MM N 317. The Aula pictures. Lovely Helene

Edvard Munch allows the Alma Mater character and the figure of the old man in History to enter into an imaginary rhetorical self-defence of the figurative positions that he invests them with in the Aula wall decorations’ main panels.

No-MM_N0317-00-00r.jpg. MM N 317, fol. 0r

MM N 317, fol. 0r

The Aula pictures Commentary

Lovely Helene

No-MM_N0317-00-01r.jpg. MM N 317, fol. 1r

MM N 317, fol. 1r

    The Mater enters

    here I am

    I sit by the Shore breastfeeding my
Child – surrounding me in the Grass, on the Beach
in the Water – my Little Ones wade
and seek and examine

    Around me a Summer Wind wafts –
the Flowers emit their fragrance – the Seed it is borne
by a full Summer Breeze –

    The Clouds above – the buoyant white ones – rest
– and drift – beneath the heavenly atmosphere – with
Patches of an azure
blue Firmament – the primordial Firmament –
– all that I imagine filters through
me – Strength to the little one – my
precious Boy – the Present and
the Future – the Saga of the Lust for Life –

No-MM_N0317-00-02r.jpg. MM N 317, fol. 2r

MM N 317, fol. 2r

    The Source of the Life Force

The Professor    Das wird also genannt –
Das wissenschaftliche Brust – Sehr gut –
[It is also called –
The scientific breast – Very good – ]

The second Professor laughs – No my dear Mater
Go you have no right to be here – with all
Your Children – how many do you have

The Mother is radiant 15 and I am only 38 years old

– The Professor –    15
are you mad –    too many    go –

Professor K Commentary – with Patent Leather Shoes
Ha-ha – Have you seen such a thing
Why are You not naked like
Your Children – And those impenetrable Clothes –

The Mother blushes    But Honourable Professor
would You demand that – as I sit here

No-MM_N0317-00-03r.jpg. MM N 317, fol. 3r

MM N 317, fol. 3r

– quietly breastfeeding and watching over my Children –
and the Clothes –    they are homemade – by
me Honourable Professor –

Professor – S Commentary
– And there You sit
staring straight ahead of You –

    We cannot use a Mother who
does not take Heed of her Children –

The Mother – I sit here breastfeeding my Child
and – the others are playing
at my feet – I
fell into a Reverie for a Second – and imagined
and dreamed that the Boy would grow to become
big – a King – even an Emperor –

Professor K Commentary grunts –
– There are too may figures in it –

No-MM_N0317-00-04r.jpg. MM N 317, fol. 4r

MM N 317, fol. 4r

there should be as many in
the other one with the Old Man where
there are only two –
If there is one place where there should be
Equality then it is here –
An old Man must have 15 Children
when a young Wife has 15 –
Grunts: Forward March – about face –
march in place – Take your positions – look to
the left when you look to the right –
15 on the right Side and 15 on the left –

PK    An old Man cannot have more than 15 Whores
when he has 15 Children

The Professor – And besides it is Science we
want – all of the Representatives for
Science –

    A Child can it study Physics
ha  … 

Mathematics steps forward
I am Mathematics, Mathematics
– I am inebriated – yes inebriated and completely mad
– An Arm on the right, An Arm
on the left – 2 Legs and a – yes I have
a Head – or had –

No-MM_N0317-00-05r.jpg. MM N 317, fol. 5r

MM N 317, fol. 5r

– And let me tell You, and let me
tell You the Head I had – I have
lost it –
One Head less – one Head less
that makes nil – that is Mathematics

Professor Krogh Commentary grunts
Besides my dear Mother you are – too large
in Relation to History –
It is true You can be made smaller –
– so that You are the same size as History
– but then History will be too large
in Relation to You
When 4 is less than 5 – subtract 1
from 5 –
then 4 will be larger
than 5 minus 1

Kajanus Commentary – That is perchance
the God of Mathematics – He who
has a Head minus a Head –

– Yes but remember – that – the Head also
has a Plus –
– the Horns

No-MM_N0317-00-05v.jpg. MM N 317, fol. 5v

MM N 317, fol. 5v

The God of Botany – Appears in a white Toga
with Flowers and Garlands

    I am Botany Botany – The Goddess
of Botany I am –

    In order that You shall understand that I am Botany
I have had all sorts of Flowers sewn
to my Attire – the white costume
– what you see folded into light – classical
preferably Greek Shapes –

    This is so that it should fit in with
the distinctive rooms – or the straight
Lines – of the Hall – I have no understanding
of it – I have been an academic
The Bath Woman of Gothenburg – and I
have bathed the female Students – I believe the
Hall most resembles the Bathhouse there – the
academic bathhouse Commentary

    – But I am entirely forgetting – the pure Lines
I am Botany Botany – I
have entirely forgotten to speak distinctly
– a Swede would have said

No-MM_N0317-00-06r.jpg. MM N 317, fol. 6r

MM N 317, fol. 6r

    – Professor Krog Commentary

    – All such Decorations must have a Touch
of the Classical Spirit – here there is no trace of
the sublime – no trace of heritage –

    The People shall walk up the broad stone Steps
– wearing long Togas – and in straight Lines –
Here they will stop now and then – and with
right Arm resting on left Arm – and this
in turn on a Pillar – or something similar
in the Greek Style – one could even make a Balustrade
to place under the arm – in an unending Discussion about
profound or lofty subjects –

    From the highest Step – close to the Air
– one could imagine it to be Parnassus somewhere
in Greece where such lofty Subjects
were discussed by Men in long Togas with straight
Lines – and grave Expressions and long Beards
– as well as Faces shaved of Beards – the various Men
are grouped – and of course Woman – at an appropriate Distance

    – One must not forget to allow them
now and again to support their Heads with their Hands as they
lean over – a position of the Hand to the Side which
means to rest in thought is rather good –

No-MM_N0317-00-07r.jpg. MM N 317, fol. 7r

MM N 317, fol. 7r

    History –

    The Old Man    what are You really – What does it
mean when you come with these old Clothes

    The Old Man    it is these that I have worn out
through wearing – they are 10 Years old

    The Patches there my Wife has sewn on –
Do You see the red Patch on the Knees –
that was in Brazil – during a Storm – I
tore it off there on a Spar –
I had a heck of a time with the Sail down there believe
me –

    Becomes suddenly quiet – shuts his eyes
and ponders

    Bloody red
the Deck was – the Blood flowed – the ‹Dying›
and the ‹dead› fighting and falling – Blow upon Blow
Arrows rushed through the Air – Spears flashed in
the Air

    – Then I received a Blow – On my knees

No-MM_N0317-00-08r.jpg. MM N 317, fol. 8r

MM N 317, fol. 8r

I lay – in Blood – then Blow upon blow and stabs

– That was at Hafrsfjord –

    I lay against a Stone – the Blood
ran from my Breast – around me my Men
battled – the Group becomes
thinner and thinner –

    Someone stabbed me beneath my mail armour –
then everything turns black before my Eyes –

    A golden Crown which shone like
Blood in the Morning Sun was
placed on my Head
That was at Stiklestad –

    I see –

    What are you babbling about –
You say that You see – but You are blind

The Old Man    I look back – within –
and without – I see the Past – and can
glimpse the Future –

No-MM_N0317-00-09r.jpg. MM N 317, fol. 9r

MM N 317, fol. 9r

Professor – Have you seen such a Thing
showing up in Carnival Costume –

the Old Man    This is how we dress out there
in Kragerø – It was no Carnival
for me Honoured Professor –

The one decorated with Medals – What does a
bedraggled suit like this mean – A Man
in such Apparel – a Fisherman cannot
tell you anything worthwhile –

The Old Man –
The Lesson is old:
that Clothes do not make the Man –
the Apostles were fishermen honoured Professor – they had much
to tell

Professor K Commentary  [–] Have you heard such a Thing –
An old Man recounting something to a
young Boy – A Fisherman – that is supposed to be
History – the Lesson
– Who will understand it –

    Kajanus Commentary – At least not such Headless Knights as Professors

No-MM_N0317-00-10r.jpg. MM N 317, fol. 10r

MM N 317, fol. 10r

– Layer upon Layer – Mountains split open
they rose – and fell the Sea sank
and rose – Millennia passed – Millennia
were born – new Generations were born – buried
– rose from the dead –

    Professor Brøgger Commentary – Well now we have seen
Everything – there is no such thing as blue Stones – Clouds that are blue
That you can be sure of
The Tree grew inward into the Earth
upward into the Air – Was disintegrated
struggling against the Storm – left for the North

Yes but stop Old Trees do not exist

No-MM_N0317-00-11r.jpg. MM N 317, fol. 11r

MM N 317, fol. 11r

I am

    I am the God of History – the Folds
fall heavy and long – Sword by my
Side Shield by my Breast –

    I am the God of History – the God
of History – the God of History
I am –

I am lovely Helene – no pardon me
I am lovely Alma – lovely Athena
– lovely Athena – the Folds fall
evenly and gracefully – over a Shoulder over
a Shoulder at the hip the Toga is fastened
– It falls long and heavy, long
and gracefully to Athena’s Foot –

No-MM_N0317-00-12r.jpg. MM N 317, fol. 12r

MM N 317, fol. 12r

The Crystal Ball of Wisdom – I carry in my Hand
The Crystal Ball of Wisdom has been given to me –

    Professors and Gods, Goddesses dance

    The Goddess of Beauty enters –

    Then all the Attire falls off them – they dance
about naked – there were the most dreadful Caricatures
lame thick-bellied – Skeletons –

    Then Art enters
– Into the Bath with all of you
so that you can wash yourselves of all your Flaws
– allow the Swedish bath Woman to wash you in

No-MM_N0317-00-13r.jpg. MM N 317, fol. 13r

MM N 317, fol. 13r

this Hall which is no Hall of Festivities it
can serve as an Academic bathhouse Commentary
where hopefully we can scrub all the Filth
off you that you have accumulated in the Course
of Time together with
Gold and Decorations – and Professor Titles –

    There is too much false Gold in the Hall –
Into the Water with you

    Remember that Beauty in simple –
and so is Reason – You have
accumulated so much Knowledge and just as
many of the Flaws of Knowledge which
you wish at All Costs to burden your
Descendants with – It is possible
that what you teach them does more harm
than what is good in the Lesson –

    Become Children again and You shall
enter into the Kingdom of Heaven as Alma
Maters and step down from your Pedestals
and look to the Flowers of the Earth
– Shed your trappings and Beauty
and Reason will arrange a Celebration

    Then you shall be clean – cleansed of the Intoxication of pure Lines