Friday, May 20, 2005

for the dog people

You don't often see dogs immortalized in marble this way.

Interestingly enough, this isn't the original. It's a Roman copy of a Greek original. It sits next to a sculpture of a little girl playing with some knucklebones in the "Hellenistic Sculpture" room at the Pergamon Museum, where if you believe the signs, everything is on the verge of falling apart. A protective net protects visitors from falling chunks of the Milet Tower Gate (when it was reconstructed in the museum at the turn of the last century, they used steel rods to hold it together--and it's pulling itself apart somehow). The polychromatic glazes on some Assyrian tiles are separating from their substrate. Und zu weiter. The English translations of the German text, where they exist, are clunky; drily informative, but awkward in the mouth and ear.

I stopped reading them after a while. It was making me too crazy. Easier to just drift through, imagining myself approaching the magnificent blue and gold Ishtar Gate with its lions, bulls, and dragons at sunset at the head of a caravenserai laden with trade goods. Or as an artist placing the last tile in the trompe l'oeil mosaic floor of a Roman senator, complete with elaborate foliage and a "label" peeling up at one corner.

The maultaschen at the cafe, essentially pork ravioli with a spinach cream sauce, wasn't too shabby either. And the trinkshokolade and milchkaffee come in huge bowls. I am going to be massive by the time I get home.

On a completely unrelated note: saw Revenge of the Sith last night. Yes, I'm in Berlin, I could have been doing something Berlinier. For reasons I will explain another time, I needed to see the movie in another country than my own. And I will just say this: did George run out of money when it was time to do the "prophetic dream" sequences? Shabbiest things I think I've ever seen.