Statue Mania: Memory & Memorials 3

January 20, 2015 Deborah Wilbrink
Willem II, The Hague photo by Deborah Wilbrink

Willem II, The Hague photo by Deborah Wilbrink

STATUE MANIA swept the USA and Europe, with statues rising in squares, streets, parks, doorsteps and gardens as well as in cemeteries from 1870-1914. Between America’s Civil War and the Great War, commemorative statues were all the rage! Statues of great people, inventors, heroes, leaders, and those of great character; statues to make sure events were remembered. This statue of Prince William II is by Luxembourg’s A. Merceneir, was designed before the sculptor’s death in 1916 but unveiled in den Hague, the capital of the Netherlands, in 1924. When I saw Willem II, he was once more darkly veiled – in snow. A further attempt at memorial was a leaden casket at the base of the monument, holding two biographies from the 19th century. These were checked in 1993, but already were “irreparably damaged.” Next time you walk in a public or private place, see if you can spot an example of Statue Mania. How will you be remembered?

This week at Parnassus Books, a poet reads prose and poetry from a work that explores the impermanence of life and memory, connecting and comparing with that of statues and memorials, among other things and events. Bridgette Bates, originally from Nashville, is the author of What is Not Missing Is Light. Her collection of prose and poetry explores connections between the present, memory and memorials. One poem reads:

A cemetery
A sea
A museum

Places where the body floats free in a buried form.

Bates will read and sign her work at Parnassus Books, 3900 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday, Jan 22, 6:30 pm.

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“The Best Book is Your Own Story.”
Deborah Wilbrink

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