Author: John Cooper

June 28, 2007

Every life has a meaning, but

I wasn’t surprised to read that Linda Proud spent 11 years researching A Tabernacle for the Sun and Pallas & the Centaur, two of the books that make up her ‘Botticelli Trilogy’.Their erudition, depth and breadth are quite astonishing. They are the work of a
February 22, 2007

Not exactly Divine, but certainly comic

‘Do you think confessionals and stages are incompatible? They may be in other countries, but not in Italy’   Forget about all your idealizations when you read this book. Full of saccharin panegyrics, lyrical reminiscences and nostalgic fantasies it is not. In fact, it’s a full-scale attack on the tyranny of picturesque sentimentality. La Bella […]
January 11, 2007

The remarkable story of a woman and her vegetables

I remember once being rather disappointed by the gallery of ‘modern’ art in Pitti Palace. After wandering around its corridors for an hour or two and finding mostly charming, if second-rate, 19th-century pastorals, I asked one of the attendants where all the modern art was. ‘
November 30, 2006

Turpitude, blood and a den of thieves

If you stand in Piazza della Signoria, somewhere just in front of the Neptune fountain, and look down at your feet you ought to see a piece of round stone dedicated to the memory of Girolamo Savonarola. It is a kind of monument, which is odd, given that the Florentines
October 5, 2006

Florentine Crime, Florentine retribution

‘I said, I killed him,’ she said, and her voice was light and cool as though it was trying to float free from her body, where the bones pressed painfully against her paper skin. Outside a siren screamed in close, and another, and the flashing blue of a light swept around the bar.What if the […]