Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Welcome To Marriage Island, The Isle of Connubial Blitz (1765)

by Stephen J. Gertz

Welcome Isola del Maritaggio (Marriage Island), the Too-Much-Reality TV show! I'm your host, Al Fresco, sitting in for Silvio Berlusconi who is on special assignation. 

Each week contestants enter the island through the ports of Love, Bad Advice, or Self-Interest but once on the island it is impossible to escape! You may, however, if things get tough, claw your way over to Divorce Peninsula on the north side of the main island or, if fortune smiles, Widowhood Peninsula on its West coast where the Bridge of Sighs of Relief provides comfort for the superficially bereaved.

Challenging hot-spots on the main island include the Provinces of the Jealous, the Unhappy, the Incompatible, and the Great Province of Cuckolds. With all the hustle and bustle don't worry about missing a trek up and through the Mountains of In-Laws; it's unavoidable. Afterward, you can bathe in the River Chaste.

Lover's Isle.

Contestants aren't told but they can avoid Marriage Island altogether simply by sailing around it to Lover's Isle. It's one of those things best discovered on their own particularly after the knot is tied. We keep our mouths shut - unless, of course, they're indiscreet or we need to spike the ratings.

Bigamy Island.

Masochistic contestants who can't get enough of Marriage Island can opt for a lifetime on Bigamy Island, a spin-off series with no end to story complications; it'll run forever as long as the homicide rate stays under control.

Note horned cuckold at right.

If you would like to become a contestant, you will be sent, for a small four-figure non-refundable deposit, Carta Topografica dell'Isola Maritaggio, a satiric travelogue written by Eustache Le Noble (1643-1711), who led a dissipated life, was jailed and fell passionately in love with a beautiful grocer-woman who was doing time in the same prison. This slight volume originally appeared in French as Carte de l'isle de mariage in 1705, and was translated into Italian and published in 1765. Please allow 10-14 days for delivery.

 But for now, buona fortuna e addio from Isola del Maritaggio!

LE NOBLE, Eustache. Carta Topografica dell'Isola Maritaggio di Monsieur Le Noble per la Prima Volta Tradotta Dal Francese in Italiano. Cosmopoli [Italy]: n.p., 1765. First Italian edition. Octavo. 40 pp. One folding map.

Map and titlepage images courtesy of Altea Gallery, currently offering this item, with our thanks.

Speaking of marriage:

Novelist Richard Brautigan's Unrecorded One Day Marriage Certificate Surfaces.

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