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Totentanz
October 28, 2008 6:53 AM   Subscribe

What flies and creeps, what strives and hovers What swims and flows, yes all that ever lives Flees from death, yet there's no place On earth, where death would not be.
posted by 445supermag (11 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Everyone knows it's slinky!
posted by cog_nate at 6:59 AM on October 28, 2008 [12 favorites]


Really, it would be best if there were more artful and none-too-subtle reminders of death posted around our transportation infrastructure, crosses at sites where drunk driver related fatalities notwithstanding.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:04 AM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


were link #1 and link #2 meant to be the same link? (she said, hoping for more purdy pictures)
posted by dabitch at 7:09 AM on October 28, 2008


Much of the bridge, and the majority of these paintings, were destroyed in a 1993 fire, though it was quickly rebuilt.
posted by dabitch at 7:23 AM on October 28, 2008


Much of the bridge, and the majority of these paintings, were destroyed in a 1993 fire, though it was quickly rebuilt.

I believe that was a different bridge (Chapel bridge), one link mentions that spreuer is now one of the last covered bridges in the city.

And yes, second link was supposed to be this. And the poem goes with this painting.
posted by 445supermag at 7:32 AM on October 28, 2008


I'd not seen this particular Totentanz before: thanks 445supermag. Here's an old post about Totentanzen in general.
posted by misteraitch at 7:35 AM on October 28, 2008


445supermag, thanks for this post. That bridge is awesome in its beauty, its age and the fact it hasn't been graffittied over in the 600 years it's been around.

Lucerne, where that beautiful bridge stands is a really lovely provincial town. Along with Fribourg in southern Switzerland, it's my favorite town in that country. I love the wounded lion statue there.

Apparently large spiders have been known to spin impressive webs in the Kapellbrücke's and Spreuerbrücke's rafters.

Yes, our lives are fragile, death is a constant. Interesting that the responses to this have traditionally been penitence out of fear of hell or hedonistic hysteria. I guess people get off on wild and destructive emotional pendulums? Why not an adult contemplation of the mystery and amazingness of impermanence as a source of compassion and spaciousness?

Death must have been a strange thing to try and understand without science. "The deathly horrors of the 14th Century—such as recurring famines, the Hundred Years' War in France and, most of all, the Black Death—were culturally digested throughout Europe."

My favorite dialogue between Death and humans is in Monty Python's Meaning of Life when the Grim Reaper comes to the party.

Fascinating to learn the etymology of la danse macabre:
The French term danse macabre most likely derives from Latin Chorea Machabæorum, literally "dance of the Maccabees". 2 Maccabees, a deuterocanonical book of the Bible in which the grim martyrdom of a mother and her seven sons is described

I wish there were updated Dances of Death 2008, "to remind people of the inevitability of death and to advise them strongly to be prepared all times for death". Not the death dramarama of TV but just plain death, the kind that comes to us all. I found that having cancer people sort of think one can fight the illness, fight death. Yeah sure, you try and fight death. With what? Cheerful disposition?! ha! Or that death only happens to people with cancer or to really old people and anything before that is Wrong, that there is a Perfect Way To Die which includes total comfort, fluffy pillows and just the right ambiance and if you don't achieve that it's your fault for Not Doing Death The Right Way.

It would be awesome to have those paintings in a bridge, where people walk regularly, reminded provocatively of life's impermanence.

The third site you linked, created by Galen R Frysinger, is a rich resource of wonderful images from all over the world. A feast of life.
posted by nickyskye at 9:06 AM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Best. Dance of death. Ever.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:57 AM on October 28, 2008


Best. Dance of death. Ever.


Sorry, CoC is king.
posted by 445supermag at 12:17 PM on October 28, 2008


Beware of The Blob, it creeps
And leaps and glides and slides
Across the floor
Right through the door
And all around the wall
A splotch, a blotch
Be careful of The Blob!

--- Burt Bacharach and Hal David
posted by SPrintF at 12:44 PM on October 28, 2008


Back to back, belly to belly,
I don't give a damn 'cause I'm stone dead already


The dance of the dead is the most fun because you know we're all invited!

Got my best suit and my tie
Shiny silver dollar on either eye

posted by Countess Elena at 5:32 PM on October 28, 2008


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