Books: The Great Florentine

The Great Florentine MICHELANGELO (542 pp.)—Giovanni Papini—Dutton ($10).

Who lies here? One.

Which one? Buonarroti. THE One.

As his epitaph would indicate, Michelangelo Buonarroti was accepted by his contemporaries as almost superhuman. Most biographers, surveying the awesome remains of Michelangelo's genius, have decided that his contemporaries were right. Yet by doing more than human honor to the man, history has generally done less than human justice to his real achievement.

Giovanni (The Life of Christ) Papini tries to right this excess in his Michelangelo, but sometimes falls into the opposite error—he writes a little patronizingly of the man, almost as if he had paid rent...

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