It’s Not a Comment About Work, Most Days

So says Margaret LaFleur.

My Munch-inspired rya is at home for the time being in my daughter’s office in Nolte Hall at the University of Minnesota. Within minutes of its hanging yesterday, three colleagues from the Writing Studies Department walked by and stopped in surprise.  One woman exclaimed, “Oh!  It’s the Scream.  That’s so strange; it’s like rug hooking.”  I told her that no, it is a woven piece, a rya.  “It’s just that my mother did rug hooking,” she continued, “and I only expect to see something like puppies or kittens.”


Minutes later, another friend said it was an eerie coincidence that the Scream image showed up near her office that day.  In her writing class that morning they had been discussing About a Mountain, by John D’Agata.  (Interesting reviews here and here) Munch’s life and his painting are pulled into the author’s essay about plans to build a national nuclear waste depository at Yucca mountain. To alert future civilizations of the hazardous materials below the ground, the Department of Energy considered constructing a series of twenty-foot high pyramids, inscribed with the face from Edvard Munch’s The Scream.

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