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Sport 9: Spring 1992

nostalgia without nostalgia

nostalgia without nostalgia

. . . a little eulogy on Ian Hamilton Finlay

As heroic—

a hero is one who does more than write to bureaucracy twice in resisting the erosion of time and place by never leaving Little Sparta resisting— the rush of the simulacra down the black hole of the appetite
of the masses etc.

binding backthe past [<re-ligio]

insisting on a natural relation to tradition

never ending is the homesickness of classical temples

refusing to stand in a quicksand present in digital time where the only relation is appropriation.

page 117

Rather than being 'unrelated' I see all Finlay's objects unified in relation to the classical past he quickens. His modes are: elegiac / mock heroic / pastoral / epigrammatic—the whole gesture an accumulation of shards, and epic.

His nostalgia escapes nostalgia by the freshness and inventiveness of its equivalents.

His puns cherish the domestic.

[domus = temple]

Tired but happyis all we need for the conclusion — or even — of the story.)

Contra Terry Smith ('2-dimensional'*), this simplicity, I think, allows his symbols, 2 dimensionalindeed as slides, solidity as artifacts, polyvalence as symbols.

While the Missiles of Apollo surprise

apollo his music his muses his missiles

the medicine man of Little Sparta might provide with his war toys homeopathic doses of a reality our art and thought is reluctant to assimilate.

Finally Finlay / his enterprise revives artifact and artisan in modi operandithat are so to speak time honoured . . .

black and white image

"Nature is the Devil in a fancy waistcoat."
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Translation for out time:
"Nature is a storm trooper in a camouflage smock."
Ian Hamilton Finlay

Wild Hawthorn Press, Little Sparta, Dunsyre, Lanark, Scotland