One day, when the Female was working for a famous fashion photographer in Zurich, she came about a huge, heavy book that had the feeling of urgency. Urgencies to conquer life, understanding Greek mythology, and above all: The male human.
She booked a train, and a ferry across the English Channel, to a sleepy town in Cornwall.
She took a room in a simple bed and breakfast, schlepping instead of fancy clothing, this fat, heavy book with the dark, mysterious binding.
For most of the week, she climbed the steep cliffs above the roaring Atlantic Ocean and chewed through the life of Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of James Joyce’s Ulysses, translated into German.
The masterpiece didn’t make much sense to her. Neither did her own interpretation of the Greek gods and goddesses, nor travels through misery and self-indulgence, nor her desperate need to understand the male psyche.
A few years later, she visited Ireland with two girlfriends, but instead of following the steps of Stephen Daedalus, the girls went horseback riding in John F. Kennedy’s County Wicklow, visited a movie theater in Dublin smoking Pall Mall’s while watching Julie Andrews fly holding an umbrella and singing a merry tune.
She also had come in tune with herself by then, at least somewhat, yet never giving up her own “wandering” that continuously expresses itself in her artwork.
Years later! The memories of her own, female journey returned.
She and the Wolfman explored the Naegeli family history. Searching for the family grave in the Fluntern Cemetery near the Zoo in Zürich, they discovered the resting places of many greats, among them the grave with a beautiful, realistic sculpture of James Joyce, the writer who continues to influence “humans of words,” wanderers, male and female alike.
James died in Zürich on January 13, 1941.
Basquiat, January 13, 2014