I am on a stolen art kick since reading Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett torqued me off so badly. I have wandered though The Irish Game by Matthew Hart and The Rescue Artist by Edward Dolnick. Now I have gotten my hands on Chasing Aphrodite by Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino.
In the predawn light of a summer morning in 1964, the sixty-foot fishing trawler Ferrucio Ferri shoved off from the Italian seaport of Fano and motored south, making a steady eight knots along Italy's east coast. When the Ferri reached the peninsula of Ancona, Romeo Pirani, the boat's captain, set a course east-southeast, halfway between the dry sirocco wind that blew up from Africa and the cooler levanter that swept across the Adriatic from Yugoslavia.
For my fiction choice, I am going with one of my standby favorite reads ... To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. My copy has been read so many times it is disintegrating.
There were five of us – Carruthers and the new recruit and myself, and Mr. Spivens and the verger. It was late afternoon on November the fifteenth, and we were in what was left of Coventry Cathedral, looking for the bishop's bird stump.
I can't show you a bird stump, but here are the ruins of Coventry Cathedral ...
For The Friday 56 hosted at Freda's Voice page 56 of Chasing Aphrodite is not good - it is the last page in chapter 3 and a spoiler, so from page 57 ...
Sitting in the Getty's conservation laboratory was a seven-foot-tall marble Greek kouros, or statue of a nude young man. The face bore the vague smile that was a signature detail of the archaic period, the end of the sixth century B.C. The man's hands were pinned stiffly to his sides, with one foot slightly forward, in a pose Greek sculptors had borrowed from the Egyptians.
This might make more sense if you simply see the Getty kouros - it has bugged people for years!
|Anavyssos Kouros, ca. 530 BC.|
If you look carefully you might see why the Getty kouros has long been contested.
And from page 56 of To Say Nothing of the Dog ...
I looked at my watch. It wasn't there, and I squinted at my wrist, trying to remember whether Warder had taken it off me when she was trying shirts on. I remembered she'd tucked something in my waistcoat pocket. I pulled it out, on a gold chain. A pocket watch. Of course. Wristwatches were an anachronism in Nineteenth Century.
I had trouble getting the pocket watch open and then difficulty reading the extinct Roman numerals, but eventually I made it out. A quarter past X. Allowing for the time I'd spent getting the watch open and lying on the tracks, bang on target. Unless I was in the wrong year. Or the wrong place.