144 145 Pathological liar? How dare they? No one is more sincere than me, that's the truth. Do you know the Nuda Veritas ? This is how Cesare Ripa defined her in his Iconologia : «Naked girl, with white veils around her, to demonstrate, that she must be covered, and adorned with words, in such a way, that the appearance of her beautiful, and delicate, body, more than anything else adorns, and enriches itself […] And yet she is the Daughter of Time, and in Greek it has the meaning of a thing, which is not hidden…». And so am I, as has been said, with nothing to hide, without lies, and time itself will prove me right. If botanists define me as a false fruit it is pure envy, if they say that I am not the absolute protagonist it is only out of jealousy. But you know how it is, people talk, and we know that brambles also grow in the king's orchards, let alone in those that gave birth to me. I'm not saying this to brag, but I contain lignin and my constant presence in the daily diet helps to lower cholesterol, and the boron of which I am a carrier improves reflexes, memory and brain activity in general, and that is why I am very coveted, not to mention that I contain various compounds thought to be anticarcinogenic such as anthocyanins, cinnamic acid, and flavonoids. Under the name William , I was selected to be the favorite in England during the eighteenth century, where – you may have heard of it – I fell on Sir Isaac Newton's head as he sat under a tree of his estate in Woolsthorpe. What? Voltaire in his Lettres Philosophiques says otherwise? Bah, what kind credibility could you attribute him in front of me, remember that he who wrote Candide has a secret to hide... I, protector of humanity, am invoked in Japan to ward off evil at the mere mention of my Japanese name, nashi , which means it doesn’t exist . For this reason, in the Edo period, also called Tokugawa, it was customary to plant a tree of mine in the northeast corner of the garden, in order to avoid misfortune and bad luck. It was, in fact, considered the devil's corner. Whether ancient devils or modern devils, I am your Advocata , if consumed regularly. I save lives every day, then. Furthermore, think of the place of honor I am occupying in the history of art. Think about the Madonna della Vittoria by the Renaissance Master Andrea Mantegna, an altarpiece now exhibited thanks to me in the Louvre Museum , where from the day my presence was offered to the public, I have become for everyone and for eternity the very symbol of that institution. While I don't care that much for the title of absolute queen, I enjoy that everyone stops and admires me as I adorn the background of the Holy Conversation. An example of how an actress who appears to be in a supporting role turns out to be the protagonist. (And speaking of roles: the staring one played in the scene from Genesis, placed under the Throne of the Virgin, does not seem to have helped a certain other fruit to shine. The Teatri Sacri are not a stage for everyone, after all). Speaking of theaters, I modestly underscore that I have trod stages all over the world, under various pseudonyms: you already know William , but you do not yet know Abate Fétel , Kaiser , and Coscia , the most popular among them. In my youth I was known as Moscatello , San Giovanni , Lardara and Spina-Carpi , especially in off-off Broadway productions – when I was cutting my teeth – and for a very small Slow Food club I go under the names Martinone , Volpina and Scipiona . Such a long career… But I want to to make it clear that I have no intention of retiring from the stage. Every evening is still a triumph, a shower of rose petals (flower who is a relative of mine, as I am part of the large Rosaceae family). I have always had considerable success in Italy, where I am particularly appreciated by the over-sixties, but I must admit that East Asia is where I am most popular: in China, where 90% of my global production take place, followed by Japan. I would say I'm big in Japan , if it weren't for the fact that there is no Country that doesn't love me. Staying in the East, then, you will have read everywhere that in Korea I embody the symbol of feminine beauty, grace, purity and — obviously —nobility. According to local mythology I give fertility to women, bring luck to those in need and lavish wisdom and health to everyone. However, at those latitudes, I must note with disappointment, there are those who insist on comparing my flowers to the transience of existence and therefore to sadness, for they are so delicate and short lived. Without doubt, these are people of little importance. Yet, despite my virtues, my indisputable success and the affection of the public, I sometimes still hear them whispering behind my back, as when I was young: «She will always will be second to that other one…», «A pear is a failed apple». Mean and cowardly, I would say, if my motto were not: «Let us not talk of them, but look and pass on». pear - Tav. 002 graphite and charcoal on paper, 2020 p. 143 Carlo Pastore for Ossigeno #08 pear: a portrait of modesty stefano santangelo pear - Tav. 001 graphite and charcoal on paper, 2020 p. 142 Carlo Pastore for Ossigeno #08