Next up, poetry collection...
"The void is a spectral realm; not even nothing can be free of ghosts."
"The void is a spectral realm; not even nothing can be free of ghosts."
I've had the pocket edition of "Bilbo's Last Song" for a while, and it's one of my favourite entries in the Middle-earth canon. The original full-size edition I bought the other day to enjoy Baynes's artwork the better. First discovery is that the full title is "Bilbo's Last Song (At the Grey Havens)", the second that there is a middle register of paintings of Bilbo in various attitudes of reverie removed from the pocket edition. ??
🎶Look out at your children
See their faces in golden rays
Don't kid yourself, they belong to you
They're the start of The Coming Race
The earth is a bitch, we've finished our news
Homo Sapiens have outgrown their use
All the strangers came today
And it looks as though they're here to stay🎶
One of the many literary references to be found amongst DB's lyrics. Lytton's book was influential in its time, his concept of a life force, Vril, 👇🏼
Baudelaire‘s unknown extra verse to erotic poem revealed:
"The lines, which come after a verse in which Baudelaire‘s naked lover is seen only in the light of the hearth, translate as:
And I was full then of this Truth:
That the greatest treasure reserved by God for the Genius
Is to know profoundly earthly Beauty
So that from there can spring forth Rhythm and harmony.”
Baudelaire wrote the extra verse to The Jewels in the margin of a 1st edition
Sublimating my anxiety at attending a job interview via the medium of #bookhaul - Part Two
Things I've done today to make Piers Morgan angry:
• Stuck up a poster supporting postal workers' right to strike;
• Ate a Gregg's vegan sausage roll;
• Made trans-affirmative comments on a discussion board;
• Bought a book...
• ...of poetry...
• ...feminist poetry...
• ...from a Socialist bookshop...
• ...in Liverpool;
• Generally swanned about being a snowflake ❄
What have *you* done today to make Piers Morgan angry? 🤔
“I never felt like that before. Maybe it could be depression, like you get. I can understand how you suffer now when you're depressed; I always thought you liked it and I thought you could have snapped yourself out any time, if not alone then by means of the mood organ. But when you get that depressed you don't care. Apathy, because you've lost a sense of worth. It doesn't matter whether you feel better because you have no worth.”
"Kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers or yesterday's homeopape. When nobody's around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you go to bed leaving any kipple around your apartment, when you wake up the next morning there's twice as much of it. It always gets more and more."
Thanks to @TobeyTheScavengerMonk for the reminder that November 2019 is when Blade Runner is set, so I've rewatched the film & am now rereading the book for the umpteenth time.
Harrison Ford played Deckard in the tradition of the world-weary detective, even doing his own homage to Bogart's Marlowe in The Big Sleep: compare the goofy persona each adopts in the book shop/ dressing room scenes. However, PKD's Deckard is a junior-level police 👇🏼
“Constantly regard the universe as one living being, having one substance and one soul; and observe how all things have reference to one perception, the perception of this one living being; and how all things act with one movement; and how all things are the cooperating causes of all things that exist; observe, too, the continuous spinning of the thread and the contexture of the web.”
"A core part of...'orthodox masculinity' has its bedrock in not doing, saying or being anything that might be seen as feminine... The first rule of being a man is 'no sissy stuff'. Instead, these sexist and misogynistic constructs at the heart of orthodox masculine gender performance are understood as helping shore up the theory of men's 'natural' dominance over effeminate men and women. ??
“Love the art, poor as it may be, that thou hast learned, and be content with it; and pass through the rest of life like one who has intrusted to the gods with his whole soul all that he has, making thyself neither the tyrant nor the slave of any man.”
November, 2019. A bleak dystopian nightmare ruled by mega-corporations in which emotionless androids devoid of empathy struggle for power in a world of diminishing resources and environmental collapse. So, to forget all that, I thought I'd watch Blade Runner.
"We must make haste then, not only because we are daily nearer death, but also because the conception of things and the understanding of them cease first."
Cheery soul, old Marcus!
And yet, while remembrance of death may at times be morbid, it can also be freeing and uplifting.
"Remember how long thou hast been putting off these things, & how often thou hast received an opportunity from the gods, & yet thou dost not use it. Thou must now at last perceive of what universe thou art a part, & of what administrator of the universe thy existence is an efflux, & that a limit of time is fixed for thee, which if thou dost not use for clearing away the clouds from thy mind, it will go & thou wilt go, & it will never return."
We went to see Squeeze tonight at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and they were absolutely fantastic! So many great songs, Glenn's voice as good as ever, and a brilliant band of musicians. Chris's lyrics lift their songs to another level, and the often misused comparison of songwriting teams with Lennon & McCartney is perfectly apt for Difford & Tilbrook. Loved this gig, and thanks to technology already have a live CD of the night ❤🎸❤
@TobeyTheScavengerMonk Keep on geekin' on!??
Jeter did a third in his sequel series, "Eye and Talon". He attempts to reconcile the differences between DADoES and Blade Runner, with mixed results. Definitely worth a read, though. "Future Noir" is great, I'm sure you'll love it.
I wasn't taken with the new film, but perhaps I should revisit it now that my initial disappointment has worn off and see if it sits any better.
Despite, or perhaps because of, not doing much today ahead of work in the evening, my head has been feeling rather muzzy. I've found a modern translation of Marcus Aurelius helpful in the past, and hope this nice-looking 1904 edition of an 1873 revision of an 1862 translation will read well.
As much as I enjoyed the title story, with its Victorian atmosphere and Holmsian feel, the contemporary stories "Alice Baker" and "The Front Room" best conjured the ghostly sense of unease for which I read supernatural fiction. "Boy Number Twenty-One", the remaining tale is a well written story, but didn't give me goose bumps. Overall, 4?, but "Alice Baker" is 4.5?
I loved the title story, blending aspects of the ghostly tale, a Holmsian psychic detective, and Gilmanesque psychological horror. If there's such a thing as cosy horror, this may be it. I'm hoping the other stories, different as they appear to be in tone, are as enjoyable.
Hill's stories are in the tradition of M. R. James & E. F. Benson, creepy, supernatural and paranormal, rather than outright horror. Starting this collection of 4 short stories, I'm pleased to find the first one using the Psychic Detective format, mainly because it allows me to mention the Thomas Carnacki stories of William Hope Hodgson and the John Silence stories of Algernon Blackwood, because who doesn't love an egregious literary reference?
A new tea bowl I bought from a local potter this afternoon at a craft fair. It has an elm leaf design, which caught my eye. I'd like to say I've inaugurated it with a special blend of exotic tea, but it's actually a Metropolitan cocktail. 🍵🍸😛
I enjoyed some of Marvell's early pastoral poems, pushed through ten verses about his aristocratic patron's house and garden, and balked at the prospect of another 90 panegyric verses about m'lord's other, presumably nine-times-more-splendid, gaff. With more prospect-balking in consideration of poems extolling Cromwell's genocidal campaigns in Ireland, I gave it up in default of having world enough, and time.
Went to see Count Arthur Strong tonight & almost died from lack of oxygen, I was laughing so hard! He did an excellently terrible rendition of Bowie's "Starman" as his opening gambit, so he had me hooked from the start. Bought his "memoirs" & got it signed after the performance. Sad to hear there'll be no new TV but there is a radio Christmas special being recorded, and a new project being touted. Great evening, & I'm looking forward to the book?
I started "The Lost Weekend", but I'm not feeling in the mood for the dives and dancehalls of 1940s New York, so I'm going in a completely different direction with some 17th century poetry. I don't really know anything about Marvell, but was tempted by this Folio Edition, which is as old as I am ??
Of the many excellent stories in this collection, "St. Ginolph's Urn" is the one which has stayed longest with me. Meyrink's tendency is to puncture the tension of his macabre stories with a final satirical flourish. In this one, the morbid sorrow and tragic horror of domestic abuse, manipulation and infanticide are maintained throughout. If only the perpetrators of abuse could have the faintest glimpse of the monstrousness of their actions...
The first 2/3 of this slim book covers the history of England in Ireland, including the partition into North and South, which was entirely for economic reasons, with religious sectarianism used as the excuse, and grim reading it makes for an English person with a heavily edited version of history received from 70s/80s school and media. The last 1/3 gives Foot's outline for British withdrawal. Post-Good Friday Agreement, it still seems reasonable.
As another Brexit deadline looms, and with the status of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland being crucial, a book written in 1989, pre-Good Friday Agreement, might feel somewhat dated, but as the possibility of opening old wounds seems significant, understanding how deep the wounds run might be useful. I'm *really* hoping that the fragile peace in Northern Ireland is not sacrificed on the altar of vain ambition.
(Photo of Paul Foot)
"Murderer! Just think how clever they were to choose that word. Think of the sound. There's really something of the death-rattle in it.
It's the repeated 'ur'-sound that expresses the horror. How cleverly people have wrapped us round in suggestion."
- "A Suggestion"
If it's anything practical, I'll let you know ... 🐕💩
"An icy fear sweeps across the room - the intangible that lies beyond all thought and comprehension, the choking fear of death that has lost its root and origin and no longer rests on any cause, the formless mother of horror."
- "The Rings of Saturn"
Meyrink builds effect on effect in this story, rising to a climax, which he utterly skewers with a satirical denouement. He's a skilful writer.
Painting: "Monster Brains" by Alfred Kubin
"At certain times of the night the soulless shades of dead planets come sliding into the realm of visibility, eager for life, exchanging mysterious confidences among themselves by means of strangely tentative gestures, instilling an uncertain and indefinable horror into our souls."
- 'The Rings of Saturn'