Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Rome Journal: An Antiquity a Day

It would be interesting to do a plebiscite on what percentage of the population of Rome has visited the Colosseum. If you’re a Manhattanite, you in all likelihood have never visited the Statue of Liberty or the Museums on Governors and Ellis Island. Going to see the famed birthday cake monument in honor of Victor Emmanuelle II in the Piazza Venezia is a little like going to Times Square on New Year’s Eve. No New Yorker, well almost no New Yorker, does it—it’s mostly a destination for visitors, as are monuments like the Pantheon and the Baths of Caracalla. On the other hand both Times Square and the Colosseum have undoubtedly had an impact on New Yorkers and Romans alike. Times Square is a retired Id, to the extent that it once was bawdy (and now has been transformed into a New Jersey mall). Roman ruins are like the unconscious itself (it’s no coincidence that Freud looked at psychoanalysis as archeology). What would you rather possess the Id of a Times Square peep show, or the vestiges of a once great civilization which has endured in another iteration—even after the fall of its Empire? How do you like them apples? Imagine taking the Number 75 bus (which goes right past the Colosseum) every day to work rather than the MTA Fifth Avenue bus, which passes the Empire State. Both are grand endeavors, but come on, which do you think provides the bromide of the ages? BTW do you still need psychoanalysis when you face the ancient world on the bus every day? The answer is probably yes.

read "Rome Journal: Ruins" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

and watch the animation of Erotomania

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