Mundanity By Jonathan Carreau        
Meet the author
Jonathan Carreau

Andromeda Romano-Lax

Dear Reader,

At some point, several years ago, I came across a photograph of a classical statue called The Discus Thrower, a Roman copy of an even earlier ancient Greek marble. I read, in a minor footnote, that Hitler insisted on buying it from Italy in 1938. Why, I wanted to know, was Hitler obsessed with this particular work of art? Why would this image matter so much at this time, on the eve of war?

As soon as I'd imagined that question, a character began to take shape: not Hitler, the infamous failed painter and art thief, but an unknown and apolitical underling named Ernst Vogler, whose job would be to go to Rome, pick up the statue, and escort it home to Munich. I knew from the beginning that much would go wrong, but that the journey itself would change Ernst's life, while helping me, as a modern onlooker, better understand this type of person, this time, and this place, as well as the story behind the masterpiece that sets Ernst's fictional trip in motion.

I hope that readers will come away with that shared understanding, but even more, with their own questions about the role of art, the complications of history, and the way our intensely personal lives intersect with larger, uncontrollable events. Five copies will be given away to interested readers. To enter, please send an email to

Andromeda Romano-Lax