A texture of imagined architectures over the ambiguous derogations of the senses

They would like to control again the possibility, the nuptial valency offered to another, to the husband (in this case): the brother-in-law or son-in-law given them by the demos. And the gamic unit whose possession they claim implies, at the same time, an economic quantum. She was a splendid girl, and there was a coffer of jewels; former and latter ripened by the years: by the slow, tacit years. She was a girl with a little box; and they, the Valdarenas, had entrusted her husband with the key: and the right to make use of it, clickety-click; the sacrosanct use. And Christ’s coadjutor, at the church of the Santi Quattro, had blessed the pact. With a wealth of asperges in nomine Domini: without too much splashing, however. She, beneath her orange-blossom crown, within her veil, had bowed her head. So let him give back, back what was wrongly taken, this fool of a husband, this traveler in textiles. How had he used her beauty? Or how wasted it? such gentle beauty? and the cash? the grand old cash, equally beautiful? Where had he stashed it away, the loot? Those gold pieces with the Gentleman King’s ugly face on them? Those nicely round, bright yellow pieces of the days before this Puppet in Palazzo Chigi, yelling from his balcony like an old-clothes man. She had forty-four of them, Liliana had, forty-four gold marengos: which went clink-clank in a little bag of pink silk, a bag her grandmother had sent wedding sweets in. And they weighed more than a pair of kidneys at Christmas.

— Carlo Emilio Gadda, That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana, trans. William Weaver, p. 116.

I once sat around a table in the Florentine countryside packing the obligatory white sugared almonds into tulle wrappers for the wedding of my friends G and C.


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