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Moonwise: HC 18-20, PB 11-13 - Input Junkie
October 28th, 2012
02:20 am


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Moonwise: HC 18-20, PB 11-13
"One page was all a maze of umber sketches--hands, leaves, stones, strange leering faces--all in Sylvie's nervous line, at its heart, no right way in: a weird luminous painting. Night: an endless branching passage, wood carved with moongrey faces, woods turning hall, with queer worm-eaten faces in the bark. A child walked, her hand outstretched on nothing, far beyond, her clew of cobweb glinted in the moonlight."

Here we have mazes, woods, and spiderweb... but it's Sylvie's drawing, not Ariane's.

"'Are you doing the Curdie books?'" This is a reference to The Princess and Curdie and probably also to The Princess and the Goblin.

"Nan's great ebony and silver teapot, black but comely...." Song of Solomon 1:5-6.

Ariane joking about what else might be in the teapot. "Valentines," said Ariane. "Soldiers' buttons. Small change in faery gold. The odd ring of power." Faery gold turns to dried leaves or something else worthless at midnight. And a LOTR reference, though it would surprise me if this ring wasn't in the count of Rings at the beginning of the book.

"There, no bigger than a hazelnut, O there, green-blue, unearthly, sailed the Ship, its mast a tree, great--rooted, and its leaves far-drifting stars. It sailed in the winter sky, a constellation in Cloud, of the Nine Worlds: one of theirs."

This is probably a reference to a verse of The Lass of Loch Royal (mentioned in the previous entry):
But I'll take down that mast of gold
and set up a mast of tree
For it does not suit a forsaken maid to sail so royally
There's a shift of tone, though-- in the song the mast of tree (probably mere wood) is acknowledgement of lower status or perhaps a bit of passive aggression, but it's not something wonderful.

I'm also seeing a little echo of Tolkien reading MacBeth, "Tolkien the boy thought it was a total cheat that the witches' prophecy about Birnam Wood coming to Dunsinane was fulfilled by boring old men carrying branches: "I wanted to devise a setting by which the trees might really march to war." " Quoted from Dave Langford.

"A dry red leaf, like an old mitten." Just a nice phrase. Any ideas about what sort of tree it might be from?

"...the cat came and crouched on the book. Stone, said his gaze, I am stone. A cromlech. One of Maire's Long Meg's, she remembered: Timour the Tartar." And it turned out that Tim[o]ur the Tartar is Tamerlane, and also a fiddle tune-- playing at speed starts at 1:30. You have no idea how grateful I am for google.

Sylvie looks at Ariane, who's happily eating bread with jam: "There's Ariane gone full moon, she thought, looking shrewdly at her face: all crazy and bright, but she never stays. She sickles. Eats herself up."

This is the moon symbolism again, but now it's in the mind of a character. And it's a reference to Ariane cycling in and out of depression-- her moods shift very quickly. I wonder if this will lead me to a non-theraputic way of thinking about Ariane's emotions.

"...her long-remembered Arden. She'd arrived, as always, somewhere else, (On a boardwalk in Bohemia?)" As You Like It is set in Arden, A Winter's Tale is set partly in Bohemia. Would someone who knows Shakespeare care to help out with what the references might mean?

"It was always farther in." "Farther in" is a phrase which has been used a number of times, and I keep hearing it as an echo of "farther up and farther in" from Lewis' The Last Battle.

Sylvie thinks about Ariane: "Air comes and goes. Watching and wanting. Not the moon, exactly--ghostly." Well, here's another angle on the symbolism-- Ariane isn't just the moon, apparently.

And I made a mistake in an earlier post-- Sylvie is the artist, Ariane is the writer.

"Deea. You kept that?" 'Deea' has appeared at least once before. I assume it's dialect.

A photograph: "Sylvie, slouching barefoot in the cold early spring, farouche and flighted, with her elsewhere gaze; Ariance, scowling in a cloud of hair--quadrocento severity--in a draggled flouncing skirt, and rose-wreathed broad straw hat. The Silly Sisters. The sisters Grimm."

Farouche: Fierce, wild. Also, of withdrawn and shy temperament coupled with a cranky and even sullen fey charm.

French, from Old French faroche, alteration of forasche, from Late Latin forsticus, belonging outside, from Latin fors, out of doors, from the free dictionary.

Quattrocento: the cultural and artistic creations of 15th century Italy. Quattrocentro images don't strike me as especially severe-- perhaps Gilman had a particular artist or painting in mind.

Ariane: "There. See, it's really me, I didn't fall at Waterloo. Or Flodden. Take your pick." I don't know what this is a reference to-- perhaps legends about ghosts coming back from battles, but I'm guessing.

"On her hand lay a silver ring, bent and blackened; she had found it writhen in an oak root. Its stone was elsewhere, was the star of the Nine worlds." I believe this is a plot point.

Also at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/994187.html.


(9 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:October 28th, 2012 07:33 am (UTC)
"quattrocento severity"

Perhaps "severity" refers to the scowl, and q.c. to the hair and/or other style?
[User Picture]
Date:October 28th, 2012 09:14 am (UTC)
Oddly enough, we read the Scottish play in high school right around the same time I first did LotR. It's still my favorite from Bill Shakespeare, and I'd never learned of JRRT's disdain for it till relatively recently.

[User Picture]
Date:October 28th, 2012 02:43 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen anything about Tolkien's opinion of Macbeth in general-- just that he didn't like that one bit.
[User Picture]
Date:October 29th, 2012 02:54 am (UTC)
He wasn't too wild about the "no man of woman born" business either, hence his revised interpretation with Éowyn vs. the Witch-King of Angmar.

[User Picture]
Date:October 28th, 2012 05:44 pm (UTC)
A dry red leaf like a mitten--probably a sassafras leaf, as sassafras can come in one-lobe, two-lobe, or three-lobe leaves, and the two-lobe leaves are mitten shaped:

[User Picture]
Date:October 29th, 2012 04:51 am (UTC)
Thanks for running this. I mean it, I'm going to get into the conversation when I get to it early enough in the evening (or in the day: UNIVERSITY is closed this Monday and Tuesday for Frankenstorm) and can find my copy of the book with my notes on Post-Its in it.

(The link to "The Princess and Curdie" doesn't work because it ends with a quotation mark, which isn't in the URL. Correct link:

Edited at 2012-10-29 05:13 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:October 29th, 2012 06:49 am (UTC)
I've corrected it. Actually, it didn't work because I left out the first set of quotation marks for the html.
[User Picture]
Date:November 1st, 2012 04:50 am (UTC)

The Winter's Tale

... is set in part not just in Bohemia, but on the seacoast of Bohemia. Whether or not Shakespeare knew that Bohemia was landlocked, it certainly fits with the concept of _The Winter's Tale_ as fantasy.
[User Picture]
Date:November 1st, 2012 05:03 am (UTC)

battlefield ghosts

Try these:

1. Flodden Field
The Battle of Flodden Field (also known as The Battle of Branxton) was fought on the 9th September 1513 between an invading Scots army under King James IV and an English army commanded by Thomas Howard.

Ever since the battle there have been frequent reports of the ghostly sounds of the battle coming from the field, the clash of swords, the screams and groans of the dying soldiers. These sounds are still heard by the locals to this very day, especially in the dead of night. The A697 nearby has been the location of sightings of phantom soldiers crossing the road. In the 1700s two brothers swore that they saw the entire battle being re-fought. When questioned about it afterwards they could describe precisely what happened, they could describe what people looked like and what was on their banners. -- Rob Kirkup's Ghosts of the North East [of England]: Flodden Field

2. Waterloo
A few weeks following the defeat of Napoleon the people of Verviers in Belgium were woken to the sounds of battle, thinking that some of the French army had returned they roused themselves hurridly into the streets to be confronted by a ghostly ariel battle. Fearful of what they were seeing they were even more amazed when some that had witnessed the carnage of Waterloo started to identify fallen comrades re-fighting the battle in the skies before them. -- Silky's Ghost Pages: Waterloo
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