Tuesday, January 24, 2006

My name is Inigo Montoya ....

Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father: prepare to die.

This deeply wonderful review of 'A History of Swordsmanship' has got me in full swashbuckling mode. How have I lived without knowing:
Salvator Fabris’s ruthless establishment of the drawing of the sword, getting it into action readily and rapidly, as his premier postura guardia, and his deriving and defining other guards from that origin; from Nicoletto Giganti’s exposition of the Lunge, from Ridolfo Capo Ferro’s first illustration of it and their bringing posture and movement into an entirely logical “in-line” progression; from Francesco Alfieri’s refining of this; from the abandoning of the pseudo-arcane geometricized esoterica of the Spanish school; from the gradual reduction of the rapier to shorter and lighter, more manoeuvrable diamond section, then colichemarde; then hollow-ground, three-edged blade forms, and the exploitation of their potential, by Liancour, Labat and Thibault, for rotational movement from its long axis for greater and greater varieties of defence, and greater possibilities of deception and compound or composed attacking with ever more finesse, a high level of new development and knowledge had already been reached. Angelo’s function was different; his training with Gianfaldoni, and then with Teillagory (said never to have been a great fencer himself, but the finest of teachers), his extraordinary horsemanship, his enthusiastic dancing, training with Guerinière, taking lessons from Vestris of the Paris Opera, will have united to give him consummate style, in an age when style was all, and harmonized into a superior grasp and command of the realities of physique and the physicality of action. He produced his recognition of what is true, efficacious and deadly, with simplicity and clarity of expression.

Even more thrillingly, on Googling the reviewer (Philip Stafford) I found that he is on the Equity Fight Directors List, so when I win the lottery I can take lessons from hm.

En guarde!

No comments: