|el hércules borracho de rubens (1611)|
recomiendo in black and white, el blog del escritor y periodista cubano/americano enrique fernández.
hay de todo, en bilingüe. sin embargo, prefiero leer a enrique en inglés, donde exhibe un sabor poético añejo y jodedor. a continuación un post titulado "Partay" (para bilingües):
Where is Hercules being led in Rubens’ painting? Three mythic creatures escort him, acting like seeing-eye dogs, for the big lug is totally hammered, just look at his face. Are they headed for a foursome or back from one? Something is going or has gone on.
Hercules is totally naked and, man, is he jacked. The powerful muscles contrast with his unsteady gait and idiotic expression. And his genitals are veiled by a bit of cloth. Was Rubens being discreet, like Botticelli with his Venus, whose pudenda is also veiled by a piece of windblown fabric? She too is naked, for she has just been born, fully grown and fully female, standing a shell floating on the waters. Rubens echoes Botticelli. Hercules echoes Venus. But while the muscled hero looks stupefied, Venus’ expression is, though quite soft, not dumb at all.
I read not long ago that the Dutch painter’s famously “Rubenesque” females were actually reproductions of male nudes, since it was impossible to get women to pose without clothes. Rubens painted these fleshy guys and then added breasts and other feminine secondary sexual characteristics. That changed my appreciation; in fact, it shocked me. For what I thought were perhaps too curvaceous chicks were actually more like transsexuals. That knowledge brought to mind the famous penis scene in the film The Crying Game, although, in all fairness, even with his manhood dangling, the lithe actor looked totally feminine. I thought the Rubenesques looked feminine too, until I learned about their provenance. Now I don’t know what to think. Or feel.
Certainly Rubens’ Hercules looks nothing like his female nudes. Whoever posed for it was either full of bulging muscles or the painter added them himself with the same artistry with which he feminized his male models. And he looks nothing like me, flabby where he’s gnarled with muscles like an anatomical chart. Maybe the dumbfounded face is like mine, when I’ve had too much to drink, I don’t know. But, if not his face, then what it represents: bewilderment. I too feel like I’m stumbling through. Guided by a nymph and a satyr? Guided by nymphs, to be sure, or the memory of them. And ambiguously sexed. A chemical veil clouds my genitals, and any task is too Herculean for them.
Rise, Hercules! Sober up. Drop your demiurge companions. Look for a woman that’s not a hefty guy with added tits. Lose the veil. Remember you are a man, hero. Remember.