Thursday, March 11, 2010

Rock Over London

I figured everyone would want to see Defoe's grave. These are from way back in '96. I was alone on this particular occasion and I didn't make any friends so, no people in the photos, breaking the first rule of tourist photography. I should have taken the opportunity to figure out how to use the camera. I was reading that the first time Buster Keaton was shown a movie camera he took it apart and examined all the things that could be done with it. It fired his imagination. Meanwhile I stumbled about looking unsuccessfully for artistic shots. 1. Defoe was buried in the Bunhill Fields, a very small cemetery in Finsbury, just east of the City, near the Angel and Moorgate subway stations. I suspect a good many of the tombs have been plowed under over the years. The famous guys, besides Defoe including Bunyan, Blake, and the poet Isaac Watts, who wrote the lyrics to a sizable chunk of the standard Episcopalian Hymnal, have had their monuments gathered in the center of this little ground for the pilgrim's convenience. The rest of the remaining graves are enclosed within fences and are not open to be wandered among. Blake died in 1827, and there doesn't seem to have been many new residents added since about that time. Thus you have a very, very small, semi-preserved corner of old London here, though the modern city still pretty much rises and buzzes around you the whole time.
2. If you want to read the incscription on the tomb, which is dated 1870, 139 years after Defore actually died. I forget what happened to the old tomb, or if simply wasn't grand enough for the sensibility of the times.
3. I don't want to burn through all my London pictures in one go. Here is my attempt at an artistic, inside-the-subway-station shot. With no people, of course.
4. Gratuitous picture of St. Paul's, breaking probably the #2 rule of tourist photography. I think it's a pretty good picture though. I like the sky, and I think the character and antiquity of the old cathedral is revealed to a certain extent.

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