Phantastes. Para leer.

Wednesday, 16 January, Year 11 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

The title's incomprehensible ; suffice it to say I ended up reading a twelfth or so of Phantastes (A Faerie Romance for Men and Womeni By George Macdonald) on the strength of its incredibly exquisite opening paragraph.

The item's utterly not worth reading -- some belaboured nonsense about imaginary items in univocal relationships with flowers nevertheless engaging in aggressive behaviour and a whole lot of tiresome blather about nothing in particular that nevertheless manages to contradict itself on 2nd order effects every single twist and turn. No particular understanding of or ability with language and a smattering of offensive quotationii crown the otherwise dismal opus.

And yet... be all that as it may -- the opening paragraph is still exquisite, and so I'm going to keep it. Here :

I awoke one morning with the usual perplexity of mind which accompanies the return of consciousness. As I lay and looked through the eastern window of my room, a faint streak of peach-colour, dividing a cloud that just rose above the low swell of the horizon, announced the approach of the sun. As my thoughts, which a deep and apparently dreamless sleep had dissolved, began again to assume crystalline forms, the strange events of the foregoing night presented themselves anew to my wondering consciousness. The day before had been my one-and-twentieth birthday. Among other ceremonies investing me with my legal rights, the keys of an old secretary, in which my father had kept his private papers, had been delivered up to me. As soon as I was left alone, I ordered lights in the chamber where the secretary stood, the first lights that had been there for many a year; for, since my father’s death, the room had been left undisturbed. But, as if the darkness had been too long an inmate to be easily expelled, and had dyed with blackness the walls to which, bat-like, it had clung, these tapers served but ill to light up the gloomy hangings, and seemed to throw yet darker shadows into the hollows of the deep-wrought cornice. All the further portions of the room lay shrouded in a mystery whose deepest folds were gathered around the dark oak cabinet which I now approached with a strange mingling of reverence and curiosity. Perhaps, like a geologist, I was about to turn up to the light some of the buried strata of the human world, with its fossil remains charred by passion and petrified by tears. Perhaps I was to learn how my father, whose personal history was unknown to me, had woven his web of story; how he had found the world, and how the world had left him. Perhaps I was to find only the records of lands and moneys, how gotten and how secured; coming down from strange men, and through troublous times, to me, who knew little or nothing of them all. To solve my speculations, and to dispel the awe which was fast gathering around me as if the dead were drawing near, I approached the secretary; and having found the key that fitted the upper portion, I opened it with some difficulty, drew near it a heavy high-backed chair, and sat down before a multitude of little drawers and slides and pigeon-holes. But the door of a little cupboard in the centre especially attracted my interest, as if there lay the secret of this long-hidden world. Its key I found.

Maybe someday I do something with it.

———
  1. The "for women" part is provided by weakass sauce like some minor plot token pointing out to the hero that since his lordship, who knows quite a lot about male antecessors older than his greatfather, nevertheless knows exactly nothing about any women in the same line, even should they be younger than his grandmother, therefore it (the plot token) could in fact very well be the very grandmother in question.

    The pretense involved, if it wasn't thickly laid out enough and it could take further belabouring, being that women are equally important to men, and equally meaningful and therefore notable, but "unfair arrangements" make men remembered and women forgotten. Fightin' da patriarchy and all that, in 1850s Scotland. You know, ye meaningful and therefore notable Scotland of ye olde Darien colony.

    What, that wasn't notable ? You say it was notable for its eminent meaninglessness, like the Hussein Bahamas presidency, "to be forever remembered like that one time someone gave a loaded AK to a monkey" ? Awww, but why do you hate women so! Scotland mattered!

    To typically crown the story, the man dweeb involved reveals the whole premise as false within the same very fucking paragraphs -- apparently he didn't know his own father's "personal history" after all.

    Maybe his father was his grandmother ? Dunno, just sayin'. []

  2. Here, have some from me, too :

    Learn from everything

    Learn from the rivers how to stay in one place,
    Learn from the flames that everything’s just ashes,
    Learn from the shadow how to shut up and listen,
    Learn from the rock how to watch without blinking,
    Learn from the Sun how you should talk,
    Learn from the rock how you should say it,
    Learn from the wind which bows through the path,
    How you, through life should quietly pass

    Learn from all that everything’s your sister
    How you should go through life, how you should die

    Learn from the worm that one one’s insignificant,
    Learn from the water lily to be clean,
    Learn from the flames what we have to burn inside our souls,
    Learn from the waters never to back down,
    Learn from the shadow to be as humble as her,
    Learn from the rock how to endure the harsh storm,
    Learn from the Sun that it’s time to know,
    Learn from the sky that there are many posts,
    Learn from the grasshopper how to sing when you’re alone,
    Learn from the moon not to be afraid,
    Learn from the vultures when you are overwhelmed with responsibilities,
    And go to the ant and see her arduous work,

    Learn from the flower to be as beautiful as her,
    Learn from the sheep to be as mild as her,
    Learn from the birds to always be on the go,
    Learn from everything that everything passes,
    Take in mind son of the sacrificed what world you’re leaving in

    To learn from what dies to live forever.

    Isn't it wonderful when sutor lays down his crepidam and raises his forehead into the moonlight ? Behold, beyond, the silver Tay! Aren't we all, one and all, god's children and whatnot after all ?! Pro tip : just because whichever god is stuck fucking the same Geea to make people, dun mean neither that people are all god's children, nor that there is or can be such a thing as "the goddess". The gods are all different, and earth is no goddess.

    Romanians think this inanity was penned by R. Kipling, too, principally because they're a bunch of fucking cows strictly incapable of culture or scholarship -- they'd prolly equally gleefully believe Erathostenes wrote the Days Of Our Lives jingle. []

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