Galla… Serenissima… our imagined cities. La bella Flora (signifying ‘Italy’)… Serendip… our imagined communities. "We are made-up pleasures", I begin again.
It was the mistress of Coreggio dressed in widow’s black, Veronica, whose words – "La bella Flora", began the sonnet that ends:
E col consiglio e con la man possente
/ And with your wisdom and your powerful hands
Fate libera me, voi salve e quiete.
/ Liberate me; make yourselves free and peaceful
Veronica never remarried, her freedom to work jealously protected by her dress of satin black. A widow after only nine years of marriage to her husband Gilberto, how easily we are separated from our loved ones. How easily the bands are severed.
We are Honesta / honest women that protect our honour and tell of virtue threatened. In the Times Literary Supplement, 09 February 2007, page 11, Martin Thom reviews L’onore Della Nazione, Identità sessuali e violenza dal XVIII secolo alla Grande Guerra, by Alberto Mario Banti, and writes in this hsitory – "Banti’s stated intention was in fact to build on Benedict Anderson’s celebrated Imagined Communities (1983)".
I remember both this representation of the ‘Rape of Europa’ in the ante-chamber room on the secondo piano / second floor where women are not permitted, and as a child in our library turning the massive pages of the illustrated books, the Posters of the Great War images that depicted the ‘Rape of Belgium’ and other atrocities. The first memory of enticement only attracts. The other of disgust only repels. Where once there was entice with disgust, now there are these images in which the connection is broken, closed.
We are Honesta, widows all, and we also work to build upon these are our imagined communities, and Into the Blogosphere, the ‘online, edited collection explores discursive, visual, social, and other communicative features of weblogs’; the Accademie dei Dubbiosi / College of the Dubious – we might say, reciting sonnets that begin with the words – "la Bella Flora", and end with ‘an introduction to the imagined communities of instant publishing’ – here.