“Hubbub in stone”

On my last morning on the Flemish coast, when I knew that in a few hours I should be in England, my eye fell upon one of the details of Gothic carving of which Flanders is full. . . It seemed to represent men bending themselves. . .to certain primary employments. Some seemed to be sailors tugging at ropes; others, I think, were reaping, others were energetically pouring something into something else. . . If there was one thing the early medievals liked it was representing people doing something. . . The Middle Ages is full of that spirit in all its monuments and manuscripts. . . [for] a mass of medieval carving seems actually a sort of bustle or hubbub in stone. Sometimes one cannot help feeling that the groups actually move and mix, and the whole front of a great cathedral has the hum of a huge hive.

– “The Little Birds Who Won’t Sing”, in On Lying in Bed.

[original source unknown (to The Hebdomadarian)]

Published in: on July 25, 2007 at 3:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

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