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Canberra's heebie-jeebie election-eve sky

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18.05.2019

As I write Canberra is still ablaze, like a Hawaiian Shirt superstore specialising in cheap shirts aimed at the bogan market, with the shocking colours of Autumn's leaves and sunsets.

In a recent, never-to-be-forgotten column I took issue with the commonplace idea that Nature is incapable of ugliness, that we see Nature at her artistic best in the colours of Autumn leaves.

Autumn leave shots from Carol Elvin

In support of my contrary argument that Nature is capable of aesthetic horrors (especially in Autumn in Canberra) I quoted Evelyn Waugh's description, in his travel memoir Labels, of an especially upsetting Mediterranean sunset. Here it is again, because too much Evelyn Waugh is not enough.

"I do not think I shall ever forget the sight of Etna at sunset; the mountain almost invisible in a blur of pastel grey, glowing on the top and then repeating its shape, as though reflected, in a wisp of grey smoke, with the whole horizon behind radiant with pink light, fading gently into a grey pastel sky. Nothing I have ever seen in Art or Nature was quite so revolting."

I mention this because last Monday's Canberra sunset was one of the most reprehensible I have ever seen.

Just as Evelyn Waugh was unfortunate to have such a good view, from his cruise ship, of the atrocity he describes, I had the........

© Canberra Times