Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Violent death and crucifixion

Took a break from reading Jerusalem as there were so many violent deaths. Too much atrocity to absorb.
Queen Jezebel torn apart by dogs....
Andrea Celesti/Jezebel torn apart by dogs
Then Absalom, with his lustrous head of hair and a physique without a blemish, wrenched from his horse when his hair snagged in the branches of an oak.

And of course the crucifixion.
Crucifixion was an excruciating death, designed to demean the victim publicly. Nails were driven through the forearms (not hands) and ankles. Nails from crucifixion victims were worn as charms around the neck to ward off illness (rope from the hangman was similarly - much later - thought to protect against evil).

Men were crucified facing outwards; women facing inwards.
The skill for the executioner was in ensuring that the crucified man or woman did not die too quickly. A ledge supported the feet.  The idea of a support to prolong the dying - the cruellest of touches.

Reading and watching

  • Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela/Judy Foot
  • The Testament of Mary with Fiona Shaw at the Barbican
  • The Testament of Mary/Colm Toibin
  • Schwanengesang/Schubert - Tony Spence
  • Journals/Robert Falcon Scott
  • Fugitive Pieces/Ann Michaels
  • Unless/Carol Shields
  • Faust/Royal Opera House
  • The Art of Travel/Alain de Botton
  • Mad Men Series 6
  • A Week at The Airport/Alain de Botton
  • The Railway Man/Eric Lomax
  • Bright Lights, Big City/Jay McInerney
  • Stones of Venice/John Ruskin
  • The Sea, the Sea/Iris Murdoch
  • Childe Harold/Lord Byron
  • All The Pretty Horses/Cormac McCarthy
  • Extreme Rambling/Mark Thomas
  • Story of my Life/Jay McInerney
  • Venice Observed/Mary McCarthy