Who Killed the Golden Voice?

Essays, Essays on Art, writing


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The rain kings had left the city. The Chinese laborers did not bet on the monsoons anymore, nor the mango rains. The billboards for Alain Delon cigarettes tattered in the wind, sun-faded and old.

Rock and roll was still playing in the bars; when the bombs fell nearby, the band stopped, if only to tell whether the roof would fall on their heads or if they would be spared to play another day. None of the clubs were open due to the night curfew, so the afternoon became midnight, bands playing to candlelight.

One day, all was silent. There is a peculiar feeling in the air when a city is quiet, as if the body knows something is wrong; people, together, are supposed to make noise. Phnom Penh had been under heavy bombardment, first from the Americans, and then from the incoming CPK. Quiet meant a conclusion had been reached.


Essays, Essays on Art, writing

pietro bernini

On the first of Decemeber, 1662, the bells of Santa Maria Maggiore were tolling. Inside, beneath the squared and gilded ceiling, Saint Catherine knelt before her own execution, painted in tribulation. Below the block where she would soon rest her head, a woman’s body was laid out, dressed in a rich black. In accordance with the Signora’s wishes, there would be two thousand masses said to hurry her soul onwards, one hundred on the day of its departure and more in the months to come.


Essays, Essays on Art, writing

There were two ways the message could have travelled from Porto’Ercole: to the left, through Orbetello and onwards to Florence, or to the right, eastward and straight to Rome. Naturally, it went to the right. The message was sent to Rome.