Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kitsch roundabout

In my recent post entitled France can be disfigured [display], I evoked the subject of decorated traffic roundabouts. This gangrene has just infected the neighboring village of St-Laurent-en-Royans.

In the mind of the "artist", this ridiculous Disneyland monstrosity (located alongside a dull low-budget housing zone) is intended, no doubt, to evoke a nearby masterpiece: the ancient Chartreux Bridge.

This splendid bridge was built over the Cholet by the monks of the Carthusian monastery of the Val Sainte-Marie in Bouvantes, to facilitate their journeys to and from the vineyards of Choranche.

René Magritte's celebrated painting of a pipe bears an intriguing caption: This is NOT a pipe. Maybe we should erect a sign on the ugly kitsch roundabout at St-Laurent-en-Royans stating: This is NOT a Chartreux bridge.

There might be a more conclusive solution. My old Young friend Bruce Hudson [sort out the sense of that enigmatic designation], who picks up all sorts of comical stuff from the Web, sent me this lovely image:

My archaic Citroën is not intended to run forever… well almost. Although it's a perfectly usable vehicle (the proof: I use it all the time), its current resale value is zero, and I'll inevitably have to get around to replacing it one of these days… once I've erected a car shelter on the recently-constructed ramp [display]. Wouldn't it be a lovely departing gesture if my old automobile, impregnated with the historic aura of a former Choranche vineyard (through being left outside at Gamone in rain, hail and snow), were to end its life by making a tiny symbolic act of an anti-Disneyland nature…

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