FOCUS ON FICTION
I’m going to be doing one of these a day (hopefully) to give people a bit more background & insight about the stories I’ve got out/available, to help anyone make a decision about what they want to read next, or just to give background if you’re already familiar with the story.
A Melissa Snowdon Short Story today!
Inspired by a contemporary art world scuffle, this erotica/romance short story tells the tale of a Florentine painter and his young apprentice and lover who fall out over a special type of paint…
If you haven’t seen the art world scuffle in question, you’ve missed out on a treat. In brief summary: A very very famous British artist bought the UK rights to using Vantablack, a method of making things as black as humanly possible, and banned anyone else from using it for art. A little-known (at the time) pigment-maker thought this was unfair and childish, and made a pigment of a different hue which was THE MOST HUE OF THIS HUE EVER AND EVERYONE CAN HAVE IT *EXCEPT* THIS ARTIST. Said artist responded with their middle finger covered in the exact product; an extremely silly social media war broke out and everyone got a brief break from the horror of the real world watching two men exchange conceptual fisticuffs over paint.
Why is there a story about this set in Renaissance Florence?
I’m a jerk, basically; also, my art historian friend made me do it.
And I’d just been reading a very fun and good history book which was partially set in Renaissance Florence, and if there is one thing artists of the Italian peninsula in general during that period did a LOT, it was have pointless and incredibly temperamental feuds about almost everything, complete with public hate notices and rumour-spreading and, if even a fraction of the rumours are to be believed, a lot of sodomy.
The name of the titular artist is, of course, a reference to the artist responsible for the cover work, Il Sodoma. A nickname which I am sure is… relatively easy to understand regardless of your grasp of various Italian dialects. As to Il Pompinaro, well… have fun with Google or make a new Italian friend; if you already speak Italian don’t spoil this for everyone else.
I think I’d describe this one as “enjoyable” both to read and to write. There’s a certain kind of joy from writing pastiche in poetry and… I suppose this constitutes satire, in prose. It’s a little like playing or watching a game: every time you successfully hit a beat in the real life inspiration in the fictionalised version, you score a point (or take a shot of booze, given the kind of games I’m used to playing). It’s even more fun when you’re simultaneously trying to match a real-life set of events against a specific imaginary set.