2005-11-08

This Is Marvellous

The mainstream appropriation of Leonardo Da Vinci continues unabated. I've avoided countless television programmes examining whether The Da Vinci Code, a work of fiction, holds up as fact. More books have been written about it than Dan Brown has ever read and they were all finished in a fraction of the time. And now Marvel Comics is getting in on the act.

The promo art for a new comic "event" storyline called The Other spoofs a very famous Da Vinci drawing. In the context of Spider-Man, an eight-legged man doesn't seem quite so odd: note how the insignia on his chest has two limbs pointing up and two down, just like Leonardo's Vitruvian Man. The original has mysterious mirror-image Latin text describing the proportions of the human body. Marvel's version has backwards text too though it's tongue-in-cheek, as the following excerpts demonstrate:

Obesa cantavit
In dentibus anticis frustrum magnum spiniciae habes
Nonne de novo eboraco venis?
Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum videtur


Cunning linguists can have a crack at deciphering these phrases before reading their translations in the comments section.

5 Comments:

Blogger thisismarcus said...

The fat lady has sung
You have a big piece of spinach in your front teeth
You're from New York, aren't you?
Anything said in Latin sounds profound

16:56  
Blogger Candace said...

OK that is VERY weird, because those lines are straight out of Henry Beard's book "Latin For All Occasions" about which I was blogging only last week. And how on Earth did you get that out of the picture you linked? I can't read a thing. Hey, wait a minute. . .

I have to admit that since finding that book, Latine loqui coactus su. (I have this compulsion to speak Latin.)

21:07  
Blogger thisismarcus said...

Latin rocks because a) Romans are cool and b) what other language can you learn in school and never have to take an oral exam?

I agree the scribblings are intelligible and confess that I got those phrases from this article at Marvel.com. Apparently Joe Quesada read the same book as you!

21:38  
Blogger Candace said...

PS "cunning linguist" ark ark!

01:25  
Blogger thisismarcus said...

Hey, who doesn't like cunning linguists!

fcukaut

17:49  

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