Saturday, May 9, 2015

The marble Index of a mind

Dear Riddled,
I would like to borrow the time machine. I have a novel and interesting idea for reconstructing the missing arms of the Venus de Milo, but my therapist advised me that the Golden Age of interesting Venus de Milo reconstructions was back in the 19th Century, so for my idea to encounter a suitably receptive audience, I should go back to about 1882 to publish it. I believe that the Venus sculpture was actually a depiction of a Cyborg Hunter-Killer with milligun arms. Also it was originally painted magenta and called 'Venous'.
Mostly Armless
P.S. I am not a crank.

Dear Mr or Ms Armless (can we call you 'Mostly'?),
You need not be so pessimistic about modern-day hostility to new Venus reconstructions from excitable amateurs unencumbered by an excess of art-historical knowledge .

It is true that Suhr's 1958 revelation -- that the Venus depicted the pose of spinning -- received short shrift from Peter Fuller:
"Unfortunately, this little better than laughable reconstruction was bolstered only by arguments concerning the shape of the moon's shadow when projected to the earth, and a conspicuous contempt for empirical evidence in favour of intuitive, cultic speculation."
If 'shrift' is really a word (I suspect Another Kiwi of making it up). Anyway, this posed no obstacle to E. W. Barber's rediscovery of the theory in 1994. I mean, the Spinster theory was recently promoted in the august webpages of Slate.
[Thx Echidne!]
Sadly, the time machine is not currently available for loan, on account of next week's incident when mikey will borrow it, only to be caught by the Temporal Continuity Police doing two millennia per minute through a built-up suburb of Chronopolis. You have no idea how much fuss ensued, with bureaucratic sticky-beaks warning of possible "collisions with Chronos" and asking endless questions about "warrants of fitness" and such... all resolved only when tigris turned all involved parties into super-evolved felines (by releasing a couple of kittens back in the early Miocene Epoch), making them easily distractable by moving laser dots.
P.S. We are not cranks either.
How are we reconstructing the Venus de Milo's missing arms this week?

1. In martial-arts poses, exacting vengeance after a fish-related manifestation of the Terpsichorean muse.

2. Wrapped around the body of Brother Louis, a zealous monk of Perignon Abbey in Averoigne (a dead monk because crushed beneath the weight of the toppled statue).

3. Here is our alternative rendition of the Aphrodite as spinner. If she was careless enough to lose two arms she could have lost more. 


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

polishing the marble

Indeed, Bishop. Indeed.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Somewhere, Arachne weeps, waiting for the phone to ring.

Smut Clyde said...

Furtwängler came along in 1893 with a definitive monograph that was all "Go away, you numpties; we know what the missing pieces of the Venus jigsaw look like (the body parts not on show at the Louvre); we know the name of the sculptor who got the contract to decorate the Melos gymnasium; we know which artistic traditions he was combining when he sculpted the Venus; there is no mystery about how her arms were posed."

Then things were quiet for a while.

I just want to keep saying his name. Furtwängler. Furtwängler. Hey AK, is it time we Furtwängled the Christmas Ale?

JP said...

Hey AK, is it time we Furtwängled the Christmas Ale?

I'd drink it. But that is not a high bar.

tigris said...

Alas, all my plans were undone

Smut Clyde said...

Tigris' linked Tom-the-dancing-bug cartoon is datemarked "March 14 2014". Let the record show that Riddled was 4 days earlier.

tigris said...

That tells me you are cutting it very close with the time travel.