no mate, it's just zugszwang

This canvas has been around for a couple decades. There are at least two paintings done by my eldest daughter below the surface, and several of mine. It's oils on stretched canvas, 50.5 x 76 cm.

Zugszwang? Ever get the feeling that you just can't do anything, that you can't make a move without falling into disaster, that everything you do is wrong? Ever get the feeling you don't want to move, that you just want to stay put (not that staying put is necessarily a great thing either)?

Well, don't despair! If the Germans have a word for it, it's gotta be manageable. Don't it?

(PS: Alternative title: Fried Liver Attack!)


The purpose of this update is to change the name of this painting from "No mate, it's just zugszwang" to "apotheosis".

The German word refers to a chess-game position where every move a player can make leads to disaster.

The painting's old name translates into: "I'm not dead yet -- haven't been checkmated -- but every move I can make in the game of life I foresee leading to disaster." The name came to me at a time when I felt trapped, contracted, paralysed, beset on all sides by forces and energies that would harm me.

The new name is "Apotheosis". It depicts a recent time in my life briefly and obliquely referred to in "Yes, I'm talking to you!" and described more fully in "no white sheets a-floating".

During that time I was having regular conversations with what I believed to be a non-human being. By now, that belief has retreated to a grudging and resentful "I don't know what happened. The true nature of it. But something happened. Over a period of some weeks. Something hyper-extraordinary."

So why change the name now, today? Well, last night I was parked in front of the idiot-box, and I happened to glance over at the painting...


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Antares said...

Fabulous piece of work. Great title, zugzwang!

masterymistery said...

Thanks Antares. I have a bit of a love/hate issue with the
German language: On the one hand, to me it sounds clumsy, guttural and coarse. On the other hand, it's got some really great words, like "zugszwang" and "weltanschauung" and "schadenfreude"! Regards, MM

Lily Strange said...

I get Zuswanged far too often when trying to accomplish anything of worth.

masterymistery said...

Hi Lily, yes I know what you mean -- often feel the same way. But then I remind myself that a lot depends on ones definition of "worth" and "accomplish" (not to mention "often" and "trying") ((Hell, even "anything" and "I" are open to interpretation!))
Thanks for stopping by, Cheers, MM