A short piece which is whimsical, comic and tragic. The mundane notions of vanity are presented before an impending horror of conflict with prose that are simple and wholly enjoyable to read.
He Took Great Care of His Head is an example of ekphrastic writing – a piece inspired by a work of art – and examines the horror of war as it shatters the individual and their regular habits. A series of sketches by Francisco de Goya, considered one of the first modern painters, has created some of the starkest, most human representations of the savagery of war. Like so many after him – notably Picasso’s Guernica – the images are unflinchingly discomforting but deal with the ridiculousness of war that arises from the nonsensical slaughter.
So too He Took Great Care of His Head revels in whimsy and toes the the wavy line between comedy and tragedy.
The ubiquity of war remains, and invades our lives daily with images in far greater clarity than any artist could imagine. Identity becomes lost in the multitudes, and literature attempts to claw it back. In this piece we explore the individual – a very strange one at that – as his narcissism and unqualified bravado counterpoint his demise.
Empathy, the natural response to this kind of narration, makes this story powerful and poses a number of questions about the role of literature and the individual in war;
|Length:||Five minute read (about 1 page).|
|Published:||24th July 2011|
|Tags:||black, comedy, death, dramatic, fear, humorous, loss, madness, scary, spanish, tragic, war|