Thursday, February 5, 2009

Postcript to Three columns on Venice

Image of Allegory (aka The Triumph of Justice) by Hans von Aachen (1552-1615), Oil on copper, 56 × 47 cm, Alte Pinakothek, Munich. Image from the public domain, sourced from the Wikimedia Commons under the grounds that the originating image is in the public domain and faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works of art are public domain, and that claims to the contrary represent an assault on the very concept of a public domain.
Dear Gentle Reader,

Post script: 

I struggled with the title for the preceeding post "Three Columns on Venice". 

Were the columns on or in Venice? 

I found a weighty question, a valuable question, there. 

Could I say "Three columns on Venice", or must I say "Three columns in Venice"

Obviously, the second title gives the subject matter away too quickly.

For the novitiates to blogging, let me work backwards, as I am a backwards man, and elucidate the thought process required when titling a post.

I hoped to have readers think there would be three written columns within the post; a trinity of learning for their enjoyment. 

Yet I quivered at the thought of too great a leap from the truth. I knew I might not provide much enjoyment, and I shuddered at being seen as inaccurate in the eyes of the law.

After all, were the columns on or in the land? 

Quickly, I had to delve into the ambiguities of the law of real property (real property being property that cannot be moved, as opposed to just plain old property which includes chattels which are movable).

First, then (in reverse order, right?) we should examine the Modern column.

Image of a modern column of Venice, found everywhere in Venice. It appears to be composite in materials, with a steel base and the visible column being a sleeve of orange industrial plastic piping, with grooves for bending perpendicular to the direction of the piping...Was the Modern column an appurtenance to the land? (Sorry about appurtenance, but some legal terminology is necessary.)  

If the land was sold, would title to that column pass to the buyer with the land? Was the column a part of the land (an appurtenance to the land)? Likely not. 

Would people really want to keep scaffolding? Probably not. 

OK. This column likely rests on the land.

What about the Syrian column? 

Image of a Syrian column, from in front of the Basilica San Marco, in VeniceStatuary in gardens have been hotly contested in the law, and this free-standing column is of both considerable beauty and likely of considerable intrinsic value...

The general Anglo common law approach is that if there is the slightest pricking into the underlying earth, then the statue would likely be considered an appurtenance to the land and title therefore passed to the new owner of the land, when the land was sold. 

That meant that the old owner could not cart off the valuable statuary with him when he moved or sell them to his debtors. (Why else would you sell your family's seat, if not for pressing debt?) (This is why the question of appurtenance is of great pertinence.)

This column rested on stone paving, likely through its own weight. As long as there is no connecting bit, or spike on its base, it is likely not an appurtenance.

Great, the Syrian column also seems to be resting on Venice, and not appurtenant to it.

That makes two columns that seem to be on, not in, Venice. From a legal perspective.

Image of a Corinthian column, from the Basilica San Marco, in Venice.But then we come to the first column shown yesterday, the Corinthian column.

This column is built into the Church. 

The Church rests on the land.

Now is some jurisdictions, like Singapore, you can buy a house and not buy the land (Buyer Beware!), but in Anglo common law the house becomes one with the land... 

So this column is in the land, not on the land. Drat.

Of course Anglo common law has nothing to do with Italy or the older Republic of Venice. But it is what I know, so I used that to organise my thoughts.

Two out of three, I mused. Not bad... 

How many real property Barristers or Solicitors will be out there? I thought... and reading my blog... not many. 


Three columns on Venice it will be. 

Yet, while I suppose we are not post-media, still I fear that some amongst you will recall the words of master builders, from times of old, supervising the work of the stonemasons, and turn their words to our new media age, and say: 

"Those who can, column. Those who cannot, post."


With that, I end.

Because that, Gentle Reader, is the backstory of the hemming and hawing, the chiselling and gnawing, that goes into crafting a title.

Or not.



Raph G. Neckmann said...

I'd better go and check back through all my titles ...

(And make sure that the tripod for my telescope is the sort that has flat feet, not those little spikes that stick in the lawn.)

The Weaver of Grass said...

What about the wooden columns upon which Venice is built? They would be "undeer" surely??

Merisi said...

On Venice is fine with me,
as long as I can have free reign in there. ;-)

Anonymous said...

"VENICE" would have sufficed.

Richard said...

Three Columns IN Venice. No matter how you prevaricate, "...on Venice," implies "about Venice".

First we'll kill the lawyers...

simmers said...

Chris, I love that you went back to analyze the title. I too had silently chewed on the in/on versions when I read it the first time. I figured that, given the formatting limitations of the blog, "on" would be misleading. I thought the most confusing but still logically correct would be something like 'A column on three columns in Venice'. Should you have more formatting power the options become more "Three columns on Three Columns in Venice" or "Columns in Columns on Venice"(my fav, but pushing it?).
Further to your columns...another tidbit that you may that the ratio of height to diameter for the different styles represent 3 different human forms...
Corinthian = maiden
Ionic = Feminine
Doric = Masculine
And their respective capitals are their hair styles, and vertical stripes are their clothing.

Winnie the poohi said...

ha ha ha!!

The post script was way bigger than the actual letter..

was there any letter btw? ;)

Heidelweiss said...

I'm having Steve look into this. I'm certain you're inaccurate ;). I've missed so many posts and am trying to catch up. Oh what a vacation can do!

Heidelweiss said...

Am I MENTAL? I forgot to thank you for the award! What a great surprise. Our i mac parted this life last week but as soon as I get this crappy lap top figured out, I shall include it in a post.

Junosmom said...

Ah, and some titles are given to you, like the one for my blog of tomorrow.

Barbara Martin said...

Aren't you just like a lawyer...which reminds me I meant to post two sentences for Tuesday last on my take on lawyers. Now next week I must remember...

Sepiru Chris said...

Egads, I am a bit overwhelmed. I assumed a total ignore rate for this post! This was purely to amuse myself!



Just lift the telescope up and rest it against a wall before the buyers come through, or have your solicitor attach a caveat to the sales agreement.

Wait. You have lawyers, right? Camelopardalis seems so serene, so I naturally assume that law has reached its pinnacle there, but some assumptions need to checked.

I've never seen reference to lawyers, which I have always assumed meant that being such an intelligent race, giraffes always consult lawyers before the event, so that they have no need for serious dispute resolution after the event...

Do tell, pray...

Weaver of Grass,

Dopple Egad! OK, I mentioned the e-piles, that would change my numbers to two out of four. Think fast, Sepiru...

OK. It is true that I mentioned e-piles in the originating article (post), but they were not referenced in the title, so their presence or absence on or in or under (under is really a subset of in, in this case (on this matter? No...), just very far in) is not so relevant for the purpose of the legal analysis of the title...

That is my position. *whew, wipes brow in relief*


*wipes brow a second time, in greater relief*

Absolutely. Be sure to check out the Arsenale, metaphysically at least. I can help you, historically, if you want, via "Power comes from a gun..."


I might have thought so, but it was post number eight on Venice already...


Yet clearly two rest on the surface...

Ahh, but remember the context of the quote. To produce chaos and and anarchy and a loss of order where villains rule supreme "First, we'll kill all the lawyers"


I knew you would approve, and your approbation guides many courses that this blog takes.

So if the vertical stripes are their clothing, what about the horizontal fluting on the Modern? Under clothing?

Winnie the Poohi, I think there is a link back in the first or second sentence. It's from two days ago.


You came back from a week at Disneyworld. You probably are somewhat mental. Which is what one should be. Keenly awaiting Steve's concurring judgment. (Regarding the legal underpinnings, of course, not your mental state... but if he wants to concur...)

Delighted you are happy. Happy to have you back. Back ok? OK after all that walking on asphalt for a week? Weak being how I am after no comments from Heidelweiss for seven days... Daze being my state of mind at the present... Present? (Where? And I can stop when brackets exist!)


Now I am keenly awaiting the morrow, your time...


I suppose there is a reason for that. Everything needs a reason, which is then stated. Sad but true, the lawyering trait.

Memento was fun when I saw it.

Tschuess all, and thanks!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you so much,Sepiru Chris, the tripod's spiky feet will remain! My telescope is something of a portal, and therefore possibly under intergalactic law beyond our jurisdiction. Your post made me wonder that if ever I wanted to sell it after buying a more sophisticated one, (or a small observatory), I might have to include Necky Knoll House should it be classed as an appurtenance ...

My glamorous sister Nektareeni was a lawyer before she went into fashion. (She has a song about it, which may appear on my side bar after it has been through the telescope).

You are perfectly right, Sepiru Chris. Camelopardalis is serene. There are no real disputes here.

Intelligent race? Why, thank you! The last paragraph in your comment to me just now describes our Camelopardalian system very well.

Sepiru Chris said...

Dear Raph,

Well of course your glamorous sister was a lawyer. That's what glamorous sisters are meant to be. You, her good brother, are a philosopher which I think is what you are meant to be.

Your observations are reasoned and elegant. Some people have their heads in the clouds but you, dear Raph, have your head in a cloud of stars.

In that serene, sublime space, with the music of the spheres ringing, you are able to distill the finer thoughts and then put them down to paper. Not just in words, but in images too.

I suspect that your sister thinks of her brother as being the intellectually glamorous one.

And then here am I, a friendly Earthman, with his head stuck in the earth. Not even the fertile earth, the soil from which life springs, but in stones.

Shaped stones, columns, but still heavy, earthly stuff.

We all most know our place. Some column, I post.