“Hermit of Lost Island,” Bahamas

Article in “Island Notes,” a feature column of Bahamaislandinfo, titled “Sadly Lost to the World: The Hermit of Lost Island,” about the American Trappist monk Gerald Groves.

Groves spent time at the Abbey of Gethsemani and knew Thomas Merton, then spent a little while in Martinique, followed by six years as a hermit in Bahamas beginning in 1960, a period described by the article. Groves lived in an abandoned and dilapidated Baptist Church built in 1902 until development drove him out, returning to the U.S. to study and teach. Groves died in 2003.

(Groves published an article about Merton in a 1979 issue of American Scholar.)

An updated URL (2014): http://www.thebahamasweekly.com/publish/author-historian/Sadly_lost_to_this_world_-_the_hermit_of_lost_beach33846.shtml

URL (no longer available): http://www.bahamaislandsinfo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10087:island-notes-sadly-lost-to-this-world-the-hermit-of-lost-beach&catid=113:island-notes&Itemid=228

Friedrich: “Wanderer in the Fog”

The German Romantic painter Caspar (or Kaspar) David Friedrich (1774-1840) captures the psychological undercurrent of individualism in his “Wander in the Fog” or “Wanderer in the Sea of Fog” (“Wanderer ├╝ber dem Nebelmeer”), 1817. The painting depicts a well-dressed man standing on a crag, with a spectacular landscape before him. Is he a mere object in the immensity of nature, or does his pose suggest that humanity — or he, at least — has conquered the mysteries of existence and now stands triumphant over the world? Frederich’s other works depicting bleak romantic (even Gothic) settings does not suggest triumph or clarity. But a Nietzschean interpretation is inevitable, as in the cover art of an older English-language translation of Thus Spake Zarathustra published by Wilco in Mumbai, India, in 2006 (which see here).

Wanderer in the Fog

The original is in the Hamburger Kunsthalle.