The talented Italian author of Girl in a Turban now intertwines two narratives: the first about a French queen who calls upon 300 of her kingdom's most talented women to bring to life her vision of what will become the famous Bayeaux tapestry and the second about the great English art critic John Ruskin who arrives in the grimy city of Amiens to ...
The talented Italian author of Girl in a Turban now intertwines two narratives: the first about a French queen who calls upon 300 of her kingdom's most talented women to bring to life her vision of what will become the famous Bayeaux tapestry and the second about the great English art critic John Ruskin who arrives in the grimy city of Amiens to reflect upon his life.
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Publishers Weekly, 1993-04-19 An unusually ambitious effort, this highly stylized and cerebral first novel from the Italian author of Girl in a Turban raises fundamental questions about art and history, truth and beauty. The title comes from John Ruskin, who wrote, ``we can imagine falsities, we can compose falsehoods, but only truth can be invented.'' Animating this speculation, Morazzoni creates two narratives; one involves Ruskin himself, visiting the French cathedral of Amiens in 1879; the other concerns Anne Elisabeth, a native of Amiens, summoned to the court of a ``young queen with a ringing name'' (which is never given) to participate in the embroidering of the Bayeux Tapestry (the year is unspecified, but most historians place it at 1067). Through the character of Anne Elisabeth, Morazzoni explores the nature of the artist, while the queen serves as the archetypal visionary and Ruskin as the ideal viewer. The prose here is as angular and mannered as the figures embroidered in tapestry and carved into stone at Amiens. Often atmospheric, the language is occasionally overdone--some infelicities, however, invite questions about the translation (``In his young manhood Ruskin did not have many feminine role models''). Impressive, if not engaging. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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