Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Leonardo and Stagger Lee

I've been rereading some of John M. Ford's work recently. In his historical novel The Dragon Waiting, he has Lorenzo de' Medici, who knows that Florence is about to fall to Byzantium, say, "Leonardo once told me he could bring down Brunelleschi's Pantheon with a single swing of the pick." In The Last Hot Time, Stagger Lee demonstrates a similar engineering or architectural aptitude in a secular setting.

When I noticed the above, it occurred to me that Stagger Lee, who is both ambidextrous and bisexual and adept in both the mechanical and magical, may in some ways be meant to represent Leonardo. Much of what one learns in Ford's work comes in piecing together passing descriptions or comments or implications, so gathering further evidence for this hypothesis would require learning a lot more about Leonardo and another close reading of The Last Hot Time - maybe someday.

p.s. here's how to decide between the two- and one-word forms of the last word above.



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