Monday, August 30, 2010

Modernist, er, Monday: Se hace camino al sonreír

Antonio Machado does not smile. Here he is chillin' in a hat, resolutely not smiling. OK, you say, but maybe it was just a bad day. Maybe he was just crossing the Pyrenees on foot and half-dead that day. I wouldn't smile about that.

But here's the thing. He's marrying his beloved child/French-student-bride in this picture, and he's STILL NOT SMILING. It's basically the happiest day of his life, and he just can't turn up the corners of his mouth to express that. Even Ian Curtis smiled when he got married, Antonio, or at least he tried really hard. She's only 16, and she's certainly not going to die of consumption two years later. So why so sad?

Luckily, when the Spanish government put an engraving of Machado on a postage stamp, they added just a little smile, even though it doesn't seem to be based on any actual photos of him. Let's hope that wherever Machado is now, he can manage at least that. I think he's earned it.

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