We’ve seen a marble sweatsuit and marble sculptures that appear to be made of crumbly styrofoam, now please marvel along with us at these lovely lightweight, airy dresses on hangers waiting to be worn. Only they won’t be worn by anyone because they’ve been painstakingly carved from Carrera Marble by Edinburgh, Scotland-based sculptor Alasdair Thomson for a series entitled The Identity Collection. Each piece is based on a garment donated to Thomson by a friend or family member.
This week’s Mighty Moment In Slash History is devoted to the greatest of biblical slash pairings: David and Jonathan. I won’t go into how canon it is, but the short answer is: very.
As we know, David getting his kit off has long been a classic subject for paintings and statues, but the theme in this case is usually his slaying of Goliath. When artists bother to portray David and Jonathan together, they disappointingly ignore the bit where Jonathan strips off for David and choose instead to focus on man-hugs with a side of decapitation. The severed head of Goliath often looks pretty cheesed off by this turn of events, as I suppose you might if your disembodied noggin was reduced to the role of gooseberry.
If all we get to see is a hug, however, this depiction is surely one of the cutest ever. See how blissful they both look. You can almost hear Jonathan saying: “Oh darling, the decapitated head of a Philistine! How did you know? You always give me the sweetest prezzies! And I didn’t get you anything!" Then David explains how Jonathan can make it up to him later, possibly by wearing David’s slingshot as a thong and dancing around the living room to Israelites by Desmond Dekker. Meanwhile, Goliath’s skull lies forgotten on the coffee table and heaves a deep sigh of resignation…
A man once asked me … how I managed in my books to write such natural conversation between men when they were by themselves. Was I, by any chance, a member of a large, mixed family with a lot of male friends? I replied that, on the contrary, I was an only child and had practically never seen or spoken to any men of my own age till I was about twenty-five. “Well,” said the man, “I shouldn’t have expected a woman (meaning me) to have been able to make it so convincing.” I replied that I had coped with this difficult problem by making my men talk, as far as possible, like ordinary human beings. This aspect of the matter seemed to surprise the other speaker; he said no more, but took it away to chew it over. One of these days it may quite likely occur to him that women, as well as men, when left to themselves, talk very much like human beings also.
The undoubted highlight among Houghton’s miniature books is a collection of nine tiny manuscripts created by Charlotte Brontë and her brother Branwell in their early teens. Handmade and extremely delicate, the books have now been conserved and completely digitized. For more on these remarkable volumes, see this story in the Harvard Gazette.
A quick look at: the ancient Egyptian “Tale of the Doomed Prince.”
Italicized sections in this post are translated portions from the tale itself, here I will be using Lichtheim’s “Ancient Egyptian Literature: The New Kingdom Vol. 2” (University of California Press, 2006). While the end of this tale is missing, most scholars believe the ending to have been a happy one.
Our hero in this text is a prince, whom is being pursed by the fates, and must die. Upon hearing this, his distressed father builds a fortress to protect his son.
Then came the Hathors to determine a fate for him. They said: “He will die through the crocodile, or the snake, or the dog.” […] Then his majesty’s heart became very very sad. His majesty had [a house] of stone built [for him] upon the desert…and the child was not to go outdoors.
Many years later the prince, now an adult, has grown sick of “sitting here," and leaves Egypt on a chariot for Mitanni. The prince of Mitanni has a daughter, whom has been put away in a tower (similar in a way to the rapunzel story popular today). Many wish to marry this daughter, but only one who can jump (fly?) up to her in the tower may do so. The prince lies about who he is, not wanting his competitors to feel threatened by another prince. After sitting back and learning from his competitors, the prince manages to reach the girl.
He leaped, he reached the window of the daughter of the Prince of Nahrin. She kissed him, she embraced him on all his body. One went to inform her father and told him “One man has reached the window of your daughter.” […] Thereupon the Prince of Nahrin became exceedingly angry. He said: “Am I to give my daughter to this fugitive from Egypt? Make him go away!”
Despite her father’s orders, the daughter held the Egyptian prince tight, and threatened to starve herself to death if he was to be parted from her: “I will not live an hour longer than he!" Upon actually meeting the Egyptian prince, the prince of Nahrin has an immediate change of heart, "his dignity impressed the Prince.” The daughter and Egyptian prince ended up getting married.
Now when many days had passed, the youth said to his wife “I am given over to three fates: the crocodile, the snake, the dog.” Then she said to him: “Have the dog that follows you killed.” He said to her: “What foolishness! I will not let my dog be killed, whom I raised when it was a puppy.” So she began to watch her husband very much and did not let him go out alone.
The proceeding portion of the tale tells of these fates finally encountering the prince. The snake is killed, all that remain are the crocodile and the dog:
The youth went out for a pleasure stroll on his estate. [His wife] did not go out [with him], but his dog was following him. Then his dog began to speak [saying: “I am your fate].” Thereupon he ran before it. He reached the lake. He descended into [the water in flight from the] dog. Then the crocodile [seized] him and carried him off to where the demon was. [But he was gone. The] crocodile said to the youth: “I am your fate that has come after you. But [for three months] now I have been fighting with the demon. Now look, I shall release you. If my [enemy returns] to fight [you shall] help me to kill the demon. For you see the ————— the crocodile.” Now when it dawned and the next day had come, [the demon] returned —————.