Word Art 004

One of the best articles I read this past summer was about the fate of Michelangelo's David statue. But it was also about perfection, our pursuit of it, and the beauty of breaking. For the following quote to hit full resonance, I highly recommend reading the story.

 

"Finally, the compromised ankles reach their angle of maximum stress. They begin to slide along the old microfracture faults — an earthquake within the earthquake — and the David’s legs and ankles are crushed by the weight of the body above. He begins to truly fall.

The first thing to hit the floor is his bent left elbow, the arm that holds the heroic sling, and it bursts along the lines of its previous breaks, old scars left over from an incident in the 16th century involving an unruly mob and a bench. Then the rest of the marble will meet the floor, and the physics from there will be fast and simple: force, resistance, the brittleness of calcite crystals, the shearing of microscopic grains along the axes on which they align. Michelangelo’s David will explode."

Sam Anderson for The New York Times Magazine, "David’s Ankles: How Imperfections Could Bring Down the World’s Most Perfect Statue"