Cheese and rice! Okay, I know I said I would finish SUBLIME before I read different things, but I couldn't help myself! I took one look in my bookcase and it was over, suddenly there were three books in my bag at all times. My favorite of which was Chromophobia by David Batchelor.
This book is a collection of 5 essays, and I've decided to give you a little taste of three, but only a taste because this book is not long, and too much would be, well too much!
This essay speaks of the significance of whiteness in relationship to darkness and color. Batchelor talks about Joseph Conrad, Francis Ford Coppola, and Herman,
"Melville works in something like the opposite direction: he begins with one great big white thing and, at certain points, begins to wonder whether the terrible whiteness of this thing could be generalized beyond it and infect his more homely conception of white. 'It was the whiteness of the whale that above all things appalled me', he admits, while at the same time noting that 'in many natural objects, whiteness refiningly enhances beauty, as if imparting some special virtue of its own.' He recognizes the gravity of the impasse and his confusion"
"Horrible electric white, implacable, murderous," delightful.
Sometimes we are scared of color, we discriminate against it in social/political ways, Aldous Huxley describes taking mescaline and sees intense color, Technicolor in cinema is used to emphasize a coming to reality, and so on...
"Falling or leaving: these two metaphors of colour are closely related. Their terminologies - of dreams, of joys, of uprootings or undoings of self - remain more or less the same. More than that, perhaps, the descent into colour often involves lateral as well as vertical displacement; it means being blown sideways at the same time as falling downwards."
There is danger in color. Color is powerful, sexual, intense, aggressive, and that scares us too.
"Gradually, his conscious colour-delirium leads him to fall into a restless sleep and then into a colour-nightmare where the flowers transform into a woman and the woman in turn becomes flower-like: 'glowing colours lit up her eyes; her lips took on the fierce red of Anthuriums; the nipples of her bosom shone as brightly as two red peppers.' To his horror the woman embraces him fiercely and reveals 'the savage Nidularium blossoming between her uplifted thighs, with its swordblades gaping open to expose the bloody depths'."
Batchelor goes on to elaborate on how color can give life and death, and that color is a very peculiar other. Color is a scary sexual flower waiting to consume you.
There are two more chapters, but I will leave those for you. Batchelor's main points become about the implications of color beyond art and outside of art itself. He ends with a fantastic quote by Goethe from his Theory of Colours,
"...it is also worthy of remark, that savage nations, uneducated people, and children have a great predilection for vivid colors; that animals are excited to rage by certain colours; that people of refinement avoid vivid colours in their dress and the objects that are about them, and seem inclined to banish them altogether from their presence."