Sunday, 27 November 2016

Pastiche - It's All a Bit of a Miss Mash

17:59:00 Posted by Jill Reidy Red Snapper Photography , , , , , , , 1 comment
Pastiche.  I like the sound of the word. I roll it around my mouth, savouring the feel of the letters. I say it out loud, slowly. I do this for several minutes whilst I ponder on its meaning. This is mainly because, to my embarrassment, I haven't got a clue what it means and I have a strong feeling I should know. I have a vague inkling it might be something to do with collage, but I'm far from certain. 
I ask the husband if he knows what it means. 
'It's a drink isnt it?' he ventures. I ponder for a moment.
'No, that's pastis' I reply, hesitantly, 'I think.'
My grandson comes in as we're still discussing the word.
'Pastiche?' he asks, 'isn't that like a pasty?'
I decide it's time to google. 

'pastiche is a work of visual art, literature, theatre, or music that imitates the style or character of the work of one or more other artists. Unlike parody, pastiche celebrates, rather than mocks, the work it imitates.'

Ahhh......I should have known the meaning of this word, not only as a writer but also an artist. I'm ashamed. I don't think I've ever needed to use the word, but then, who can say? Maybe if I'd known it sooner I'd have been peppering all my conversations with it.  I read on. 

'The word pastiche is a French cognate of the Italian noun pasticcio, which is a pâté or pie-filling mixed from diverse ingredients.  Metaphorically, pastiche and pasticcio describe works that are either composed by several authors, or that incorporate stylistic elements of other artists' work. Pastiche is an example of eclecticism in art.' 

It sounds like my grandson's pie definition isn't totally wide of the mark. And nor is my wild guess at collage.

I know I'm going off topic here but this got me thinking about vocabulary.  I've always loved reading, writing, the sound and meaning of words, but I realised when I returned to uni to study for a PGCE after a twenty year gap that I was out of touch with quite a lot of vocabulary.  Admittedly, some of it was jargon but there were other words and phrases which had come into use whilst I was busy wiping faces, bums and noses - that I just hadn't heard of.   I think I managed to catch up but then I had a few more gap years and I got left behind again.  This time I was re entering the art world, which had its own unique language, involving grants, funding, open exhibitions and curators. It was another steep learning curve. 

I might not have followed the brief this week but I've learnt the meaning of 'pastiche'.  I now know it's not a drink or a pie.  It's a start.....

Pastiche: not a drink, not a pie

In the absence of either a suitable poem - or the time to write one, I decided there could only be one song, here reproduced in it's entirety, that could sum up 'pastiche'.  I know this because Wikipedia tells me in no uncertain terms that: Bohemian Rhapsody is unusual as it is a pastiche in both senses of the word, as there are many distinct styles imitated in the song, all "hodge-podged" together to create one piece of music.

"Bohemian Rhapsody"

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality.

Open your eyes,
Look up to the skies and see,
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy,
Because I'm easy come, easy go,
Little high, little low,
Any way the wind blows doesn't really matter to me, to me.

Mama, just killed a man,
Put a gun against his head,
Pulled my trigger, now he's dead.
Mama, life had just begun,
But now I've gone and thrown it all away.

Mama, ooh,
Didn't mean to make you cry,
If I'm not back again this time tomorrow,
Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters.

Too late, my time has come,
Sends shivers down my spine,
Body's aching all the time.
Goodbye, everybody, I've got to go,
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth.

Mama, ooh (any way the wind blows),
I don't wanna die,
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all.

I see a little silhouetto of a man,
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?
Thunderbolt and lightning,
Very, very frightening me.
(Galileo) Galileo.
(Galileo) Galileo,
Galileo Figaro

I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me.
He's just a poor boy from a poor family,
Spare him his life from this monstrosity.

Easy come, easy go, will you let me go?
Bismillah! No, we will not let you go. (Let him go!)
Bismillah! We will not let you go. (Let him go!)
Bismillah! We will not let you go. (Let me go!)
Will not let you go. (Let me go!)
Never, never let you go
Never let me go, oh.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
Oh, mama mia, mama mia (Mama mia, let me go.)
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for me.

So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye?
So you think you can love me and leave me to die?
Oh, baby, can't do this to me, baby,
Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here.

(Oh, yeah, oh yeah)

Nothing really matters,
Anyone can see,
Nothing really matters,
Nothing really matters to me.

Any way the wind blows.

Thanks for reading, I've learnt a lot,    Jill