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"Travel frequently introduces you to those peculiar individuals who make a life of wandering over the face of the earth, well-educated odd balls, eccentrics full of fabulous tales with which they bend your ear. You welcome them, drink with them, laugh with them, then say good bye to them. For all I knew when we parted, Montgomery was one of them."

Steven Spire, Shades Of Persephone

DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI'S

PROSERPINE

PERSEPHONE  IN HER LATIN GUISE

In Steven Spire's digs at the Pension Ariadne in the Old Port of Chania hangs a print of Rossetti's famous Pre-Raphaelite painting of the mythological goddess of the underworld. It is a source of  inspiration for Spire in his pursuit of truth and also a symbol of the difficulty he experiences in uncovering the goddess'contemporary identity. In her intimation of dark things to come, she reveals absolutely nothing.

The Burke flat on this treed avenue, where over the early years JB and Ma raised Patrick and me, is similar to Ma Maggie’s on Rachel both in style and general layout, but smaller and more intimate. I take up my sketchpad in an attempt to apprehend with the aid of charcoal lines the facade of the oldest building I know. My focus is the second storey flat with its wrought-iron decor, and gallery, and three exterior doors, ours the one on the right. Admittedly, I’m trying yet again to grasp the evanescent, to capture with filigreed doodles what long ago vanished behind pulled drapes with the cold and howling wind clawing at the door.