to my ball this evening.”

“You’re lucky,” she said. “I would go happily. I do not know how to dance, but after all, I could engage in conversation.”

“There will be many things to eat,” said I. “I have seen wagons loaded entirely with food coming up to the house.”

“And you complain!” replied the hyena with disgust. “As for me, I eat only once a day, and what rubbish they stick me with!”

I had a bold idea; I almost laughed. “You have only to go in my place.”

“We do not look enough alike, otherwise I would gladly go,” said the hyena, a little sad. “Listen,” said I, “in the evening light one does not see very well. If you were disguised a little, no one would notice in the crowd. Besides, we are almost the same size. You are my only friend; I implore you.”

She reflected upon this sentiment. I knew that she wanted to accept. “It is done,” she said suddenly.

It was very early; not many keepers were about. Quickly I opened the cage and in a moment we were in the street. I took a taxi; at the house, everyone was in bed. In my room, I brought out the gown I was supposed to wear that evening. It was a little long, and the hyena walked with difficulty in my high-heeled shoes. I found some gloves to disguise her hands which were too hairy to resemble mine. When the sunlight entered, she strolled around the room several times—walking more or less correctly. We were so very occupied that my mother, who came to tell me good morning, almost opened the door before the hyena could hide herself under my bed. “There is a bad odor in the room,” said my mother, opening the window. “Before this evening you must take a perfumed bath with my new salts.”

“Agreed,” said I. She did not stay long; I believe the odor was too strong for her. “Do not be late for breakfast,” she said, as she left the room.

The greatest difficulty was to find a disguise for the hyena’s face. For hours and hours we sought an answer: she rejected all of my proposals. At last she said, “I think I know a solution. You have a maid?”

“Yes,” I said, perplexed.

“Well, that’s it. You will ring for the maid and when she enters we will throw ourselves upon her and remove her face. I will wear her face this evening in place of my own.”

“That’s not practical,” I said to her.

“She will probably die when she has no more face; someone will surely find the corpse and we will go to prison.”

“I am hungry enough to eat her,” replied the hyena.

“And the bones?”

“Those too,” she said.

“Then it’s settled?”

“Only if you agree to kill her before removing her face. It would be too uncomfortable otherwise.”

“Good; it’s all right with me.” I rang for Marie, the maid, with a certain nervousness. I would not have done it if I did not detest dances so much. When Marie entered I turned to the wall so as not to see. I admit that it was done quickly. A brief cry and it was over. While the hyena ate, I looked out the window. A few minutes later, she said: “I cannot eat anymore; the two feet are left, but if you have a little bag I will eat them later in the day.”

“You will find in the wardrobe a bag embroidered with fleurs de lys. Remove the handkerchiefs inside it and take it.” She did as I indicated.

At last she said: “Turn around now and look, because I am beautiful!” Before the mirror, the hyena admired herself in Marie’s face. She had eaten very carefully all around the face so that what was left was just what was needed. “Surely, it’s properly done,” said I.

Toward evening, when the hyena was all dressed, she declared: “I am in a very good mood. I have the impression that I will be a great success this evening.” When the music below had been heard for some time, I said to her: “Go now, and remember not to place yourself at my mother’s side: she will surely know that it is not I. Otherwise I know no one. Good luck.” I embraced her as we parted but she smelled very strong.

Night had fallen. Exhausted by the emotions of the day, I took a book and sat down by the open window. I remember that I was reading Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. It was perhaps an hour later that the first sign of misfortune announced itself. A bat entered through the window, emitting little cries. I am terribly afraid of bats, I hid behind a chair, my teeth chattering. Scarcely was I on my knees when the beating of the wings was drowned out by a great commotion at my door. My mother entered, pale with rage. “We were coming to seat ourselves at the table,” she said, “when the thing who was in your place rose and cried: ‘I smell a little strong, eh? Well, as for me, I do not eat cake.’ With these words she removed her face and ate it. A great leap and she disappeared out the window.”


If you’re not familiar with Leonora Carrington, she was a visual artist as well as a writer and you can see some of her work in the video below.

Leonora Carrington

Imma Ramos shares her insight on the fascinatingly surreal Leonora Carrington.

This isn’t a great video, but it does have some great close-ups of Carrington’s paintings, so worth a quick watch.

This exhibition has unfortunately finished now – I hope her work will come to London soon…

Send a postcard to an art loving friend, from the RA Summer Exhibition 2016 selection.

The Beautiful Leonora Carrington (1917-2011)

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As regular visitors to Examining the Odd will know by now, British-born Mexican surrealist Leonora Carrington is one of my favourite artists. Her paintings are somehow oppressive yet elegant, tense yet loving. Her writing is inspiring and thought-provoking. We have two prints of hers at the bottom of our stairs to add a little more amazement to everyday life!

One of her sculptures has very recently been unveiled in Mexico City, donated by her son Pablo Weisz to the Acquis Heritage Collection SHCP. It’s a dream of mine to visit Mexico one day. I just need to find out which time of year is coldest and trip over a pile of money first!

 

I can spend so much time looking at these… There’s just so much to see. Each little character looks as though they could have a whole novel attached to them. Even the trees are fascinating, appearing to be thinking, watching…

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Even as a young girl, Carrington was a non-conformist. She was repeatedly thrown out of her schools for “anti -social tendencies and certain supernatural proclivities”. In Florence and Paris she revelled in the arts, but dodged her workload and school regiment through running away, and was consequently expelled… It was at Chelsea, in the classes of cubist Amédée Ozenfant, that art, commitment and precision all came together for Leonora. Ozenfant insisted on understanding “the chemistry of everything you used”. In 1936, she visited the London International Surrealist Exhibition, and became obsessed with the movement.  Hunger

The short video above talks about Leonora’s horrible marriage to Renato Leduc, and her beautiful one to Emericko Weisz. Leonora also talks of her disgust and bemusement towards bull-fighting – well done Leonora.

Dylusions Ink Sprays white linen 2 oz. bottle

MÉXICO, D.F., 06ABRIL2015.- Hoy se cumple el 98 aniversario del natalicio de Leonora Carrington, “La novia del viento”, quien en 1963 tuvo el encargo de llevar a cabo un mural para el Museo Nacional de Antropología: “El mundo mágico de los mayas”.  FOTO: ARCHIVO /CONACULTA /CUARTOSCURO.COM

I was lucky enough to see a tiny production of The Hearing Trumpet by Dark Matter Theatre in Brighton recently. We were two of the four members of the audience, but it was a wonderful little piece of surrealist theatre.

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Leonora Carrington was 94 when she died – I hope I manage to look that cheeky when I’m that age. She truly was “the last great living surrealist” – Homero Aridjis