How I Spent My Tuesday Afternoon:
I confess it: I slipped away yesterday afternoon, family in tow, to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), there to succumb yet again to the charms of the Boy King, the Pharaoh, that most 'gyptianest of the Egyptians, the one and only . . .
There is criticism galore associated with the financial arrangements surrounding this tour, which is organized as a for-profit venture with correspondingly high ticket prices, but I cannot help but be pleased to have an opportunity to see more of the fine fine artifacts that the 18th Dynasty was capable of producing. There is almost no overlap between the current touring materials and what was seen here nearly 30 years ago, meaning that, yes, most of the most patently spectacular objects have stayed in Cairo this time around. Still, if you are as easily seduced as I am by beautifully wrought artifacts from some 3000-odd years agone, the current exhibition is certainly worth seeing during its few remaining weeks in Los Angeles. Florida (Fort Lauderdale), Philadelphia and Chicago get it over the next two years.
This jolly archaeological jaunt has moved me to poetry, specifically to my first double-dactyl in many many months, to wit:
Roi des Egyptiens,
Reigned for ten years before
Coming to grief;
Now on display in L.
A., he's explained by the
Unctuous narration of
I am a regular victim of the Curse of Free Association. I was looking for an image of Howard Carter, who located Tutankhamen's tomb in 1922, and searched his name in Google Images. That led to a version of the image above, attached to this rather interesting weblog post at the now-seemingly-inactive ideofact. The image (you can click to enlarge it somewhat) is, of course, a poster for the magician Carter the Great -- exploiting the similarity between his name and that of Lord Carnarvon's favorite Egyptologist -- whose fictional version appears in Glen David Gold's thoroughly entertaining novel, Carter Beats the Devil. A further search for that poster image led to this page, from which you can access an array of Carter's posters and advertisements, including the image above and the poster with the Devilish card sharp that serves as the cover for Gold's book. Those who have read the book may also appreciate these images selling "The Lion's Bride," an illusion of some importance to the plot.
Fun Things To Make and To Do: Whether or not you have read the book, you can help Carter beat the Devil, here.