In all of our peregrinations around and about this library, we have yet to find any books on the fine arts. Do you suppose that is because this is an Agriculture and Engineering school…? One would think that some genteel donor would have bequeathed a few cherished volumes to the collection. It can’t be all bovine A.I. and physics.
Oh, goody. The human female is doing that eye-rolling thing she sometimes does when I am the tiniest bit critical of this hallowed institution. The fine arts books, she lectures me, have been moved into the adjacent library annex, where they repose with the vast collection of video and audio materials and where they have more room to breathe. Room to breathe, one supposes, the rarified air of Culture, rather than the plebian air that smells of hay, machine oil, or ledger ink (there is also a sizable College of Business on this campus.)
Visiting the sections on music, architecture, and the fine arts gives us an excuse to revisit the stairwell tower and the annex. As I have pointed out before, the stairs in the turret spiral the wrong way.
That is still on my list of things to fix. Out they will come, eventually. Today, however, I am in search of ideas for the construction and furnishing of my imperial palace. (I have decided that re-doing the library as my seat of glorious conquest–as I once planned–is just not feasible, so I will have to start from scratch.)
Have we found the architecture section yet? Sadly, it appears we have not. What Sigyn and I have found is the library’s collection of sheet music. This, for example, is a book of songs from what Midgardians call the "Two-Door" Era.
I surmise from this manuscript that the "Two-Door" area was thus named because when the drunken choristers started trying to sing multiple different parts at once, with a time signature change in the middle of a bar, the audience en masse tended to clap hands to ears and decamp with all alacrity and one exit was not sufficient.
(This song reminds me: I haven’t heard from Thor for a while. I wonder what my "dear" "brother" and his cronies are up to?)
Ah here we are. The human female has kindly located for me several gargantuan books just bursting with highlights of the various artistic traditions of this planet. Take, for example, this ornate carpet, hand-knotted by the nimble fingers of Persian craftsmen.
Meh. Pretty, I grant you, but not really my style, and not nearly green enough.
This textile is more to my liking. It is an embroidered tapestry the size of the Midgard Serpent, depicting the conquest of the human female’s favorite island by the human female’s ancestors.
Spears, arrows, horses, bloodshed, regicide, evil portents of doom and victory–this never-ending tea-towel has it all. When I complete my conquest, the celebratory banner shall be twice as long and three times as wide. I will appear in every scene. It will be glorious.
This next elephantine folio contains drawings faithfully copied from an ancient temple in the land of the Nile. Remember our little hunt for Anubis? I developed a fondness for Egyptian art. It is visually quite striking.
Look at the detail-work, Sigyn! The feet are all weird, and the all-profile style is a bit repetitious, but it is bold and exotic, and I like the decorative writing.
This fellow has got everyone to kneel and people are fawning all over him. I am definitely taking notes now! "Limestone carvings" is absolutely going on the list!
I shall also commission several free-standing statues of myself. This Roman one is all right, I suppose, and the subject looks wise enough…
…but altogether too genial to be any sort of effective emperor. I shall be much more imposing in marble.
Sigyn has peeked ahead several hundred years in the sculpture book and seems to be examining the work of someone named Dontatello very intensely.
Sigyn, what are you-? Sigyn!!