Corp’rate Day

selected writing by Laurence Figgis

Compendium (for ‘ANYKENT’)

Laurence Figgis, 'Bust and Boo,' 2015, mixed media, 149 x 78 x 64 cm

Laurence Figgis, ‘Bust and Boo,’ 2015, mixed media, 149 x 78 x 64 cm

‘Although the sphinx has leapt up on Oedipus and dug her lioness claws into his bare flesh, her face looks no more menacing than the young Queen Victoria’s as seen in profile on a coin of the realm. There is no sense that she is threatening his very life instead of one of his sartorial whims. As Degas said, “He would have us believe the gods wore watch-chains”.  The background is made up of a “praline landscape” and a “rock candy mountain”.’ (White, 2000: 141)

Edmund White, The Flâneur

‘Anachronism is, on the contrary, a real and living thing, a thing having flesh and bones.  It would be enough to surprise us in a moment of sentimental distraction in order to leave in our flesh and our memories a mark of the real bites of poetry, and in order to rip out from us, with the slashing claw of anxiety, one of the most nutritious pieces of our intellectual anatomy.’ (Dalí, 1998: 253-4)

Salvador Dalí, ‘The Latest Modes of Intellectual Stimulation for the Summer of 1934’

‘In reality they all lived in a kind of hieroglyphic world, where the real thing was never said or done or even thought, but only represented by a set of arbitrary signs.’ (Wharton, 2006: 44)

Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence

‘It is the myth of how culture came about, and of how society occurred. Because it is so ambitious a myth, it has the puzzling self-containment of a mystery in the old sense of that word. At the same time because it is so prosaic a myth (a myth about crinolines!) it is not in the least portentous or self-consciously “mythic”.’ (Gilbert, 2000: 256-7)

Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic

‘Many counties, I believe, are called the garden of England, as well as Surrey.’ (Austen, 1975: 276)

Jane Austen, Emma


Austen, Jane. Emma. (London: Harmondsworth, 1975).

Dalí, Salvador. The Collected Writings of Salvador Dalí, ed. and trans. Haim Finklestein. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

Gilbert, Sandra M. and Susan Gubar. The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination, 2nd ed. (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2000).

Wharton, Edith. The Age of Innocence. (London: Penguin, 2006).

White, Edmund. The Flâneur: A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris. (London: Bloomsbury, 2001).


This compendium was included as part of the gallery text for ‘ANYKENT,’ a solo exhibition by Laurence Figgis that took place at The Briggait, Glasgow, 18th September – 20th November 2015