The Whiff of Controlled opposition Patronage. Graeber has his ass sniffed by Monbiot. ‘Perche li cani oderan volentieri il culo l’uno all’altro’ #GrubStreetJournal #GrubStreetSatire #GrubStreetComediaVulgaris #GrubStreetPoetry

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Animal studies. Above: ox and ass, and horse and bareback rider, preparatory studies for Florentine paintings. Below: study of a sitting dog and a cat, and proportional profile study of a dog.

One of my favourite moments of Leonardian light relief concerns dogs. On a page of Paris MS F, a mid-sized notebook he was using in about 1508, occurs a short text which has the look of one of his scientific ‘demonstrations’ or ‘conclusions’, but the title of the text actually reads, ‘Perche li cani oderan volentieri il culo l’uno all’altro’ – ‘Why dogs willingly sniff one another’s bottoms’. (I like that ‘willingly’.) The explanation he gives is that they are establishing how much ‘essence of meat’ (virtù di carne) can be discerned there:

The excrement of animals always retains some essence of its origin… and dogs have such a keen sense of smell that they can discern with their nose the essence remaining in the faeces. If by means of the smell they know a dog to be well-fed, they respect him, because they judge that he has a powerful and rich master; and if they discern no such smell of that essence [i.e. of meat] they judge the dog to be of small account, and to have a poor and humble master, and therefore they bite him.49

This is balanced between accuracy – dogs do indeed get olfactory information in this way – and humorous exaggeration of the sociological niceties involved.

Leanardo’s Fishhook

while the horse goes over the sheep, back and forth, the wood

returns a mellifluous sound

So take a look at me all who wish: how ugly a man looks when he

has no money

Don’t despise me because I am poor: a man is poor when he

desires many things

Only love makes me remember, it alone fires me up

in the seventh circle, I saw a virgin I might have loved.

Dantes inferno burns deeply within.

Dressed in Black just 17, and not ashamed to say

A sculptures muse, jokes of salt and honey.

The virtue of a wolfs diet the scent of success attracts.

your actions belie what you said

fights of fancy, swooping Kites.

Roger Lewis

Philosoetry.

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