There’s a beautiful book called The Countess of Stanlein Restored, by Nicholas Delbanco—now sadly out of print—that recounts the history and the loving restoration of a Stradivarius cello. This week’s story by Yoon Ha Lee takes that in a very different direction, with an ancient and terrible weapon of war. Like the last dreadnought itself, the story reminds us that sometimes “beauty is nothing but/the beginning of terror, that we are still able to bear.”
No one has the vast imaginative capacity of Yoon, that's for certain. And that last line is shattering.
What a complex, fascinating, and rather disturbing tale. 💙