Monday, January 18, 2016

Is your Mrs C the same as my Mrs C?

I know there will be com-
plaints for depicting her
as female; but then there
would be complaints, even
if one hadn't. There will
be complaints for recital
of her marital condition,
but then it would be idle
to ignore the most famous
fact on her dossier. I am
expecting complaints, for
listing your Mrs C before
my Mrs C, as if something
could be wrong with yours
which mine might correct.

But intimidation is not a
happy flux for investiga-
tion between persons, who
may be similarly situated
as innocent onlookers, to
a long, determined strug-
gle to possess an exalted
position. Very few people
have lived so long, as to
recall a time before this
historic project occupied 
its part of the clockface.

Even to ask what lies be-
hind this adventure risks
rebuke for suspicious im-
agery in choice of words.
But intimidation is not a
a chronometric or an iso-
metric function, and even
fades away from substance
it may shade.

This is an intriguing en-
gine that is ready always
to embody governance, for
war, peace; profiteering,
either way, supple in its
coils, to spring upon op-
portunity. Epochs, gener-
ations and their volatile
distinctions fall beneath
its perpetual entitlement.

Is your Mrs C the same as
my Mrs C? I'm put in mind
of the hilarious ruse ar-
ranged by Queen Mary, for
amusing witnesses of that
decapitation which marked
her final triumph. A head
rolled about on the floor
as the axe-man hoisted an
arrestingly brilliant wig.

To this day we ponder: is
it for her head she wants
to be known, or for being
at the center of our gaze?

Juan Gris

Pablo Picasso

Kirstine Roepstorff

Joan Miró

Garrett Mattingly
The Defeat of the
  Spanish Armada
  Collected in:
John Julius Norwich
A Christmas Cracker
  A Commonplace Selection
Heywood Hill & Co., Ltd, 2015©

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