Vanitas by The Professor
THE PROFESSOR RETURNS... FOREVER!
The Professor riffs on Robert Browning’s ‘My Last Duchess’ for this shocking monologue.
Deranged with jealousy, a duke determines to bring the rot that he perceives in his wife’s body and soul to the surface...
Browning's Blush Becomes Baleful
The Professor delivers more than we could have hoped for with his epic poem, Vanitas. With this Robert Browning-inspired poem, he manages to create a vanitas of sorts. Both in the narrative conveyed within the poem and from the reading of the poem itself, the reader is subjected to a consideration of the contrast between life and death. Subtle nuances in the still life painting of his wife send a Duke down meandering and shadow-cloaked pathways within his bitter and jealous imagination. As the Duke becomes increasingly certain the Duchess has been seduced by the painter, he determines that there might be a bit of artistic sensibility in himself as well. Was the Duchess scampering through the maze, seduced by whispering promises of what the artist would give her if only he could? Did seeds of this infidelity take root in the soil of her heart where they germinated, decaying the love for her Duke? Perceiving this rot inside her, the Duke had only one course of action. Of course, it's always possible the Duke is simply a madman driven to extremes by a jealous nature and bitter envy of the painter's skill. The truth is something we might never know. Could this latest release from The Professor serve as a prequel of sorts to the Browning poem, My Last Duchess? Are we reading the sordid details of what transpired before Browning's poem begins? The Professor may be revealing to us the telltale unfaithfulness captured in the Duchess's slight blush, sending the Duke reeling toward horrific conclusions with fatal consequences. I, for one, choose to accept this as a canonical antecedent.
Is there nothing this man can't do? His prose if superlative, his poetry sublime. If he retells Poe's Raven I'm sending him my left ear.
"So Let us draw back the curtain shall we? Let us take a look at what he has created." Indeed, let us experience the beautiful prose, the haunting imagery, and the deep wanting of the heart. The desires of a woman aching for a forbidden touch. A mans desires to touch a forbidden woman. A husbands revenge upon an adulterous wife. He is a man not to be trifled with. In life and in death, she is his for all eternity. All the rotting in her soul will be her punishment. How clever of the Professor to recreate "My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning and give us a story in poetry form that is even more beautiful than the original. Deeply captivating and soulfully breathtaking. My heart ached as the tears rolled down my face from the beauty that lies within. This is one that I will often be revisiting. Bravo, Professor, Bravo!
Another divine tale of horror from The Prof! Written in poetry form this time, and beautifully done as always! This one escalates pretty quickly, a tale of revenge for a wife's infidelity. Beautiful, elegant, horrific and pretty damn brutal! I love a sweet revenge tale and this one didn't disappoint! I listened to this one too, the Professor has an amazing voice, he really draws you into the story, brings it vividly to life, and gets you hot under the proverbial collar!! The Professor is a master at the written (and spoken) word, in whatever form, and I for one will be a lifelong fan!
A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Words
Vanitas - A still life artwork which includes various symbolic objects designed to remind the viewer of their morality and the worthlessness of worldly goods and pleasures. Drawing back the curtain, our narrator presents us with his the newest portrait of his beloved, captured on canvas more beautifully than he has ever seen her. Her face more vibrant, her cheeks a color unseen by his eyes. The portrait before us hints at the sparks between the painter and the duchess, how their time together meant more to each other than just duty. This perversion is cleverly hidden by the artist with precise brushstrokes aimed to openly tell of the woman’s newfound love and unfaithfulness. A twisted take on the poem, “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning, The Professor aims to explain in great detail what Browning only implied. Vanitas lives up to its namesake, creating a still life that perfectly symbolizes the saying, “Memento Mori”, or, “remember you must die”. All life returns to the dust from which we came, and this dark poem skillfully paints this lesson into the reader’s mind. Please, listen along to the audiobook as you read. The Professor’s articulacy and ability to truly act out the role enhances the storytelling experience. Trust me, you NEED to hear him describe the duchess’s fate. The Professor writes on an entirely different level than most, taking inspiration from classics and giving it a modern gory edge, a combination that I didn’t know I needed before finding his books.