Literary Bust

As I was reading this morning (Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith [aka JK Rowlings]), the narrator casually mentions watching a show about art and the camera pans the room, to include a bust of Beethoven.  There is a smidge of discussion about how the protagonist looks a bit like Beethoven and then the story moves on.

But as the story continued, I was distracted by the thought of the Beethoven bust. Hadn’t a bust of Beethoven just been a book I finished last week?  And wasn’t there a bust of Beethoven in a book I read a couple of months ago.  Time to backtrack in my reading history.

There was indeed a bust of Beethoven in Transcription by Kate Atkinson.  It was included in a description of a room and then later was used by a Nazi sympathizer to try to escape from the MI5 agents who had uncovered her treachery.

The previous literary bust turned out to be Baudelaire, not Beethoven, in The Alice Network by Kate Quinn.  In that book, the Nazi (yeah, I know you ‘ve all heard me say I’m sick of WWII books, but apparently not that sick) uses a bust of Baudelaire to break the fingers of the young spy.  Gruesome.

I have no idea what this means to the larger world, that busts of Beethoven and Baudelaire have shown up repeatedly in my reading the last few months, but it’s fascinating to me.

Pick a bust for your living room… any composer, artist, writer or super hero. Living or dead.  Who is it?

37 thoughts on “Literary Bust”

  1. Whoever it would be, I would want the character to have a very elaborate wig just like Isaac Newton. Think of all the funny hats you could put on it!

    I think it would be sort of depressing to have a bust of Virginia Wolfe. Brahams might be nice, although I think he looks a lot like Karl Marx.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Kelly has a horse head statue, would that be considered a bust? It was a gift from one of her doctors. We don’t decorate it though.

    Several years ago, I picked up a plastic ‘Joseph’; one of those things supposed to be a yard decoration with the lightbulb in his back. Someone threw him in the ditch and it didn’t feel right to simply abandon him or throw him in the trash. So he sits outside our house and we decorate him with sunglasses or hats for the season.
    It’s OK; I checked with our pastor. He said it wasn’t sacrilegious or anything. 🙂

    One of the clinical places I’ve seen lately has the typical hanging skeleton down at the end of the hall. The first day I saw it s/he was wearing a graduation robe.
    The next time it had a swimsuit and big sun hat. I appreciate people having a sense of humor in there.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. The director of my agency went into my play therapy room the other day to measure it. (Our agency has to move to make room for the digital Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library) He walked in the room and turned to his right and came unexpectedly face to face with my witch puppet, who hangs up high on a shoe rack. He said it really scared him for a second before he realized what it was. Having a bust in the living room might have the same effect on some people.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Once upon a time I had retrieved a fake human arm from the dumpster. The nursing department used it for something but they threw it out.
      We enjoyed using it as a prop when we needed an extra hand or a pat on the back.
      It hung in my office window.
      And it scared the wits out of security when they would walk through the shop with their flashlights.
      It disappeared one summer. I’m pretty sure one of them took it.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. My friend, Tia, has a life-sized, papier-mâché, naked woman named Dolly that she had made in one of her art classes. Dolly is seated in a wicker chair in her guest bedroom. When I’d visit, Dolly would invariably give me a fright when I’d wake up at night, this silent person sitting there in the dark staring at me.

        Liked by 4 people

  4. LOL this morning! I see we’re all over the map on this…
    My mom had two small busts on her (spinet) piano, and I’m sure one of them was Beethoven. The other might have been Mozart… probably made of plaster with gold paint. I’ll see if I can find a photo.

    I can’t think of anyone whose visage I’d want to come upon at any time of the day or night – get back to you later on that one.

    Saw an article recently about a group intent on getting women’s statues up in public places, and not just have men represented in this arena. Sigh – there’s a lot of catching up to do if that’s where you want to put your energy.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. My choice is not very original. I’d like a bust of Abraham Lincoln, who in addition to his other virtues was a wonderful writer.

    I’m crossing fingers here. WP has deleted three of my attempts to post this AM. Here we go again.

    Like

  6. Husband inherited a bronze bust from his paternal grandmother. She claimed it was her father, but it looks suspiciously like a bust of Lenin. Why anyone in husband’s family would own a bust of Lenin, however, is a mystery. It’s heavy enough that you could easily crush someone’s gingers with it.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. When I was in college both of my parents had busts made of themselves to give to the other. Both sculptures were actually quite good and I’m sad to say I have no idea what happened either of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door –
    Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door – Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

    Liked by 6 people

  9. while i was looking for the batman bust online the bust of shakespeare whose head tilted back so they could open the door to the bat cave.
    i want that
    bat cave included. and maybe alfred

    Liked by 4 people

  10. A very small town in Southwest ND, Amidon, is the smallest county seat in the country. It has a police car parked permanently in a space close to the highway as you drive through town that has a mannequin in it. It is a pretty good way to get people to slow down, since there is only one sheriff in the county, and maybe one deputy, and they can’t be everywhere at once. Unfortunately, it probably only works for people who have never driven through town before, or those of us who do so infrequently.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. I inherited (or, frankly, demanded) the bust of Beethoven that inhabited the piano at my parents’ house when Mom was downsizing last summer. He has been dressed up more than once and is currently sporting a small purple hat covered in black lace. We also have the smaller Mozart and Bach that made their way to my folks’ house. As I recall, Beethoven was a gift to my grandfather from his buddy, the town undertaker (who, like my grandfather, was a music lover). Beethoven moved from St James, MN to Minneapolis when my grandparents moved to their house near Powderhorn Park. He came to is when they downsized to an apartment. And now he is mine. I kind of wish I could balance him with someone like Florence Beatrice Price (an early 20th century composer I was recently introduced to) or maybe Maya Angelou. Or Admiral Grace Hopper. But if not, Beethoven will continue to glower and make me happy in his grim way.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. P.S. I have to apologize: I have foisted “Station Eleven” on you as reading material for BBC -which chances are you will like…or really won’t…and it looks like I may not make it to the June meeting. We have an exchange student coming to stay with us for a few weeks this summer and she arrives that weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Come and get it, seems to be the baboon modus operandi. One way or another, treats are involved. If you don’t come to the meeting, you provide the treats yourself.

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