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Collage’s Magic Mountain

 “The world in a verse, A generation sealed, men remoter than mountains, Women invisible in music and motion and color”… — From “Arrival at the Waldorf,” by Wallace Stevens

Our language has many old words that have assumed new meanings and shed their former ones. Among these live words that once described location: tramontane/transmontane, “across the mountain”; ultramontane, “beyond the mountain”; and ultramarine, “beyond the sea.” Of these, only the first, tramontane or transmontane, has retained its original geographical sense. Yet it too has taken on an additional definition—that of anyone or anything foreign or strange.

Magician's Mountain (2014). Digital collage created & copyright © by Eric Edelman. All rights reserved.

Magician’s Mountain (2014). Digital collage created & copyright © by Eric Edelman. All rights reserved.

For many from childhood on, there is the archetype of the Magician’s Mountain: a welcome bringer of miracles and surprises. He seems strange and almost transmontane; although a foreigner, he is beyond foreign.

The Magician does not live on the Mountain; The Magician is the Mountain. All at once he is transmontane or ultramontane, across the mountain or beyond the mountain range; he is ultramarine, beyond the seas; and ultimately he is beyond the territory of easy travels. The Magician is intramontane: he resides within the Mountain of himself.

The most remote Magician-mountain is the guide, the conveyance, the journey, and the land journeyed in. We are not in his world, nor he in ours; we share the world with him, the Magician-mountain. He invites us to visit his land, and through his performances leads us across the terrains of our imaginations.

All artwork, descriptions, & other text [except for quotations] created & copyright © by Eric Edelman. All rights reserved.

 

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