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King Ludwig II of Bavaria drowned young in a lake, under mysterious circumstances “and only 6 weeks afterwards his family began operating public tours of his castles.” The King had devoted most of his life to designing and constructing palaces over the length and breadth of his kingdom. “Granted his family had never liked them, too fairytale-like and opulent.” His brother, who succeeded him, was too weak to reign. His uncle, who took the regency, preferred some quieter middle-class domicile. Once the walking ground of a shy King who spent days alone in his abodes atop the mountains, they were now open to prying eyes and meandering feet. “And look!” Now disguising in part his face is happy-birthday paper hats on all his busts in the majestic rooms – colourful shadows on polished white marble – the memory of his coming into this world thus commemorated.


6 Replies to “PAPER HATS ON BUSTS”

      1. I think about that a lot. Mattel recently rolled out five Barbies of important women and yeah, they are important, but not necessarily the greatest. They are more tokens that most people know about like Frida Kahlo and Rosa Parks. There were other great women artists and Rosa Parks, brave and heroic though she was, was not the only black woman fighting and sitting and resolving to change things. We over simplilfy history all the time. I guess we have to since it’s so immense.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Agree (and i do think about that a lot, too!) I guess simplification is like periodisation in history. If history is to be a science then you have to have some mechanism at work to make it “ready for use” in history books (in schools of any level) and to people so they can find some points of reference (like the famous people you mentioned.) I’m using here a thought by French historian Le Goff. He wrote a book about this. And you’re right, history is so immense, and may very well be overwhelming if you look at it without any structure.


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