Monday, June 30, 2008

The Celebrated Bay of Taormina

In the Bay of Taormina celebrated by Goethe and Maupassant, a Brazilian man belly flops into the sea, does five feeble strokes, spindly-limbed like a frog, turns back, then with stick arms pulls his plump belly over the jagged pebbles and subsides beside his girlfriend. Why? Because he wants to watch the film she made of him jumping into the sea and swimming. I have a good mind to run up and harangue him on the necessity of experience, and failing this, to give him a kick - in a way similar to Johnson's refutal of Berkeley - in the bollocks. We are the voice clamouring in the desert, I want to say. Somewhat off subject. That was the portrait of John the Baptist I saw in the catacombs of Syracuse, where you didn't get to see any skeletons. Instead of running up to the man, and telling him what's what, however, I elect to start reading Thucydides' account of the events leading up to the disastrous and ill-considered Athenian expedition on Syracuse in 413 BC. But I wouldn't mind an ice-cream first. Before my next fag.

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