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JOVENCITOS CON BOTINES. Gargoyles and chimeras

Balzac wrote that “the gross is covered, the rich man adorns himself, the fool disguises himself and the elegant one dresses.But it should never be done in any way.

By Luis G. Chacon

The effigy of a chimera that leans on the balustrade of the upper gallery of Notre Dame delights with the beautiful panorama of Paris that allows its privileged position. His mocking and thoughtful gesture usually catches the traveler's attention, but what the mellifluous tourist ignores is that the monster, who watches life go by with that secular maturity that becomes style, has seen thousands of surprised people walk visitors who are unable to savor the beauty, they only have the ability to swallow it. They are the same ones who are photographed hugging her to, later, show off your trip to Paris and tell that they were immortalized, according to them, next to a gargoyle, adding between giggles: “like the one in the hunchback movie”. And they revel in their ignorance as they fondle the photograph with greasy, barbecue-stained fingers and share it with a horde of shod men., like them, with flip flops and more well covered than dresses, with the size XXL t-shirts in which they show off the number of their athletic sports idols.

The delicious and exquisite chimeras designed by Viollet le Duc in the mid-nineteenth century are of no use whatsoever and were thus conceived. Nor are they useful, nor do they need to be. Instead, the medieval gargoyles that surround the Cathedral have, in her modest beauty, the valuable purpose of serving as practical drains on those gray and rainy days as Parisian as they are melancholic. And to the gurgling of the water that falls from the heights of the steeples until it crashes on the hard pavement, they owe their romantic name.

The gargoyle, por tanto, assumes the utility as a defect that does not weigh down its beauty but if its style. If the meditative chimera that scans Paris has reached the category of paradigm of elegance, it is because sublimates the unnecessary and only seeks to delight the senses, which is the ultimate and almost unique purpose of art and the greatest value of beauty.

To those who believe that it is enough to wear a certain outfit to be elegant, you have to remind them that You neither go nor are you elegant because you are elegant or you are or you are not. Elegance is not a temporary state of grace but a way of facing life that is nourished by ways and skills and is supported by a golden tripod delimited by the sencillez, distinction and culture.

Simplicity, naturalness, moderation or moderation are qualities inherent to it. There is no greater denial of elegance than ostentation and excess.. Among mathematicians, proofs carried out with the least amount of hypotheses or those solved in the shortest way are classified as elegant.. Although louts confuse naturalness with coarseness and education with hypocrisy, the true elegant would never do it because what our elders called good education is nothing more than a form of culture that goes beyond the mere accumulation of knowledge and is specified in the curiosity to learn every day. And from there the vanguards are born, of that whimsical curiosity that creates or discovers new forms of elegance conceived to surprise.

Balzac wrote that “the gross is covered, the rich man adorns himself, the fool disguises himself and the elegant one dresses.But it should never be done in any way. It is not a question of what you dress but how you do it. It's a matter of distinction. Distinguishing yourself from the crowd is a sign of individuality and elegance.

At the end of the day, it is elegant when everything is done differently from how others do it but it appears to do it the same way as them.

Header image: Michael Parkes