Friday, May 09, 2014


Reading this lavish, heavy (I mean physically heavy, like it's hard to carry around) book by Umberto Eco, THE BOOK OF LEGENDARY LANDS. It has lots of great parts, like: "In the West, too, there was no lack of artisans able to construct automata, and legend has it that Pope Sylvester II (who reigned 999-1003) was attributed with the creation of a golden talking head that murmured secret advice." And: "At the court of Khan Mongke in Karakorum, William of Rubrick saw a silver tree whose roots were formed by four silver lions, from each of whose mouths poured mare's milk." There was an angel with a trumpet on top, and when the angel blew its horn, some snakes that were coiled around the tree started spitting out wine, mead, and rice beer. Anyway, people used to know how to have a good time.