“Manhattan in the 1980s was a gritty place” – Tracy Cochran

Manhattan in the 1980s was a gritty place.  I used to think of it as having dark glamour but no more.  A few years before, I had come to Manhattan like someone drawing close to a fire.  I wanted to be warmed, enlightened.  But nothing turned out the way I hoped, not love, not work, not life.  I pictured myself a waif huddling along in a bleak neighborhood, bringing her own pasta to dinner.  The image was so pathetic that I savored it, a fragment of a modern Dickens tale.

—  Tracy Cochran, “The Night I Died” (in Parabola, the Heaven & Hell issue, Summer 2013)

Since self thinks the cover of this issue —  Summer 2013, the magazine’s 150th (Congratulations, Parabola!) is pretty fine, she snapped a picture of it:

The Magazine's 150th Issue:  Self thinks the cover is pretty fine.

The Magazine’s 150th Issue

It did remind her vaguely of the work of a Flemish artist, she wants to say Brueghel but isn’t sure.

Later, she comes upon the title of the second piece in the issue:  “Emanations of Divinity:  The Cosmology of Hieronymus Bosch,” by Lee van Leer.

Yes, of course, that’s whose work she thought of when contemplating the cover.  Bosch, not Brueghel.  Accompanying the essay by van Leer are details of Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights.

The Bosch work is a triptych.  It hangs in the Prado in Madrid.  This is an astonishing piece of work, dear blog readers.  The left and right panels, especially.

Stay tuned.

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