Everything Passes

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'Everything passes. The good and the bad. The joy and the sorrow. Everything passes. Or does it?' At the beginning of the sixteenth century, the painter Jan Gossaert paints Danae, upon whom Jupiter descends in a shower of gold, as a plump nubile maiden, her face haunted, one heavy breast exposed. In a nineteenth-century asylum in Zurich, a woman writes endlessly to her husband, covering the same page over and over again until nothing is legible. In January 1947, Arnold Schoenberg suffers a heart attack. Brought back to life by means of injections to his heart, he writes his astonishing string trio, Opus 45 , shortly afterwards. The French poet, Francis Ponge is photographed standing at a window, looking out through a broken pane. Behind him, there is an empty room, devoid of furniture. Out of fragments of cultural history from the past four hundred years, Gabriel Josipovici has created a compressed, poetic narrative of solitude, love, illness and the ambiguous comforts of art. As clear and elusive as the arts it explores, this is the most beautiful and mysterious of Josipovici's books to date.