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Named Of Some Other Name Essay

2049 words - 8 pages

Readers of David Jones often either celebrate or abhor the fact that Jones was a Christian. What many of them do not realize is that Jones was an artist who happened to be a Christian, and his faith actually made him a more powerful and important artist. Jones is so important because of the way he saw the world, and his effort to make his vision experienced by his audience. One of Jones’s important beliefs was that “Myths and archetypes from all periods of the world’s history may find their true fulfillment in the symbolism of Christianity” (Blamires 68). Jones specifically portrays this view in two of his major works—the drawing “Aphrodite in Aulis” and the poem “The Tutelar of the Place.” The female figures depicted in these works are ones that people from all creeds and religions can recognize as the symbols of motherhood, love, sex, warmth, and beauty. Jones is able to work from the particulars he knows and enhance their meaning by relating them to something universal that everyone can understand. It is this very tactic that makes his works so effective. Jones actually felt that the female entity was one and the same for everyone, simply called by some other name. By creating several works that encapsulate all female-cult figures into one deity, Jones shows us the universality of symbolism and religion that many choose to ignore.
This concept of “all female cult-figures” wrapped into one has further evidence from several of Jones’s personal letters and writings. In a letter to Rene Hague, Jones says, “As I have written somewhere, the figure is all goddesses rolled into one—wounded of necessity as are all things worthy of worship—she’s mother-figure and virgo inter virgins—the pierced woman and mother and all her foretypes” (Shiel 234). This letter shows us that Jones’s intention is to make this drawing have a universal understanding, when he is working from the Christian elements he knows. In a David Jones lecture I attended at school, the presenter, Professor Haas, showed us another interesting aspect of the drawing I had not noticed before which is the duality of the persona. Most of his inspiration came from the article by Paul Hill entitled, “The Pierced Hermaphrodite.” If the drawing is closely scrutinized, we can see that the figure of Aphrodite is almost literally two people joined together. The eyes are misaligned, one hip is larger than the other, the shape and size of the arms and legs are different, and the most noticeable attribute is the vast difference of the breasts. One breast is swollen and lower, prepared for breastfeeding, while the other is smaller and perky. This key feature is what makes sure all goddesses are being included. The swollen breast is what includes motherly goddess figures such as the virgin Mary and the mother of the west, while the smaller breast is more like that of a courtesan and makes the goddesses of love and pleasure included in this montage of figures (Haas).
As a side note,...

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