It might seem odd that, by the end of August, I have the entire remainder of the year pretty much planned through – and beyond that, actually.
I promised less randomness in the choice of the topics that I treat here, and so, here we go:
September will be Lovecraft month for us, because I like the idea.
October then will be Poe month. Because I like the idea.
Then, starting in November, I’ll periodically publish a very long piece on Coleridge, written by Friend of the Blog, Ben Manning (buy his book, will ya?), which will serve us as material for well into 2014.
That, plus the usual stack of news, shenanigans, and stuff I simply like, will likely make for a good Coleridgian winter… Or so I hope!
However, there’s one thing I’d like to have you people’s opinion on – what course the blog, now that it is – arguably – established as a source for connaisseurs of Coleridge, is going to take in the coming year:
2014 will be a decisive year in regards of my career, so, I’ll have to focus on that. And because of that, if I don’t want to give up on Coleridge, I have to do some long-term planning.
So, I’ll let you decide: Which one of the following topics should Your Coleridge focus on in 2014?
(Mind you that the majority decision will determine what about 50 of our average 80 posts per year will treat with!)
So, people, speak your voice, and I shall listen!
Like, come on, it’s Sunday, take those three minutes it takes to read it. You certainly won’t regret it. Ben, in general, deserves more public recognition for his writing. So, let’s give him some respect!
Ben on his own text: “This poem being a visualization from the story by Roald Dahl of perhaps Coleridge as a young boy, Instead of being nearly drowned in the River Otter we find him in a more exotic setting, with the Albatross’s place being taken by the Turtle.”
The Ancient Turtle and the Boy who loved him……
Based on the short story “The Boy Who Talked with Animals”, by Roald Dahl.
Written in the style of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.It is a native fisherman and he stoppeth one of three: Say the others unto him, “Why stops me my man? Ah! I see a fine catch hast been caught by thee” “There, Here Tis a Sea Turtle….The finest catch!”, quoth he, From near boarding house the guests did gather, “We will be rich! A treasured catch this be For two hundreds years passed as have been enjoyed by he… For he is an Ancient sea turtle… His years worth more than thee or me…or all of us thrice round!”, The sailors did care not for the large creature, But only for selling it, pound for pound. The men looked on, The men did argue, the men did grumble and from great greed there words did stumble, Round and round they circled and vainly did they prod, Like a vulture round its pray they did discuss the turtle fate as it lay, Provoking its venom and its anger, Only to seek to slay it for reasons of danger Its head did bob, Its head did suffer, and its arms and legs scrambled, and did flutter, There it lay as sad as a wounded albatross, For on its back was it laid, Its fate in the hands of a coin to toss, From distance a boy doth come like the rich men that surrounded he, He doth not cometh from lands of sea and sand, where fine men walk, For in Jamaica are such men of palm trees and drums of steel, Honest and fine, The boy he comes from the land of Albion, As doth such men that taunt and barter for this humble beast so old and fine to be used as a culinary starter! This beast so wise and laboured, So suddenly caught from waves of blue, Soon to be eaten or sold as a catch so sought after, Its fine sinews fleshed out and its soul sent to the thereafter, But the boy he screams! For he loveth the turtle that the men did slay as it struggles its last breaths its life only a game for the men to play The boy not more than a ten years child: The Sea Turtle hath his will, “Leave him be!”, sayeth he, So loudly and clearly his words can be heard, Like the winds on the waves and the wings of a bird, Such natures wisdom from his mouth doth spring, Approaching the turtle great kindness did he show, Such peace and good fortune, love from him did flow, “Be gone! Tame the boy! For like a shrew he doth give cunning to the turtle, He is ours to sell and to barter, Take him whence Let us decide its fate“, The mans thoughts were wild, Such money and delights would be his, From this turtle as his bait… His thoughts so wild with greed and power, His thoughts did ring, “The money is mine, I’ve won! I’ve won!”, Like a bird with its prey did the men look upon the sad turtle as it lay, But the boy cradled its head in his hands, Great kindness and love did he show, For he loveth the turtle as lord god loves all creatures great and small, Regardless of goods, money nor vanity, The men looked on, fearing insanity, The boy did speak to the creature, its Shell so wide, The boy spoke on, Meek gentle and so small, “My son! You must let the Turtle go… for his sanity! The turtle so shrewd from the ages so wise, Leave him be to be free and roam far and wide, On the painted ocean so wide with unknown depths so measureless to man”, The men did extort great riches from the boys father, Only to calm the man’s child from fear and wonder, To dispel thoughts of death and destruction, To a creature so wise, omnipotent and round, Once restored did it stumble, Into the ocean it went so humble, The boy did look on his heart at rest… But for in his bed next day he could not be found, For he was known for talking to the animals, Talk he did on the wide ocean for ever more, They did search and roameth high and low for the boy of special powers, But Oh! One, Two, Three footsteps found in the sand Can he be found, by god hand? In the distance the boy is seen The sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came the boy!
And he and the turtle shone bright, Clear as day on the back of the giant turtle he moveth toward the sun The catchers did see him but natures law did tell them to follow the boy no further, What a vision they saw! As it came to pass did they let him be, For they have found the child a’ riding on the back of the sea turtle, On the sea, had they searched…… in a circle, The boy saved the men from greed and avarice, He had saved them from penance they might do, Such guilt washed away into the ocean, Oft! they pondered how a kind saint took pity on them, and blessed them unaware Surrounded by love’s light does he ride the waves on the back of gods creature, For he hath drunk the milk of kindness… The men left stunned as the sun rose, The boys kindness and the sea turtle’s age old wisdom had brought such selfish gains to a close, Such higher things were beyond earthly wisdoms, Sadder and wiser men they rose the next morning , But there be no reason for any mourning… The parents so clever and wise, left stunned… Into the unknown there boy did he venture, Water, Water everywhere, A sea wide with adventure…
He is himself a dedicated Coleridgian, a dedicated blogger, and a debuting writer:
Say *hello* to Ben Manning, folks!
Ben has been a supporter of this blog pretty much from the start, and regularly supplies me with some valuable info on the topics I talk about here.
(More of Ben’s connection with Coleridge in the weeks to come.)
For now, let’s focus on that Ben has to blogs, which I regularly read:
One, his personal blog.
Another, the blog dedicated to his novel, The Vril Codex.
Ben had mentioned to me that he had published a novel some time ago.
A supernatural mystery story. With nazis. And a cover I didn’t like.
Yeah, I thought, where have I seen THIS before?
And, yeah, it would have a connection to Coleridge.
– Of cooooooourse, buddy. Nevermind, I’ll read your thing anyway. Because I am the nicest guy in the world, and the best of pals, all over. Friendly neighborhood’s Nick Carraway, you know.
And then, after fighting down some more resistance, I actually cared to read the book, at night, on the screen, via Kindle for PC…
…And I had a BLAST! 🙂
This is a great book, and one that likely will fall under the radar due to the dynamics of modern mass market publishing – which is why I decided to link permantently to Ben’s page.
I won’t spoil anything right now, though. Let’s just say that the Coleridge references in the text are very well placed, not in the rather absurd way that Tim Powers used them in The Gates of Anubis.
The Vril Codex is a well-researched “Indiana Jones”-type story that, while perhaps not sporting the particularly most originally structured plot, never becomes too sensational or too cheap to believe its action.
I’d say “it’s better than the stuff that Dan Brown writes”, but really, Dan Brown is such a no-writer, I don’t think that I’d be particularly complimenting Ben with such a statement. 🙂
Let’s put it like this:
I don’t particularly like nazi conspiracy books or movies, the tropes being old even when Spielberg picked them up.but But I liked this one, and I am as snobbish about books as they come. So, this should say a lot about how good it really is.
I recommend this book to you. 🙂
This is a test post, really.
Over the last week, I have been experiencing rather strange glitches with WordPress, from the engine destroying some layouts, to some content simply not displaying.
Maybe it’s a problem on my side – but if you’re experiencing the same phenomenon, please let me know.
These woes come at a bad time, because I want to take a closer look at the doings of friend of Your Coleridge, Ben Manning, and I don’t want those posts to be somehow messed up because the servers get hacked, or updated, or moved, or, whatever…
Now, since the strong emphasis of my work here so far has been The Rime, I thought I would not stride too much off-topic if I presented my opinion on a book I picked up at the train station a few days back – simply because I was bored:
Released in Germany as Scott – Leben einer Legende, the book appears to be Fiennes’ response to the increasingly negative views other historians and authors have, really over the last quarter of a century, expressed about Scott.
Truth to be told, I don’t have an opinion on this matter; it’s the first time I ever delve into the exploration of the Antarctic in any form. I think Fiennes makes a convincing statement in his defense of Scott, though.
And, quite obviously, the book, a complete biography with photos and other additional materials, is difficult to put down. Fiennes, whom I only knew as a fiction writer, and as what I had frankly always perceived as a con act about being “the world’s greatest adventurer”, that Fiennes really can write.
Overall, I think a can say, a great read, and, for me particularly, a great introduction in the exploration of the remaining dark corners of the world. If I find the time, I’d like to read more accounts of, possibly, older journeys, particularly, as you might already have guessed, historical accounts of expeditions from the Napoleonic era…