Thursday, April 17, 2008


At first sight I really believed that the only reminders in the Piana graveyard of the nature which, we have always hoped, will endure long after our own end, were the artificial purple, mauve, and pink flowers, obviously pressed upon their customers by French undertakers, made of silk or nylon chiffon, of brightly painted porcelain, wire, and metal appearing not so much a sign of enduring affection as the final emergence of a kind of proof that, despite all assurances to the contrary, we offer our dead only the cheapest substitute for the diverse beauty of life.

-Sebald, Campo Santo

The positive element of kitsch lies in the fact that it sets free for a moment the glimmering realization that you have wasted your life.

- Adorno, Quasi una Fantasia