Odilon Redon was not the artist I had gone to the museum to see. I was there yesterday, actually, to look at Degas and his non-dancing nudes (which were breathtaking, if in no other way simply by the abundance of work I had never even known about). More on them later.

The museum, however, is very different now than it was earlier in the summer, and I got lost, thereby wandering into a work (go look!) that I once wrote about back in the days when French literature seemed to matter much more to me than it sometimes does now.

Isn’t it lovely? Or creepy, depending on your point of view. I know that the French Symbolists had a thing for Redon.. purpose of my little talk, actually, as his work was admired by the character des Esseintes in Huysmann’s A Rebours. But Poe liked him, too, and the Symbolists liked Poe, and he liked them, and I even think then of Bataille and his disturbing, perhaps pornographic Histoire de l’œil

Yes, of course I think of this. Much more to say about Bataille, and about French Symbolism, and about Redon, for that matter. I say the eyes have it.

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