Rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture.
Friday, August 26, 2016
Sardinia Journal V: Mont 'e Prama
watercolor of ancient Sardinian statue by Hallie Cohen
Cabras is a village on the Western coast of Sardinia which
dates from the seventh century AD. One of the more creative accommodations is Aquae Sinis, an “Albergo Diffuso,” meaning that unlike a normal hotel, its rooms are
spread out across a campus of 17th century structures. But in the late
afternoon during siesta, when the streets are deserted, the town has the look of a de Chirico painting, characterized as it is by wide open classic spaces that
create a haunting feeling of emptiness. The old and the new exist in a stately counterpoint in Cabras. The landscape is dotted with ancient Spanish towers counterbalanced with huge modern granary silos, that look like airport control towers. If you go to theIl Museo Civico di Cabras you can see the results of one of the most important excavations in modern archeological
history and something that rivals Stonehenge in its significance—a necropolis
from the 9th century BC discovered in the Mont ‘e Prama area outside
of town. Over 5000 fragments which had once been part of 30 enormous statues of
archers, warriors and boxers, known as "the Giants of Mont 'e Prama," were discovered above graves in which crouched
figures were buried. And when it comes to desecration it turns out the Islamic
State is just the new boy on the block. All of these figures show evidence of
having been plundered by an invading army, probably Phoenicians. Plus ca
change, plus c’est la meme chose. ISIS definitely did a job on Palmyra and at the Mont 'e Prama site, archeologists are demonstrating how history repeats itself.
Francis Levy's debut novel, Erotomania: A Romance, was released in August 2008 by Two Dollar Radio.
His short stories, criticism, humor, and poetry have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Village Voice, The East Hampton Star, The Quarterly, Penthouse, Architectural Digest, TV Guide, The Journal of Irreproducible Results, and other publications. One of his Voice humor pieces was anthologized in The Big Book of New American Humor (HarperCollins). He is presently the Co-Director of The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination (philoctetes.org), where he supervises roundtable discussions on topics as varied as “The Psychology of the Modern Nation State” and “Modern Traffic Theory, Behavior, and Imagination”.