“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Why the Comedy Ouroboros?

Let's start with why it's so compelling—apparently also for Ian, who generously took on my charge to make one.

I think it's because the snake seems so terribly keen on eating itself, in the same way that my rather young cat looks rather intense when he is imitating what he takes to be kissing, namely holding your fingers with his teeth, without biting.

The thing is, is the ouroboros fascinated by the biting or—and this is perfectly reasonable given where his/her gaze is placed—fascinated by being fascinated?

I'll add here that this is a major intervention in ouroboros imagination. Most ouroboroi are rather frightening looking, or rather opaque. The nearest one to Ian's is this:

It's not as good is it? I quite like the slightly defeatist ennui of this one:

But most others are terribly serious.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This is my favorite Ouroboros.