THE DIARY OF FRIDA KAHLO

[written September 2013]

The Diary of Frida Kahlo

★★★★☆

Who would say that stains
live and help one to live?
Ink, blood, odor.

Oh, Frida, Frida, Frida. What else is there to say? This is beautiful.

There is nothing more precious than laughter
and scorn – It is strength to laugh
and lose oneself. to be cruel and
light.
Tragedy is the most
ridiculous thing “man” has
but I’m sure that
animals suffer,
and yet they do not exhibit their “pain”
in “theatres” neither open nor
“closed” (their “homes”).
and their pain is more real
than any image
that any man can
“perform” xxxx or feel
as painful. ____________________________

What I love most about her journal is what I hate most about my journal keeping. She was very liberated; it truly was an outlet without heed to form, perfection or cleanliness: she clearly didn’t give a fuck if one entry stained another. I’m really anal about the journal I have at the moment and the letters I write to people, which I’m sure does little for anything created (a bad ‘control’ habit I’ll break out of soon hopefully). I put it down to the handwriting lessons received as a child: we were given cheap jotter books and very inky fineline pens that would clumsily splodge, stain and seep through pages if you lingered on a letter or full stop. You’d be marked down for it along any cross-outs. So though I write hard enough to engrave the next page, I’m likely to start the same letter six times if I make a mistake or write a single word wrong. So thanks to those brutal handwriting lessons, what bothers me most (apart from having to keep mistakes on the page) is seeing the ink from a previous entry bleed on the fresh side.

Frida just doesn’t care: time and coherence means nothing to her. The entries included here range from doodles and automatic writing to sensual letters to Diego, musings on her art, on pain, a bouncing board for ideas expressed in both captions to miniature paintings and the little art pieces themselves, etc. She expresses herself without restraint on love, sex, desperation politics, art, monuments around her, special memories: as I said, a miniature form of her well-known paintings and her grand appearance of the world underneath/beyond.

Auxochrome – Chromophore
It was the thirst of many years re-
strained in our body. Chained
words which we could not say except on the lips of dreams.
Everything was surrounded by the green miracle of the landscape of your body.
Upon your form, the lashes of the
flowers responded to my touch, the murmur of streams. There was a manner of fruits
in the juice of your lips, the blood
of the pomegranate, the horizon
of the mammee and the purified pineapple.
I pressed you against my breast and the prodigy of your form pen-
etrated all my blood through
the tips of my fingers. Smell of oak essence, memo-
ries of walnut, green breath
of ash tree…

This book is money well spent if you’re going to buy it. Not just a reproduction, it also has two amazing introductions at the start, a chronology, bibliography and index at the very back. The actual journal itself is presented looking close to the original as possible, full-colour and taking up the whole page, along with thumbnail-sized b&w reproductions of journal pages in the back with accompanying translations and notes. As an example, notes for page 29:

Against a regal purple background and packed into a geometric shape, this “portrait of Neferùnico” bears a strong resemblance to Kahlo than it does to his mother, Neferisis, pictured on the previous page. In her bearded “self-portraits”, Kahlo wears three strands of bone around her neck, and looks out from the page with a steady gaze under her trademark single eyebrow. The third eye Kahlo paints onto her forehead indicates the power of her intuitive insight as would befit the founder of Lokura (Madness).

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About SZ

Like dice in mid-air.
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