Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Thumbless


Mario Vargas Llosa in his novel The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto (Los Cuadernos de Don Rigoberto) creates a young character who is obsessed with the life of Egon Schiele. This boy - on the cusp of adolescence - believes his is a modern incarnation of the painter and waxes lyrical about Schiele's (and his own) twisted sexuality. In amongst all of Llosa's posturing, the boy mentions that in nearly all the images ever made by Schiele there is not a single prominent thumb. While we all know Schiele's inimitable representations of arthritic hands, he nearly always hides the thumbs (see posting below: Fingers Contrived). It seems that there could be nothing uglier for his rachitic figures than a plump, podgy thumb.

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