This is cool. The top image shows a drawing on parchment from the 1260s. It is one of the earliest existing architectural drawings and depicts the façade, or front, of Strasbourg Cathedral in France. The “blueprint” almost stands a meter tall. What’s so special about this medieval artifact is that it still exists: single sheets rarely survive from the Middle Ages (with the exception of charters). Equally special is that we can compare the drawing to the real thing (lower pic): it is not hard to recognizes the big round window in both drawing and real building - note also the door underneath it and the pointy window to the right. How great that we are given a peek on the medieval architect’s drawing board. Ironically, he did not live to see his creation built, because the cathedral was finished in the 14th century.
Pic: Musée de l’Oeuvre Notre-Dame, Strasbourg, Inv. no. 2. More about the drawing here. The photograph is from this blog.
The real crisis came near the end of her life, resulting in a period of agoraphobia and psychosis; she wrote her way through it in “We Have Always Lived in the Castle.” In that novel, Jackson brilliantly isolates the two aspects in her psyche into two odd, damaged sisters: one hypersensitive and afraid, unable to leave the house, the other a sort of squalid demon prankster who may or may not have murdered the rest of her family for her fragile sister’s sake. For me, it is that unique and dreamlike book, rather than “The Lottery,” that stands as her masterpiece.
“It was almost midday of November 7, 1492 when a “gruesome thunderbolt and long lasting roar” was heard coming from the sky and a rock impacted on a field, producing a crater “half a man length” deep. Soon curious onlookers gathered around the hole and with the help of some strong men the rock from the sky was lifted on a cart and transported to the nearby Austrian city of Ensisheim. The shooting star became soon known as the “thunderstone of Ensisheim”. The thunderstone of Ensisheim is today the oldest known recorded (and still preserved) meteorite in Europe.”