Backwards story about nothing (really)

Art, Art Retros, Commentary
Published: May 28, 2017

Let me tell you one story. The one that makes no sense and is nothing of particular importance but will surely entertain you. It happened a long time ago. Not so far away. Few months ago i’ve stumbled upon a curious article in Hyperallergic. It was about one peculiar episode from the dawn of sensationalist journalism. And it was beautiful self-contained imagination provoker.


The story goes: Once upon a time there were two of them.
They were artists.
They thought a lot.
And then they’ve talked a lot.
And they’ve been drinking too.
A little bit too much.
Because that makes the conversation flow smoothly.
I also think it was cold outside and mood was somewhat broody.
And thus talk became a bit and quite intense.

And so they started a fight.

In the 18th century.

Orchestral hit and horn stab.

The fight that was beyond the description.
Its expression is something that is better to be left for the imagination.
Because that’s what makes better of it.
The reason they fought was simple.
They fought over the personification of temperance.

Slow clap.

Long and winding echo chokes itself in the foam of reverberation.

What could be more pointless?
That was the glorious glimpse of Enlightenment era,
That decadent and tumultuous time when such things really mattered.
That news-bite comes form The Morning Post newspaper,
Dated October 18, 1793
and it reads like a some sort of a found poem:

“Two eminent Artists
quarrelled violently,
in a Coffee-hose in Oxford-road,
on Sunday last,
about the personification of temperance.

During the altercation,
they got most violently intoxicated,
and actually ended the dispute by a boxing match.”

I believe it looked something like this:

But is it news?
It bears resemblance, but it fails to deliver the information.
Who were those “two eminent artists”?
What were the reactions of the authorities and their collegues?
What were the circumstances that lead to a fight?
What consequences will these “two eminent artists” face?
At last – who won that “boxing match”?

I think I think too much about it…

Years ago, Donald Bellisario was at Q&A session about his hit TV-show Quantum Leap.
One fan got so many technical questions that Bellisario decided to cut it off by saying

Don’t examine this too closely“.


About The Writer

Volodymyr Bilyk

Volodymyr Bilyk volodymyrbilyk

Volodymyr Bilyk is a writer, translator from Ukraine. His books include: visual poems in the series This is Visual Poetry (2013), book of asemic short stories CIMESA published in White Sky Books (2013), book of poetry Casio's Pay-Off Peyote published by Red Ceilings Press (2013), visual poetry collection SCOBES published by No Press(2013), visual poetry collection THINGS published by Unconventional Press(2014), Laugh Poems published by Underground books(2014), Vispo Ay Ai Ay published by Blank Space Press(2014) and "To When Tea Ties Hence to Wank It Too" / "Eminent Means of Basil Dado Hem-Welt" in The Chapbook 5(2015). His works were exhibited on Bright Stupid Confetti Asemic Show, Yoko Ono Fan Club, Venti Leggeri in Bologna, EL MARTELL SENSE MESTRE in Barcelona, The Future is Here Again: VISUAL LANGUAGE in New York, 1st International Literary Fair of Mato Grosso (2015) and on World Association of Visual and Experimental Artists in Valjevo.

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