Archive for the ‘Literature’ Tag

Our Lady of the Bloomenveldt

Jem sent me some photos she’d squeezed in recently, but didn’t have the chance to write up.  As it happened, I’d recently re-read Norman Spinrad’s Child of Fortune, which I recommend to you at some point; and the size of some of the flowers in LEA15’s Gardens By the Bay reminded me of that book.  If you don’t get the context of the quotations, I suggest you buy the book.  It is fun, it is erotic, and it will make you think about what our society could be like if we tried out the social philosophy of Sunshine’s Second Starfaring Age.

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Hallowe’en 2015 — The Masque of the Red Death

The Red Death had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal—the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores…. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow-men. And the whole seizure, progress and termination of the disease, were the incidents of half an hour.

But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court, and with these retired to the deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys…. [Security was] within. Without was the Red Death….

The Masque of the Red Death-jpg

…When the eyes of the Prince Prospero fell upon this spectral image (which, with a slow and solemn movement, as if more fully to sustain its role, stalked to and fro among the waltzers) he was seen to be convulsed, in the first moment with a strong shudder either of terror or distaste; but, in the next, his brow reddened with rage.

“Who dares,”—he demanded hoarsely of the courtiers who stood near him—”who dares insult us with this blasphemous mockery? Seize him and unmask him—that we may know whom we have to hang, at sunrise, from the battlements!”…

…At first, as he spoke, there was a slight rushing movement…in the direction of the intruder, who at the moment was also near at hand, and now, with deliberate and stately step, made closer approach to the speaker.  But from a certain nameless awe…, there were found none who put forth hand to seize him; so that, unimpeded, he passed within a yard of the prince’s person….  It was then, however, that the Prince Prospero, maddening with rage and the shame of his own momentary cowardice, rushed hurriedly through the six chambers, while none followed him on account of a deadly terror that had seized upon all.  He bore aloft a drawn dagger, and had approached, in rapid impetuosity, to within three or four feet of the retreating figure, when the latter…turned suddenly and confronted his pursuer.  There was a sharp cry—and the dagger dropped gleaming upon the sable carpet, upon which, instantly afterwards, fell prostrate in death the Prince Prospero….

And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall….  And the flames of the tripods expired.  And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.

Excerpts from the short story “The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe (1842)

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In Search of Robert Louis Stevenson

“…For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.  I travel for travel’s sake.  The great affair is to move; to feel the needs and hitches of our life more nearly; to come down off this feather-bed of civilisation, and find the globe granite underfoot and strewn with cutting flints….”

Robert Louis Stevenson, Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes (1879)

In the Cevennes 1

Welcome to the South of France!  I’m actually farther south than Robert Louis Stevenson got on his hiking trip, a self-imposed journey that resulted in his second full-length book.  And, really, I’m not even in France; this region, Flux sur Mer, does a good stand-in job for rural coastal France, though, and fits in somewhat with the theme of this month’s Uber collection, “Rustic.”

RLS

Stevenson was a traveler partly by inclination, but also partly for reasons of necessity; he suffered from wretched health for most of his life (though current conclusions are that it wasn’t tuberculosis, as often suggested), and made many journeys in search of a climate that would agree with his constitution.  This journey, however, was not one of those.  Rather, he was in part looking for material for a book, but also to forget about the married American woman, Fanny Osbourne, who he would eventually marry himself.  She and her son would end up following Stevenson in his travels, to America, and eventually to the place Stevenson settled and died in, Samoa; however, this was years in the future from 1878.

Travels-map In the Cevennes 2

My travel plans were nowhere near as ambitious as Stevenson’s.  This was a morning visit to a French country town, and I dressed appropriately for it:  a soft linen dress, sandals, a big floppy hat and a colorful bag.

In the Cevennes 3

Last-minute discovery: I stuck my hand through the top of the bag (sigh). I want to show this lovely accessory to you, though, and here it is.

A stop for breakfast at a patisserie:

In the Cevennes 4

and I was ready to explore the sim.  (I leave this as an exercise for the reader; just follow the SLurl.)

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The details:

  • Skin: Glam Affair Cleo (America – Clean B)
  • Eyes: Poetic Colors berlin nights (small, bright)
  • Hair: Truth Hair Armelle, with hat
  • Dress: Zenith minority long dress (milk) (available at July Uber)
  • Shoes: Pure Poison Katarina sandals (Colors) (available at July Uber)
  • Attachments: SLink Avatar Enhancement Feet (Mid); Slink Avatar Enhancement Hands (Casual)
  • Accessories: Eudora 3D Rustic Tote Bag, Maxi Gossamer Savannah earrings and bracelets (all available at July Uber)
  • Makeup: Blacklace Beauty Hi-Gloss Lips Clear 50%; Baiastice Rio eyeshadow (mod 2)

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Do Androids Dream….

Warning:  The following contains photographs of frontal nudity, and may be considered Not Safe For Work/School.  If you come to this article via the main page, and click on the Read More link, you’re acknowledging that you’re of legal age and have no qualms about this.

Blade Runner

Welcome to Hangars Liquides, which resembles the San Angeles of Blade Runner and the original Philip K. Dick book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, in many places. Dark in many places, gritty at the least in most, and yet with a compelling attraction that draws you back.

Early in the 21st Century, the Tyrell Corporation advanced robot evolution into the NEXUS phase – a being virtually identical to a human – known as a Replicant. The NEXUS 6 Replicants were superior in strength and agility, and at least equal in intelligence, to the genetic engineers who created them. Replicants were used Off-World as slave labor, in the hazardous exploration and colonization of other planets. After a bloody mutiny by a NEXUS 6 combat team in an Off-World colony, Replicants were declared illegal on earth – under penalty of death. Special police squads – BLADE RUNNER UNITS – had orders to shoot to kill, upon detection, any trespassing Replicant This was not called execution. It was called retirement.

— Opening to the Ridley Scott film Blade Runner

Find the replicant you seek on the next page….

The Grand Master

Illustrated Man blog

If El Greco had painted miniatures in his prime, no bigger than your hand, infinitely detailed with all his sulphurous color, elongation, and anatomy, perhaps he might have used this man’s body for his art. The colors burned in three dimensions. They were windows looking in upon fiery reality. Here, gathered on one wall, were all the finest scenes in the universe, the man was a walking treasure gallery. This wasn’t the work of a cheap carnival tattoo man with three colors and whiskey on his breath. This was the accomplishment of a living genius, vibrant, clear, and beautiful.

Ray Bradbury, The Illustrated Man

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Ray Bradbury, one of the founding authors and Grand Masters of science fiction, has been dead a little over a year now. Today is his birthday (born in 1920 in Waukegan, Ill.), and I decided to take a look at him, in part by letting you take a look at me interpreting, like a pale ghost, one of his more famous anthologies: The Illustrated Man.

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Rocket forward to the remainder of the tribute.

Around the World in 196 Books

Taj Mahal, blog

“Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

For once, I’m going to intrude a little Real World info into a virtual-world blog, other than a tribute, biography or obituary.  Why so?  Well, because Second Life is as much influenced by the Real World as sheer imagination; after all, something helps inspire our imagination at some point or another, be it a song, a movie, a photo, a painting or a book.  Anyone who helps spread the importance of Spreading Ideas and Thoughts, and any good vehicles that do so, are high on the list of this Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, your humble servant1.

Find out more about Ann Morgan, the subject of this discussion; read on….

Posted July 17, 2013 by Harper Ganesvoort in Arts, Literature, Real Life

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Heading to Gatsby’s Place

Gatsby

Photographed on the Unter den Linden, 1920s Berlin.

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