Friday, March 16, 2007


Although I've placed these two objects side by side, they have nothing whatsoever in common. The thing on the left is a stone statuette about a foot high, which my cousin brought back from an African medical stint. It represents a man seated on the ground with his legs folded up against his abdomen, and his hands held up against his face: maybe a position of prayer or meditation. The second object is in fact a sweet-smelling biscuit, about six inches from tip to tip, with religious connotations. Made in Marseilles, this traditional delicacy is meant to symbolize the legendary boat that brought four saintly women, including Mary of Magdala, from the Holy Land to the southern coast of France. Last Sunday, Natacha gave me a box of these biscuits.

Back in Paris, a rough girlfriend once saw the statuette and asked me what it was. I told her I thought it was some kind of African phallic symbol. I don't think my mate understood what I was talking about: "If you want my opinion," she replied, "it reminds me of a prick." The slit biscuit reminds me of something of the same kind. Don't you think the two objects look nice together?

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