‘The Angel In The Marble’ is an example of a kind of story that has haunted and fascinated me since early childhood and which, until writing this, I had never quite expressed in words. It’s one of those ‘stormy night’ stories we find in the darker corners of books of fairytales in which someone is lost in a deep wood and so follows the single light shining from a nearby cabin; wandering, unknowingly, even further from the road. It’s a story about two strangers, not desiring company and having their own personal reasons for solitude, who nevertheless meet on common ground and must reveal and complete one another’s stories. I see this as a trope very near to the heart of horror and dark literature and I’ve witnessed it play out time and again in such places as Pinter’s The Caretaker and No Man’s Land, Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night and, more recently, the 2008 Marek Losey film The Hide, which is probably the best contemporary example I can name.
The Angel In The Marble
by B.T. Joy
It’s always been the consensus that symmetry is synonymous with beauty.
But Adrian Speer disagreed.
What was more symmetrical than that block of rough, square-edged marble; fresh from the quarry? If symmetry was all we were looking for we’d be exhibiting a slab of raw, unchiseled stone on that glass-surrounded plinth in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence.
They do say the great artist went personally to Carrara; to choose just the right marble for his masterworks. And so the raw resources were important. No one’s saying different. But, in the angles of the white stone, Michelangelo saw angels; and he chiseled until he released them into the air. Breaking symmetry for beauty’s sake.