Sunday, March 19, 2017

Songs About People # 325 Stendahl

While we're talking contemporary British punk bands, here's another IDLES. Their new record gets a bit samey in its relentless thrashing after a bit but one track at a time it's fine. French novelist Stendahl described encountering Giotto's frescoes for the first time as follows: 
'I was in a sort of ecstasy, from the idea of being in France, close to the great men whose tombs I had seen. Absorbed in the contemplation of sublime beauty... I reached the point where one encounters celestial sensations... Everything spoke so vividly to my soul. I had palpitations of the heart, what in Berlin they call'nerves'. Life was drained from me. I walked with the fear of falling.' 

Hence Stendahl Syndrome, which was given a name in Florence again in 1979 after a doctor noticed similar physical and emotional reaction among any number of tourists to exposure to the city's artworks. IDLES sing about a rather less positive, but equally overpowering response to Modern Art.

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