convergences Screen 16 | Loss

JOHN WILLIAMSON:
     I had no sooner seated myself than they
began to display their happy genius
                       in the art of pilfering.
     They pretended great pleasure
              in my coming down to them
and all gathering close around me.
              Some admired my handkerchief,
         others my hair, others my hat, whilst
some of them were employed
                   picking my pockets
     and cutting the metal buttons off my coat.
                   I soon caught their drift,
but thought it most prudent to dissemble.
           They in return for my good nature
     bestowed most liberally on me
         plenty of vermin,
                   with which they abound.
Appropriation, a minor theme in the subtext, seems to surface now and then. Who owns what? I call it recycling. Meanwhile Williamson is losing his buttons. The trick is not to lose your shirt. I hope I do not lose the thread.

John Webber, detail from Nootka scene

John Webber,
detail from Nootka scene.


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