Jan 2012

Vienna 2: What Lies Beneath...

I wrote my post-graduate dissertation on the dramatic and symbolic meaning of blood in Ancient Rome. I am profoundly blood phobic, and every time I picked up my central text, on blood-letting, I’d end up lying on my bed with a cold flannel over my face. My father had adopted the same attitude to his fear of heights: he chose to do his national service as an airborne gunner. It wasn’t the airborne bit which made him sick every time, or the guns, but the bit in between: jumping out of the plane at 10,000 ft.

These perversities of choice (and their failure) delighted my mother, a Freudian psycho-therapist.

Nevertheless, walking down the apparently endless Währingerstrasse on a grey winter’s day, past the neo-Gothic Votivkirche, a massive Coca-Cola advertisement not so much not so much emblazoned on the porch as offering some sort of annunciation- past the dusty academic bookshops selling surgical texts and plastic skeletons, to (eventually) the Josephinum, was something of an act of courage.

The Vota-Cola Cocakirche Votivkirche, Vienna