History of the Conquest

“I feel I stand in a desert with my hands outstretched, and you are raining down upon me.”
― Patricia Highsmith, The Price of Salt

History of the Conquest, Hank Willis Thomas, Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden
History of the Conquest, Hank Willis Thomas, Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

I enjoyed this sculpture in particular because… well, for one it is funny and cute and a little different. But I loved it because it is a giant snail.

Titanic gastropods have interested me ever since I read that short story, Quest for the “Blank Claverengi” as a child. I’m not alone. Years ago I discovered the story was written by Patricia Highsmith and finding several copies, I wrote about it. Since then, quite a few people have contacted me to say they shared the childhood terror of giant man-eating snails.

Illustration by Jean L. Huens for the Saturday Evening Post. Done for the short story “The Snails,” by Patricia Highsmith.

I was interested enough to write my own sequel to the tale.

And now here is a sculpture of a giant snail. With a warrior riding on the back. That’s an angle I never thought of – an army of archers riding into battle, slowly, on the backs of huge armored gastropods. A compelling image – if not a very effective battle strategy.

4 responses to “History of the Conquest

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