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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Rounder Than The 0, parts 1920 - 1923

1920. The explanation is that Buboni, the physicist, and Camus all share a common characteristic, they believe, and disbelieve many things at once, Believing many contradictory things at once is a common problem for all these people who take themselves too seriously.

1921. The Duck, with his impeccable manners, did not interrupt Doctor Buboni when he made up his story about the marble floor and the problems of L’Indaco. The Duck could see that the purpose of the entire story was not to say anything about either Michelangelo or about l’Indaco, or to discuss the economic problems of the small churches. What agitated Buboni was the condition of his sacred obsession, art history.

1922. For Buboni, the Duck pointed out, art history was the preserve of a certain sort of individual, a person perhaps terribly out of place in the real world, but entirely at home in some corner of the British museum. The art historian may not know the difference between a screwdriver, and a crescent wrench, but can perhaps say at a glance if the shard of a ceramic pot had been fashioned in Mesopotamia, or in Crete, 2000 years ago.

1923. And Buboni was well aware that this sacred preserve, this niche in which he felt he had value as a human being, was in the process of being overrun by millions of tourists who now mob the art museums of the world in search of a fleeting artistic experience, or worse yet, some sort of an art merit badge to show to their friends to prove they are cultured.

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