Refined Discourse

“I just think that the overall oeuvre of Vermeer is one that screams jejeune travesty,” Curtis said. “It’s not like his childhood was particularly sparkling – I mean, comparatively speaking.”

“Compared to what?” Amy asked.

“Today’s standards, of course.”

“Well, you could say the same about anyone in history, really. They all had ‘comparatively unsparkling childhoods’, right?”

“Yes, but Vermeer had something of an angst-driven, existential depth in the brush strokes he used, and while his contemporaries were pedantic in their subject matter, he had an eye for the sensual, almost robust colourings that were available to him.”

“Robust colourings?” Amy said, an eyebrow cocked.

“Yes. Have you not heard that term? Maybe it’s a bit too academic for you.” Curtis looked smug as he turned away from her.

“What the hell does that mean?” Amy said, folding her arms in front of her.

“I mean, I know you did a community college degree, so you may not have learned the finer intricacies of art forms and the more civilized means of discussing them. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, it’s just a different language. More refined.”

“Mmhm. And yet, you’re frothing lattes just like me. Good thing you paid extra for that ‘refined’ experience.” Amy turned away as a customer approached, leaving Curtis to sputter in futility behind her.


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