The Image of Dragons: Prohibited

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 9.47.56 AMDavid Whitehouse highlights an interesting conundrum for the connoisseur of gold-glass. On what looks like a blue plate, a golden Daniel is depicted as holding a cake to which he is presumably offering—with less than honorable intentions—to the apocryphal worm of Bel and the Dragon.[1] What makes this particularly intriguing is that same book’s ridicule of idols.[2] Daniel worships the living God and “may not worship idols made with hands.”[3] This raises an interesting question prompted by Whitehouse’s summary of gold-glass: what is one to do with an image depicting a narrative that prohibits the use of images?[4]


[1] David Whitehouse, “Glass, Gold, and Gold-Glasses,” Expedition 38.2 (1996): 9. [2] Bel and the Dragon, vv. 5 and 7. [3] Ibid. [4] Perhaps conflating “idol” with “image” here, the stress on Daniel’s “may not” seems to hint at an aniconism that extends to both idols and images. Or maybe I got it all wrong and I’m only posting this because I like the way the first sentence sounds when read aloud.

Threads of Order in a Labyrinth of Chaos

Bibliographies tell the stories of their readers, not their curators.

So sayeth Bulfinch:

“When they arrived in Crete, the youths and maidens were exhibited before Minos; and Ariadne, the daughter of the king, being present, became deeply enamored of Theseus, by whom her love was readily returned. She furnished him with a sword, with which to encounter the Minotaur, and with a clew of thread by which he might find his way out of the labyrinth. He was successful, slew the Minotaur, escaped from the labyrinth, and taking Ariadne as the companion of his way, with his rescued companions sailed to Athens.”

So sayeth Hawkings:

Hawkings One

Hawkings Two

So sayeth Borges through Eco:

Eco One

Eco Two

Borges One

Borges Two