I HAVE NOTED

I HAVE NOTED

That, generally speaking, when I am happy and full (of life, love, the future) that I use very simple and physical words. Sun, soil, blood, bone, terms like that. Vague and fuzzy words, but words well known to all and understood by all.

When I am curious, or fascinated, and stimulated in mind or soul then I use very complicated and extremely precise words.

But when I am melancholy and pensive, or brooding, or sick of something I use very antique and ancient words. And/or words with multiple meanings or encoded words. Words, and terms, and phrases I know that others are not usually aware of or will have to wrestle with or discover for themselves. Or such things (terms, phrases) as I devise myself. As if I am engaged in a sort of literary and psychological or spiritual cryptological enterprise.

This is mainly sub-conscious, and by long habit. I am rarely intentionally attempting it in the act but always am vaguely aware of it as it unfolds and can easily see it afterwards.

But I often wonder…

Does this happen to you as well? Or something like it?

Do you have a different vocabulary for different states or moods, as well as for different genres or subject matters?

It would be interesting for me to know if this happens to or with others as well…

 

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THINGS LONG UNSEEN – FIRST VERSE

This morning, right after waking, I began this poem.

I wrote the first two stanzas in bed, in my bedside notebook, went downstairs, fed the animals, made breakfast for the wife and kids, and then sat down at my desk and hammered out the third stanza. It wasn’t hard. It flowed as if I had taken no break in between.

I started in on the fourth stanza which to me was absolutely brilliant (the best part of the entire work) and right as I got to the third line of the fourth stanza the power went out at the house, and for some reason my backup power fluctuated as well so that my computer shut down. By the time I rebooted I had lost the entire fourth stanza.

I tried reconstructing the stanza from memory but I was so pissed off and taken off guard by the unexpected power failure (why should that happen at the start of summer with not a cloud in the sky I ask you?) and by the delay in reboot time that I ended up producing a mere shadow of my original effort.

I’m still satisfied by the stanza, and the poem overall so far, and it is far from finished, but just to be honest the fourth stanza isn’t nearly what I produced the first time around. So I apologize for that. This is yet another valuable lesson in why I should never compose at my computer, but only in my notebooks.

Nevertheless I am pleased with the poem and when it is finally finished I suspect I will name it, Things Long Unseen.

That is, at least, the place-holder name I am giving it for now. Enjoy and have an excellent and productive and profitable week my friends.

 

THINGS LONG UNSEEN

I shall exceed all things, and having so excelled all things
Shall bow to me, not as brutish, mindless slaves but as one man
Instinctively declines his head to yet another in whom he recognizes
His equal.

The loss of me is not the less of me, and the lending of me
To another is no lack of either thing made true in itself,
For pushed on by High Labour where can I go but where
I am, and where I Am dwells a still fairer land than I may truly
Ever know, though God knows, how much I wish for such
Things long unseen

I shall excel all things, and having thus exceeded nothing
Shall bow to me, nor find an alien compass with which to navigate
That Long Frontier that I so long ago remembered in myself
Unequaled

The less of me is what is left of me, for the debt of me
To another is both the loss and gain in ourselves untrue,
Subsumed in Reckless Profits, destined where I know not that
We are, or when, or how, or why it is that we know these things
Improper in themselves, though we all know how much we wish for
Things Long unforeseen…

 

THE TOWER ABOVE

THE TOWER ABOVE

The Tower above, the Earth below
I wandered the world, desiring to know
Where in my heart the frontier did lay
In the sky or the sea, in the night or the day?

Mountains I climbed, Life did I track
Waters I sailed, then sailed them right back
Sands in my hands ran through my fingers
What should I fear, where was the danger?

I’d live forever, forever a boy
Time everlasting, endless and cloy
The sun burned me brown, moon cooled my mind
The stars they did glisten, by God so designed
Happy was nothing – I was Alive!
The world was my oyster, of nothing deprived
Before I was man, I was a boy
Everything Holy, the Hope and the Joy

Fish splashed the clear streams, hawks roamed the air
I could lay in the green grass and anything dare
Nothing was memory, all was yet new
Impossibly certain was all that I knew
Hero I was in the depths of my soul
Adventure and gamble was all I did know
The past hadn’t happened, the future a dream
The present was ever, or so did it seem

The Tower above me, the Earth down below
I’d climb to the crown, how most apropos
For why should I care, the sun never sets
Upon the heart of the boy who will never relent

But I’ve climbed and I’ve climbed and I’ve climbed all my life
I’ve climbed in the cold, and I’ve climbed through the strife
I’ve climbed in the heat, through the dark and the death
I’ve climbed when impelled, and I’ve climbed without rest
I’ve climbed when determined, and when suffering lack
For I’m far too high now and cannot go back
Though the summit is still such a lifetime away
I doubt I can reach it, at least not this way

My hands cut and bloodied, my footing unsure
I question my efforts, my motives obscure
Yet sometimes when weary, I’ll glance far below
To see that young boy with his whole life to sow
And I wonder if warnings might cause him to stop
To stay in his valley, not climb to the top
For I want to just tell him, “The climb never ends,
Stay where you are boy, you can’t comprehend…”

But I see him look upwards, take hold of the stones
And I know that he’ll climb where he must all alone

For the Tower above us, a siren it sings
To the boy down below us who of towers still dreams…

THE SUN TO COME – FIRST VERSE

THE SUN TO COME

The sun to come by Son absolved
What wynd wove Wyrd have webs resolved
To write the future fate of Man
When woe is passed and wonder spans
The breadth of Earth, renewed, remade
Existence birthed, reformed, refreshed
Without that wound that scars all flesh…

(sectional – unfinished)

DRUMLY DID – FIRST VERSE

DRUMLY DID

Drumly marched the men at war
Turmoil in the fields,
A squire watched a warbird soar
The knight his brother killed,
Rivers ran like roaring lief
That spill in bloody seas,
Drumly did the old warchief
In battle find no ease,
Horns called to men to come
At once and rally as they did
Whistles tore the creeping clum
As tumult did forbid,
Arrows rained, and reigned again
As shields were broke and spent,
Young men toppled dead as sin
Their armor torn and rent,
A pikeman watched the warbirds soar
Their feast upon the Earth,
The dusk would drumly long abhor
What horrors slaughter birthed,
Mud ran with blood, the churning mire,
Blacker by degrees,
Drumly did the old desire
In murder find no ease…

Note: My wrist has finally recovered enough to return to regular blogging and writing. I hope.

But my pre-break output may fall to two or three posts per week compared to my pre-break posting rate due to the difficulty I still have with typing and due to my other work load. Thank you for your patience.

Hope you enjoy Drumly Did. It was originally just a throw away poetic experiment with antique language but by the time I finished it I liked it and decided to keep it.

THE SAME IS THE SAME – FIRST VERSE

THE SAME IS THE SAME
(A Simple Ode to Not Getting It)

I once knew an old man who said this to me
“The same is the same til it isn’t you see.”

What does that mean?” I asked of the man

“It means that the isn’t is part of the plan.”

So I queried again to see if I tracked
But he waved off my efforts, and asked what I lacked

“What I lack is your meaning, if you see what I mean!”

“Why I do,” said the old man, “and I highly esteem
That you haven’t yet got it, so let me help out
Though you’ll fare none the better I seriously doubt
If my statements seem lacking in substance and style
For my purpose is patent though soaked through with guile.”

”What mean you by saying, ‘your purpose is plain?’
When it’s riddled and wrapped in these vestments arcane?”

“Oh,” said the old man, “you’re confused by degrees,
‘See the same is the same til it isn’t you see!’”

“What’s with the riddles, the rhythm, and rhyme?
I haven’t the patience, the motive, or time,
Just tell me quite simply exact what you mean
There’s only one prophet, the profit foreseen,
So tell me quite clearly how true to do that
There must be an answer to fit in your hat
For all things are even unless they are odd
Just show me the method and on I will plod!”

”Exactly!” he told me, “You know it by now
A fox is quite crafty unless he’s a cow
The prophet who profits will see past the words
Everyone else will just think him absurd,
For the Wise Man his profit is built by the mind
Who sees into others to find what he finds
But the men who are stuck in the clay of the words
Cannot the future when once it’s occurred
That he can by convention control what’s to come
Or by formula master all things to succumb
So the same is the same til it isn’t you see
But to come to that meaning you must come quite free.”

So I left in a quand’ry, I left in some doubt
That he knew of his subject, or what he did tout
Yet since then I’ve measured the world and its men
Found them uneven, thrice even again
Not a king who could not be a pauper at heart
Not a peasant who might not some genius impart
Not a tyrant so strong I would bend once to them
Not a haughty pretender not given to whims
Not an expert or maven perfect in wares
Not a Wise Man among them whose Wisdom he shared
Without first giving counsel – as I counsel thee,
The same is the same til it isn’t you see…

THE GRASS IS DEAD

I disagreed with him on many things. I thought him an outright fool on more than one issue and occasion.

(Yes, yes, I know how literary “icons” and the modern intelligentsia and the types of men who believe politics to be the answer to all existence – human or otherwise – like to cluster around each other to breathlessly and mutually glorify their own supposed genius. But I am far more skeptical of “modern genius” in all its many fictional forms. As a matter of fact I rarely see any real evidence of the supposed “modern genius” of self-styled “modern geniuses,” and their numberless cohorts, ever, or at all.)

But narrowing his views down to the strictly literary disciplines I did often agree with him on these scores: there is a new illiteracy (not in the inability to read and write, but in the poverty of having ever read or written anything of any real value at all), and letter writing is dead and with it much of higher human writing.

Otherwise the Grass is dead too. I doubt it will ever green again.

Günter Grass, Nobel-winning German novelist, dies aged 87

Author of The Tin Drum and figure of enduring controversy
Günter Grass

Monday 13 April 2015 05.38 EDT
Last modified on Monday 13 April 2015 09.40 EDT

The writer Günter Grass, who broke the silences of the past for a generation of Germans, has died in hospital in Lübeck at the age of 87.

German president Joachim Gauck led the tributes, offering his condolences to the writer’s widow Ute Grass. “Günter Grass moved, enthralled, and made the people of our country think with his literature and his art,” he said in a statement. “His literary work won him recognition early across the world, as witnessed not least by his Nobel prize.”

“His novels, short stories, and his poetry reflect the great hopes and fallacies, the fears and desires of whole generations,” the statement continued.

Tributes began to appear within minutes of the announcement of Grass’ death on Twitter by his publisher, Steidl.

In the UK, Salman Rushdie was one of the first authors to respond, tweeting:

The Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk had warm personal memories: “Grass learned a lot from Rabelais and Celine and was influential in development of ‘magic realism’ and Marquez. He taught us to base the story on the inventiveness of the writer no matter how cruel, harsh and political the story is,” he said.

He added: “In April 2010 when there was a mushroom cloud over Europe he was in Istanbul and stayed more than he planned. We went to restaurants and drank and drank and talked and talked … A generous, curious and a very warm friend who also wanted to be a painter at first!”
A life in writing: Günter Grass
Read more

Grass found success in every artistic form he explored – from poetry to drama and from sculpture to graphic art – but it wasn’t until publication of his first novel, The Tin Drum, in 1959 that he found the international reputation which brought him the Nobel prize for literature 40 years later. A speechwriter for the German chancellor Willy Brandt, Grass was never afraid to use the platform his fame afforded, campaigning for peace and the environment and speaking out against German reunification, which he compared to Hitler’s “annexation” of Austria.

Grass was born in the Free City of Danzig – now Gdansk – in 1927, “almost late enough”, as he said, to avoid involvement with the Nazi regime. Conscripted into the army in 1944 at the age of 16, he served as a tank gunner in the Waffen SS, bringing accusations of betrayal, hypocrisy and opportunism when he wrote about it in his 2006 autobiography, Peeling the Onion.

The writer was surprised by the strength of the reaction, arguing that he thought at the time that the SS was merely “an elite unit”, that he had spoken openly about his wartime record in the 1960s, and that he had spent a lifetime “working through” the unquestioning beliefs of his youth in his writing. His war came to an end six months later having “never fired a shot”, when he was wounded in Cottbus and captured in a military hospital by the US army. That he avoided committing war crimes was “not by merit”, he insisted. “If I had been born three or four years earlier I would, surely, have seen myself caught up in those crimes.”

Instead he trained as a stonemason, studied art in Düsseldorf and Berlin, and joined Hans Werner Richter’s Group 47 alongside writers such as Ingeborg Bachmann and Heinrich Böll. After moving to Paris in 1956 he began working on a novel which told the story of Germany in the first half of the 20th century through the life of a boy who refuses to grow.

A sprawling mixture of fantasy, family saga, bildungsroman and political fable, The Tin Drum was attacked by critics, denied the Bremen literature prize by outraged senators, burned in Düsseldorf and became a global bestseller.
Günter Grass is my hero, as a writer and a moral compass
John Irving
Read more

Speaking to the Swedish Academy in 1999, Grass explained that the reaction taught him “that books can cause offence, stir up fury, even hatred, that what is undertaken out of love for one’s country can be taken as soiling one’s nest. From then on I have been controversial.”

A steady stream of provocative interventions in debates around social justice, peace and the environment followed, alongside poetry, drama, drawings and novels. In 1977 Grass tackled sexual politics, hunger and the rise of civilisation with a 500-page version of the Grimm brothers’ fairytale The Fisherman and His Wife. The Rat (1986) explored the apocalpyse, as a man dreams of a talking rat who tells him of the end of the human race, while 1995’s Too Far Afield explored reunification through east German eyes – prompting Germany’s foremost literary critic, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, to brand the novel a “complete and utter failure” and to appear on the cover of Der Spiegel ripping a copy in half.

His last novel, 2002’s Crabwalk, dived into the sinking of the German liner Wilhelm Gustloff in 1945, while three volumes of memoir – Peeling the Onion, The Box and Grimms’ Words – boldly ventured into troubled waters.

Germany’s political establishment responded immediately to the news of Grass’s death. The head of the German Green party, Katrin Göring-Eckardt, called Grass a “great author, a critical spirit. A contemporary who had the ambition to put himself against the Zeitgeist.”

“Günter Grass was a contentious intellectual – his literary work remains formidable,” tweeted the head of the opposition Free Democratic party, Christian Lindner.
Günter Grass in quotes: 12 of the best
Read more

The foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was “deeply dismayed” at the news of the author’s death, a tweet from his ministry said.

Steinmeier is a member of the Social Democratic party, which Grass had a fraught relationship with – after campaigning for the party in 1960s and 70s, he became a member in 1982, only to leave ten years later in protest at its asylum policies.

“Günter Grass was a contentious intellectual who interfered. We sometimes miss that today,” SPD chairwoman Andrea Nahles said.

While there were plenty of tributes recognising Grass as one of Germany’s most important post-war writers, social media users swiftly revived many of the controversies of his divisive career, bringing up his membership of the SS and his alleged anti-Semitism.
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Speaking to the Paris Review in 1991, Grass made no apology for his abiding focus on Germany’s difficult past. “If I had been a Swedish or a Swiss author I might have played around much more, told a few jokes and all that,” he said. “That hasn’t been possible; given my background, I have had no other choice.”

The controversy flared up again following by publication of his 2012 poem What Must be Said, in which he criticised Israeli policy. Published simultaneously in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Italian La Repubblica and Spanish El País, the poem brought an angry response from the Israeli ambassador to Germany, Shimon Stein, who saw in it “a disturbed relationship to his own past, the Jews, and Israel”.

Despite his advanced age, Grass still led an active public life, and made vigorous public appearances in recent weeks. In a typically opinionated interview for state broadcaster WDR, which he gave in February after a live reading from Grimms’ Words, Grass called his last book a “declaration of love to the German language”.

He also talked about how the internet and the loss of the art of letter-writing had led to a “new illiteracy”. “Of course that has consequences,” he said. “It leads to a poverty of language and allows everything to be forgotten that the Grimm brothers created with their glorious work.”

He also remained critical of western policy in the Middle East (“now we see the chaos we make in those countries with our western values”), and talked about how his age had done nothing to soften his political engagement.

“I have children and grandchildren, I ask myself every day: ‘what are we leaving behind for them?’ When I was 17, at the end of the war, everything was in ruins, but our generation, whether for good reason or not, had hope, we wanted to shape the future. That’s very difficult for young people today, because the future is virtually fixed for them.”

REAL READING AND REAL WRITING from MEMORABLE LITERARY LINES

Real Reading is far more than just mentally decoding terms and words, it is psychologically apprehending and comprehending the very most subtle and sublime ideas and ideals that it is possible for man to ever understand.
Real Writing is far more than just encoding and transcribing phrases, it is transmitting, mind to mind and soul to soul, the very marrow of manhood and the very embodiment of human experience through script, so that it may be read again whenever needed into the design of the future.

My personal take on the true nature of real reading and real writing

WHY?

The other day, after she completed her homeschooling studies, my youngest daughter walked into my office and said, “Dad, why doesn’t everyone use the Oxford Comma?”

I laughed out loud.

“I have no idea,” I replied.

“Well they should. It would make what they say and write so much easier to understand,” she said emphatically.

“I couldn’t agree more, my dear.”

Then she left.

LOL.

WELL SPOKEN

Superb Linguistic Chart!

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When linguists talk about the historical relationship between languages, they use a tree metaphor. An ancient source (say, Indo-European) has various branches (e.g., Romance, Germanic), which themselves have branches (West Germanic, North Germanic), which feed into specific languages (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian). Lessons on language families are often illustrated with a simple tree diagram that has all the information but lacks imagination. There’s no reason linguistics has to be so visually uninspiring. Minna Sundberg, creator of the webcomic Stand Still. Stay Silent, a story set in a lushly imagined post-apocalyptic Nordic world, has drawn the antidote to the boring linguistic tree diagram.

Also worth checking out is the page before the tree, where she gives a comparison chart of words in the Nordic languages, and illustrates what an outlier Finnish is with the concept of “meow.”

Read Stand Still. Stay Silent here. Also see Sundberg’s previous work, A Redtail’s Dream, here.

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

No, but I am always looking for great names for my historical fiction and even my other fictional works. So there ya go…


Ten Great Anglo-Saxon Girls’ Names

Elisabeth Okasha’s book Women’s Names in Old English details close to 300 female names from Anglo-Saxon England. Most names were chosen from two words, such as bregu (ruler), wif (woman) and cynn (family).We’ve come up with our ten favourite girls’ names – if you are considering a different type of baby name, perhaps you will pick one of these!

SEE NAMES HERE

SONG OF THE SERPENTS – FD

Song Of The Serpents

Men are older than they know,
But not so old as Guilt,
Guilt was on the Knowledge Tree
Before the world was built.Men are wiser than they think,
But not so wise as We,
Wise men lack the span of years
To see as serpents see.

Men are prouder than is wise,
But not so proud as Dust,
Dust bows not to men or gods
To mantle what it must.

Men are weaker than they wish,
Yet not so weak as Death,
Death must nurse its midwife, Life,
To rob her brother, Breath.

Serpents fuse the skein of Life,
Their venom at its throat;
Love is stronger than men know,
Yet yields no antidote.

________________________________________________

 

Think I wrote that? I did not. But I could have, so similar are we in method and subject matter. Our use of language (when writing poetry) is also extremely similar.

It was a guy named Felix Dennis. Never heard of him before the other night but he’s awfully good to me. I say that not just because we are similar in many ways, but because, well, he’s awful good.

I recommend him. I am also extremely glad to discover others who write poetry in the same style as I.

Here’s a link to his fuller Body of Work: Felix Dennis Poetry

SCHLEICHER’S FABLE – IN INDO-EUROPEAN

Being an amateur linguist and philologist this kind of thing fascinates me. Also I have long studied Indo-European root terms and words. As a poet and song-writer, as a writer, as a man who loves languages, and simply for my own enjoyment.

Enjoy this Archaeology article.

Be sure to listen to and read the Fable on the main site. I’ve listened to it three times already.

Fascinating.

Sheep

(iStockphoto)

By the 19th century, linguists knew that all modern Indo-European languages descended from a single tongue. Called Proto-Indo-European, or PIE, it was spoken by a people who lived from roughly 4500 to 2500 B.C., and left no written texts. The question became, what did PIE sound like? In 1868, German linguist August Schleicher used reconstructed Proto-Indo-European vocabulary to create a fable in order to hear some approximation of PIE.

Called “The Sheep and the Horses,” and also known today as Schleicher’s Fable, the short parable tells the story of a shorn sheep who encounters a group of unpleasant horses. As linguists have continued to discover more about PIE (and archaeologists have learned more about the Bronze Age cultures that would have spoken it), this sonic experiment continues and the fable is periodically updated to reflect the most current understanding of how this extinct language would have sounded when it was spoken some six thousand years ago. Since there is considerable disagreement among scholars about PIE, no one version can be considered definitive. Here, University of Kentucky linguist Andrew Byrd recites his version of the fable, as well as a second story, called “The King and the God,” using pronunciation informed by the latest insights into reconstructed PIE…

ASWERMIC

I’ve been having this dream lately about the word “aswermic.” Actually I’ve been hearing the word aswermic a lot lately being spoken in my dreams.

So this morning I looked it up and could not find it in any English dictionary, ancient or modern.

I’ve tried variants as well, different constructions and possible conjugations (if that is the case) such as aswarmic, aswirmic, aswormic, aswurmic, and aswyrmic. Or aswerma, aswormae, aswarmos, etc.

From looking at the variants I thought possibly that the world might be a root term which is possibly Sanskrit in origin, but I can’t find anything so far on it or any of the variants.

If I can’t find anything then I guess it will be up to me to define it and I’ll consider it a neologism.

Why I keep hearing it in my dreams or what it defines or might possibly imply I do not yet know. Maybe it is related to the novel I’m writing, to the languages I am inventing (though it doesn’t seem related to those languages, as aswermic seems Latin in origin, but isn’t, and aswurmic seems almost Sanskrit, but doesn’t appear to be), but so far I have no answer and no joy.

I guess I’ll just have to keep working at it and assume there is some meaning behind the term I’ve yet to discover. In the meantime I’ll work it as a neologism and see where that might lead.

If any of you guys have ever encountered the term, or a term like it, in whatever language, please let me know as I’d be curious as to what it means and from where it originates.

A MAN’S WORD-HORDE

Last night, while studying the single best book on Tolkien I have ever read, I discovered that the term Word-Hoard was originally, in some uses, Word-Horde. (Derived from ancient Czech, “hord” or Polish “horda.”)

Now Word-Hoard is one of my very favorite Anglo-Saxon/Olde English terms and to me the implication here is that not only was a man’s Word Hoard an innumerable treasure by which he cunningly manipulated the world (buying favors and gains and influence with his word-hoard), it was also (at least by implication with the word Horde) a vast and unstoppable army or a “huge swarm” (of people).

This adds an incredible layer of meaning and metaphor. For it means that a man’s Word-Hoard is not just a static treasure that he accumluates and “hoards” over time, but that it is actually an active and living force, a Horde that he sends out into the world, like a swarm or an army, to conquer the world.

KURIAL AND EKLANSÖS

Had a really interesting and nice morning at church today. The sermon also helped me make progress on a plot matter for my Other World novels that I’ve been trying to think about how to resolve for some time.

The novel involves Prester Jhon, the Samarl of Samarkand, who (in the novel and contrary to belief back then) does not reside in either Asia or Africa but on an entirely different world which is identical to our world at the time but is not inhabited by humans or animals common to our world. It is geographically and geologically identical, but biologically it is very different.

Anyway, because of the underlying religious theme(s) running through the novels (the Byzantines look to this “Other World” and to Prester Jhon – called John by the Byzantines, to help them fight both the Persians and the Muslims, but Jhon has more than enough deadly threats in his own world to contend with) I’ve been looking to develop a sort of Other World analogue to the Eucharist. Because Christianity, miracles and Orthodoxy all play a role in the Other World as well, and because there is a secret underground movement of Christians in Jhon’s own world. It’s a secretive movement, but it exists, sort of like China’s Christian movement but it is almost entirely underground. Maybe in that sense it is far more like the ancient Christians in the early Roman Empire than in China.

In any case I wanted an analogue to the elements of the Eucharist. So at church today the sermon made me think of some things and I started making notes. This is what I came up with.

The secret Christian movement in the Other World (they aren’t really Christians as we think of it, but it’s as close as I can briefly summarize the concept) develop an analogue to the Eucharist but do so almost by accident. The elements they develop are these:

KURIAL – Kurial is a bread similar in some respects to the Lembas bread of the Elves in Tolkien. But it also shares properties with the Manna of the Exodus and the Eucharist. It always tastes warm when eaten even if it is cold. It is a dark brown bread with white flecks throughout and it tastes somewhat bitter. The word is Eldeven (being derived from the Eldeven linguistic root, uria, for “ground up,” and “of the Earth”) but it also shares roots with the Greek term Kurios (Lord) and Cure (Latin). When Kurial is consumed it inspires trances and mystical visions of God. It fills the stomach, alleviates hunger, and provides sustenance for 4 days (if an entire loaf is eaten). It can also, sometimes, cure disease and speed healing from injury. It provides a great deal of physical energy and strength and occasionally promotes abilities and capabilities in those who have consumed it of an almost superhuman or miraculous nature. Humans (the Byzantines) also call it Maræne, the Manna of the New World.

EKLANSÖS – Eklansös is a golden colored wine (although not a true wine, it is as close as I can describe) which is also thick and both sweet and salty tasting. On occasion it glows if brought into proximity with Kurial. The word is Eldeven, being derived from the Sidhelhic roots lan, and sos, which mean “secret” and “drink.” But it is also related to the Greek terms, Ekklesia, meaning “gathering or congregation” and Angelos, meaning “messenger.” When Eklansös is consumed it inspires numinous dreams and visions and prophecies in one’s sleep. Eklansös will also alleviate thirst for 3 days, helps to prevent or ward off disease, and makes one calm and relaxed and at peace after it is drunk. Usually a single cup or bowl of Eklansös will suffice for these purposes. The Byzantines also call it Soræ which means the Drink or Wine of the New World.

If Kurial and Eklansös are used to fertilize and set a newly planted tree or the seed of a tree then the resulting tree will grow large, strong, tall, and true, and it will be disease free. These trees are called Umman trees. If the tree is a fruit or nut tree then this is called a Thummąn tree, which means Miracle Tree. The leaves, sap, and fruit or nuts of Thummąn trees can be used to produce extraordinary foods and medicines. Umman and Thummąn Trees are extraordinarily long lived and all kinds of life will flourish in and around the tree. But Umman and Thummąn trees will not grow in close proximity to one another. So as far as is known it is impossible to produce an Umman or Thummąn forest.
Also I made some good progress on Eldeven Arts, Crafts and Sciences.

I have divided Eldeven Art into the following categories: Drama, Poetry, and Song, with other Arts being Architecture and Building and Sculpture.

I have divided Craft into these categories: Craft (being almost any type of high-skill craft) and Illumination and Invention.

The Eldeven Sciences are: Eldyll (Earth and metallurgy), Laral (life and natural sciences), and Glośon (what we would call chemistry, though it is really both organic and inorganic chemistry).

HER WISE IMPERFECTIONS

I know the Queen’s Own Good English. I almost never use it.
I’m like Shakespeare – not only is perfect English perfectly boring as hell, but no-one will ever remember a word of it except in textbooks. And nobody ever remembers textbooks.
There is no poetry in perfect English. I love the English language, but not for her odd perfections, it is her constant and willful imperfections that make her beautiful, witty, and wise.

DO YOU KNOW ENGLISH?

LOOK, OVER THERE, NOT THE FOREST, BUT THE WEEDS…

This is a superb little article on writing. I myself have been saying for a very long time that most writing advice, especially most modern writing advice, is absolute bullshit and entirely contradictory to the idea of both writing well and of communicating anything worthwhile at all.

Now whereas I don’t agree that writing is all about, or at least not solely about, the “Observational trick,” it is a far better observation than most modern ones on writing.

At the very best the best any writing advice can do is encapsulate an extremely narrow range of ideas about how it is possible to efficiently communicate in a certain way (it can in no way exhaust the possibilities), therefore no such advice can ever produce genius or even real ability. And the Truth is that both genius and real ability tend to far eclipse any advice that could possibly be given about either.

Hemingway may have said it best…, no on second thought he didn’t, he said it best for Hemingway, but even Hemingway was no Shakespeare now was he? No, he wasn’t. There is a very good reason Shakespeare is the most quoted writer in the history of the English language and it has absolutely nothing to do with Hemingway’s writing advice. As a matter of fact it has a great deal to do with the very opposite of Hemingway’s writing advice. And that is also very likely why there is no modern equivalent of Shakespeare, because modern people are herdish and extremely easy to fool. Just give them all a popular, unchallenged fashionable theory to imitate and by God, come hell or high water, they’ll dig their own grave and happily and uncritically lie down in it to prove the theory.

I’m glad to see the revolt against this narrow minded, small imagined bullshit beginning. It’s long, long, long overdue.

So endeth the trick…

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“What’s the secret to writing well? As I’ve said previously here, an awful lot of people seem to think they know, yet their “rules for writers” are almost always (pardon the technical linguistics jargon) bullshit. For example, “Show, don’t tell” is frequently bad advice. In the right context, the passive voice is fine. Elmore Leonard’s most famous rule, “Never use a verb other than ‘said’ to carry dialogue”, is sheer silliness. Even the sainted Orwell’s rules are a bit rubbish: the final one is, “Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous”, which means his advice is really just “Don’t write barbarically”. So it doesn’t bode well that the psychologist Steven Pinker is to publish his own advice book, The Sense Of Style, later this year. Judging by a recent interview at edge.org, however, this one might be different. Writing, Pinker points out, is inherently a psychological phenomenon, “a way that one mind can cause ideas to happen in another mind”. So one place to begin is with actual psychology.”

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jun/28/change-your-life-how-to-think-about-writing

CONAN AND ME, PART ONE: LANGUAGE, PULP, RACE, AND FICTION

Lately I’ve been re-reading (actually listening to on CD) some of R.E. Howard’s later stories on Conan, such as The Conquering Sword of Conan.

Now every year, usually in the Fall (but at other times as well) or as the weather changes I get a desire to read or listen to Conan, or Solomon Kane, or the stories of HP Lovecraft. Adventure and horror stories. Don’t know why, I just do, it’s sort of a recurring literary theme with me. I associate Autumn and early Winter with adventure, and patrolling, and exploring, and the coming dark.

(I also at this time of year like to read or listen to the radio plays of Jack Flanders or the Green Hornet or John Carter of Mars or Doc Savage or other types of things like that I used to listen to as a kid.)

Now I’ve always liked the stories of Conan (though I have much more in common personally with the character Solomon Kane) as I enjoy a lot of pulp fiction. It’s adventurous, and that’s what I like about it. Adventure stories and pulp fiction tend to roam widely in space and time, and this very much appeals to the explorer and Vadder in me. As well as to the historian in me, as pulp stories are often pseudo-historical and often contain historical and archaeological allusions and references. I wish far more modern writers wrote really good adventure stories, especially for young men and boys, but also even for girls, such as my daughters. Alas, aside from children stories adventure yarns seem a dying or dead art. More is the shame.

But a couple of things have always bothered me about Conan and his adventure stories. One is Howard’s sometimes ridiculous use of inappropriate language, mixing antique, antiquated, and outmoded terms all in the same paragraph or sentence and doing so without a broader context. The same can be said for his general world building tendencies as well, he sometimes mixes wholly inappropriate matters and allusions and settings and events and places and personages together haphazardly and without any logical framework. I know this is part of his Sword and Sorcery Shtick but it can detract heavily from the appeal of the story. As a writer I certainly understand that every writer is at least to some extent a product of his times, and of what is known in his time. As well as a victim of his own his ideas, and a bondsman of his ideas about writing. Finally he is in at least in some sense a slave of his own language, real or invented, and his use of that language. But Howard’s language often descends into “pulp-speech” in a way that is almost an obvious caricature of pulp. In other words his writings become the very caricature of the pulp genre to such an obvious degree that it becomes impossible to read some of his phrasing without saying to yourself, “this story is pulp.” Instead of, “this story is a great adventure.”

True, sometimes his phrasing and language use is clever, even inspired, at other times though it is both simultaneously banal and overwrought. At times like that you easily remember within your own mind, “this is fiction,” and that’s precisely what you want to avoid in fiction writing.

The second thing that bothers me about Conan is Conan’s obsession (in some of his stories at least) with race and tribalism and ethnicities and “groups.”

to be continued…