Jan Michl, whose paper on architectural historicism I discussed yesterday in “Pop the ‘historicist’ bugaboo,” wrote another paper, “Form Follows What?,” which he introduced with a riff from Woody Allen. Naturally, I encourage readers to read the whole paper, but get a load of this!
A letter received by Theo van Gogh from his dentist brother Vincent:
Dear Theo: Will life ever treat me decently? I am wracked by despair! My head is pounding! Mrs. Sol Schwimmer is suing me because I made her bridge as I felt it and not to fit her ridiculous mouth! That’s right! I can’t work to order like a common tradesman! I decided her bridge should be enormous and billowing, with wild, explosive teeth flaring up in every direction like fire! Now she is upset because it won’t fit in her mouth! She is so bourgeois and stupid, I want to smash her! I tried forcing the false plate in but it sticks out like a star-burst chandelier. Still, I find it beautiful. She claims she can’t chew! What do I care whether she can chew or not! Theo, I can’t go on like this much longer … Vincent
This is from “If the Impressionists Had Been Dentists,” a piece Allen wrote in 1978. In ten letters from van Gogh to his brother, Theo hears about the dental practices of other famous Impressionist painters. Beyond hilarious!
The cartoon, of course, is by Gary Larson.