Friday, November 15, 2013

You Can't Go Home Again

You Can't Go Home Again
egg tempera 24 x 24
James Butler

The central conviction of the life of Thomas Wolfe rested upon the belief that loneliness, far from being a rare and curious phenomenon, was the central and inevitable fact of human existence. In You Can't Go Home Again, he wrote “You can't go back home to your family, back home to your childhood, back home to romantic love, back home to a young man's dreams of glory and of fame, back home to exile, to escape to Europe and some foreign land, back home to lyricism, to singing just for singing's sake, back home to aestheticism, to one's youthful idea of 'the artist' and the all-sufficiency of 'art' and 'beauty' and 'love,' back home to the ivory tower, back home to places in the country, to the cottage in Bermude, away from all the strife and conflict of the world, back home to the father you have lost and have been looking for, back home to someone who can help you, save you, ease the burden for you, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time--back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.”

The empty red chair in my painting represents all that is lost forever when youth answers the siren's seductive song of distant exotic lands.  

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