Goya’s Dark Nightmare World Is A Happy Place

Responding to my post “We Should Celebrate Rising Divorce Rates”, Krishna Prasad writes in to point me to this piece: No wonder Iceland has the happiest people on earth.

Looking away from the now-tiresome subject of divorce, here’s a paragraph from the piece that rather intrigued me:

Why is there such an abundance of artists in Iceland? What drives them? ‘We do it so as not to become mad,’ replied Haraldur, who is tall, nervy and thin with eyes that have the concentrated energy of a laser beam. Not to become mad? ‘Yes, to keep the beast at bay.’ The beast? ‘The beast is Iceland, this island on which we live with its terrifyingly harsh nature, its bitter ever-changing weather. It’s Goya’s dark nightmare world, beautiful but grotesque. This is the moody beast of Iceland. We cannot escape it. So we find ways to live with it, to tame it. I do it through my art,’ said Haraldur, whose attempts to pacify the monster have also included the writing of three books in which ‘there are no animals, no trees. We have to have a rich internal life to fill the empty spaces, to fill the silence with our own noise.’

Meanwhile the sapping heat of Mumbai prevents me from writing as productively as I’d like to. What to do about this beast?