Sydnordisk Akademi for Donaldisme : Institut for Donaldistisk Fysik & Geografi
Duckburg to Venice
visiting professor dr.don.ital. Giovanni Jacobini, SAD 2006
Just before my arrival here at the Academy, Dr Gjøgsig could report of a sensational new Norwegian thesis on the location of Duckburg. A scholar by the name of Mr Diff had introduced the use of lunar astronomy in donaldistic-geographical studies, and based on observations of lunar phases and ditto inclinations as well as measurings of the moon’s position over the horizon at the same time seen from Duckburg and Venice, it was the conclusion of Mr Diff that Duckburg had to be situated quite close to Venice, probably a little south of this somewhere on the northern half of the Italian Peninsula.
an Italian donaldist myself, I would of course very much like to support this
idea, but unfortunately, I am scholarly
obliged to dismiss the thesis, as it is clearly contradicted by other sources
brought to us by some of the most trustworthy reporters in Donaldism.
first exhibit is duckumented by Romano Scarpa back in 1963 (TL 406 and JB 6).
After listening to his neighbour’s boring brag about a vacation to Mallorca,
Donald tries to shut him up by claiming that he himself is about to leave for a
vacation in Venice.
going to Venice for your vacation is something that has a very impressive ring
to it. Much more impressive than simpler places such as Mallorca, the Riviera or
Capri. It is not just the annoying neighbour, who gets impressed. The rumour of
Mr Duck going to Venice soon hits the streets of Duckburg.
it even makes it into the newspapers!
personally find it very hard to imagine that such a fuzz could be created, even
in Duckburg, if the destination of Donald Duck is situated in the immediate
vicinity of Duckburg.
fact that Donald and Scrooge go to Venice by aeroplane furthermore speaks
against the idea of the two cities lying in the same region.
course, it is possible to fly between two neighbouring cities in most places,
but when the Duck to pay for it is called Scrooge McDuck, a cheaper means of
transportation is more likely to be chosen - if at all possible.
Mr McDuck finds the journey to Venice alarmingly expensive.
The exotic character of Venice for someone coming from Duckburg is even more distinctly detected with Donald: »Venice -oh, Venice! I want to see it all! Piazza San Marco, the Bridge of Sighs, the Doge’s Palace...«. And being the well-prepared tourist, Donald knows that one of the most important “Things to do when in Venice” is to get yourself a big Venetian ice cream.
as extraordinary a trip to Venice would seem to Mr Duck, the visit reported by
Scarpa in September 1963 was not the first Venetian vacation for our famous
Duckburgian. Indeed, just three months earlier (i.e. in June 1963), Carl Barks
duckumented a rather breath-taking appearance in the city of gondolas by Donald
and his nephews (WDC 273). The fact that Donald still is so eager to see the
sights of Venice, in spite of the fact that he has been there so shortly before,
is not all that surprising, since his first stay was a bit hasty, to say the
all donaldists will know, Donald’s first stay in Venice is slightly prolonged
compared to the rest of his travelling group, as his wish to take a snapshot at
Piazza San Marco costs him a few seconds and a fatal separation from the group.
classic Barksian duckumentation not only supports the fact that Venice is a
rather exotic tourist location for people from Duckburg, and therefore not
likely to lie close-by. When Donald is left behind by his group, he decides to
rent a car in order to catch up with them in Geneva: »Otherwise, this trip
will be my ruin!«
IF Duckburg, as suggested by Mr Diff, is located somewhere relatively close by
and south of Venice, then it makes no sense at all that Donald is so eager to go
north in order to get home without causing himself an economical disaster.
Admittedly, quite a lot of Mr Duck’s behaviour makes little sense, for
instance well illustrated by his decision to take the high road over the Alps
instead of the easier and faster way through the tunnel...
still I would like to give him the credit that he would not put himself in such
a backbreaking crossing of the Alps in the north, if he could indeed just take the bus or the
local south-bound train back home to Duckburg.
the duckumentations by Scarpa and Barks, to my mind, strongly proves that
Duckburg is NOT located somewhere close south of Venice. On the contrary, they
both indicate that we should look for Duckburg at some considerable distance
from Venice. Probably even on an other continent.
then what about the Moon and the otherwise so convincing lunar proof of Mr Diff?
Well, I have given this problem a lot of thought, and I can only come up with
two possible explanations. The first possibility is that we perhaps have more
than one moon over Stella anatium! In this way, the moon seen from Duckburg can
look alike or differ from the moon over Venice without this indicating anything
about the internal position of the points of observation. However, we always
only hear of one moon (the Moon) over Stella anatium, so I do not
think this is a plausible thesis.
I am more inclined to point to my second explanation. Now, I should stress that
I am in no way an astronomer, and so my knowledge of lunar inclinations and
phases is sadly limited, but I would, however, expect that the interpretations
made by Mr Diff are quite dependant on the assumption that Stella anatium, like
planet Earth (?), has the form of a round globe. A somewhat different system of
comparing lunar observations probably has to be considered for Stella anatium,
as their world - so memorably discovered by Goofy Columbus in 1492 and
duckumented by HectorAdolfo de Urtiága in 1977 - is indeed completely flat!
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