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ROLLING WITH JAMES JOYCE ON AN IRISH HILL

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ODE TO THE BOOKISH GIRLS

A moment with Galilei

Galilei Galileo Vogue italia telescope photoshootShop the dream

I was in Italy last night darling. I wanted to see the stars and I remembered there was one man who would be keen on letting me borrow his telescope.

Wearing a long sleeved dress and metallic slippers in an effort to avoid standing out, I climbed a number of steps to arrive at the top of his Italian home. I found him standing, with his grey beard and his belly, looking out of the window at the sky which was lit by the light of the moon, while the room was dim with the light of a few candles resting on candelabras.

“Bounasera Signor Galilei.”

“Bounasera a lei, Signorina.”

“I haven’t come here to disturb you, I just wanted to see the stars through your telescope.”

“I can show you the moon, maybe Venus.”

“Thank you darling. You see, I tried to look at the stars while manning the mastheads of a ship but that proved to be a challenge.”

“You tried to man a masthead signorina? Ah, you joke, you joke!” he said, while nudging me towards the telescope.

“I don’t, I don’t,” I said, while placing my eye to the telescope. It wasn’t as clear as I was used to, but it surely was more than enough for him.

“Do you see the cloud? Those are huge stars, do you see them?

“Mhmm.”

“And if you turn the lens towards the moon, then you can see that there are mountains on it.”

“Oh, yes I see.” I stood to look at him; he had fallen quiet. Then he began,

“You know signorina, since you are so enamoured by the stars, you should know that our world is, well, not as central as we once thought it was.

“No! Really? What changed?”

“Nothing, but thanks to this lens I’ve learnt that the sun is not going around the earth, instead, the latter is going around the sun!”

“Mhmm, mhmm.”

“Do you not understand what I am saying? We are not the centre of the universe!”

“Oh no darling, I am, but I get what you’re saying about earth, yes.”

“Well, if a woman understands this so easily, then I’m sure the rest of my peers will think this extraordinary news! I’m going to tell everyone about this tomorrow!”

“Um, sure darling, whatever you deem best. Are you keen on Siena, signor Galilei?

“Yes, I have friends there. Why?”

“Just a thought, bounasera signore, e grazie per avermi dato le stelle per un po.”

Story credit: Vogue Italia for the image.

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