Double Emotion


Charles Le Brun catalogs facial expressions: he raises eye-brows, lowers corners of lips, wrinkles foreheads…; once the whole range is exhausted, he complicates things; his idea of complexity is double emotion: Here we can examine admiration and astonishment, for according to Rene Descartes, there is no one without the other. In awe the daughter of King Darius stares at the man who has vanquished her father. No doubt Alexander the Great merits astonishment and admiration; but I am not convinced that Roxan’s face wouldn’t be able to cover other passions,  for I too bear witness to some double emotions; the expressions worn to sit on a toilet are frequently recycled to show me the depth of feelings.

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