Filthy #DailyPost #WritersWednesday

Today’s prompt

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“Of course, you have to explore their past: those characters of yours have a past, hidden from you, so far. You need to discover it, understand it, get into some of the less palatable truths about them. Don’t just see them squeakily clean on the blank page! Look, look for the filth, the deplorable, the inexcusable.”

She spoke, in this charming but imperative voice my muse has, when the rain falls, and I am stuck in getting the novel back moving again. She’s right, she always is.

“And, by the way, if your discoveries, what they were once up to, the skeletons in their briefcase, lead you to question their virtue, don’t hesitate! The hero is less than perfect! Good! In fact he is a coward, or was, or might be again: lovely! What will attract the attention of a discerning reader is, is precisely what makes her that little better, more adjusted, thus a touch sexier, than that character of yours!”

I will follow her advice, much work in perspective, and maybe, by digging through the filth, I’ll find the gems?

The City knows #WritersWednesday

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She never forgets: the humble swamps of the beginnings, the far away sounds of war, the medieval cruelties, the triumphs, the parades, the Enemy at the gates…

Then there was the long war – thirty years of destruction, rape, pestilence and ruins. Out of this came a stronger state, and she was the capital. The Soldiers” King – Soldaten König – made her powerful, perhaps a little agressive too. She knows what the fate of his son was, the sweet Friedrich, and Russia: a predicament for the next two centuries.

She remembers the Corsican invader, who would have feared Friedrich, and would lose his pride, and an empire, in the snows and fires of Moscow. And she loved Schinkel, the master architect, he who gave her the cross – on the hill: Kreuzberg, and what followed, the victories, the invincible army, the birth of the Reich, the Iron Cross.

Of the First World War she only remembers the trains full of enthusiastic soldiers, and then the revolution, machine guns in the street, Spartakus, the bloodbath, the corpses thrown into the canal.

Of the long night that started not so much later, she speaks often, soberly. So many sad memories, all those little brass stones on her pavements – so many human beings taken away, old and young, and burnt. The memorials, the thousands buried in her parks. Yes, the trees, fallen soldiers, reborn to adorn her streets.

Of the wall of division, yesterday really, a few seconds ago in her life, she knows all, and now she sees the builders, the speculators, the newcomers.

She sees us, my love, and is willing to tell us her stories. We will listen to her, in awe.

 

Flourish #TheDailyPost #WritersWednesday

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Publish a new post on your blog interpreting the theme…

Since their land was so inhospitable to foreign eyes, they retained their freedom longer than those tribes whose territory the predators desired, and plundered. Little did the invaders knew that the old prophecy had been tested: they were imposters, their creed a fraud, their ignoble brutality a sign they were of inferior stock to the tribes that knew the Peaceful Way.

So they survived the Castillans and their priests, the Anglo preachers who knew nothing of their culture and kept kidnapping their children, in the futile hope to convert them, and now the flow of tourists, ignorant, sun-burnt and fat, and ever so friendly. Yet they flourish, on the same land, now spared the threat of raiders, with better healthcare, a rewarding trade, and still, their incomparable freedom.

Image: The Medicine Man, John Moyers, 2007, oil on canvas, Tucson Museum of Art

Gleeful: #VisDare 137

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It was done, all these long years of study, the cold classrooms, the interminable nights of reading, the despair when the results were dismal… We had finished, the world was ours, your hand in mine and his in yours: what was more beautiful than our friendship?

I remember how our laughs resonated in the ancient hall. Outside the sun was shining: a summer day to precede all our summers. Our joyous steps on the stone floor, and outside our friends and parents waiting. We would chose our life, the three of us, inseparable, chose where we would live, this incredible friendship, perhaps this shared love. The world was still young, and we, even younger! We were rushing into our future, innocent, blind, defenceless…

He went first, as he was a bit older, and you and I took him to board his train, already full of youngsters like him, like us. On the platform grim officers were ensuring the train would leave on time. There, in the East, that war had started.

I soon followed, and then it was your turn, for, by now, women were drafted into combat. So now, with you and him gone forever, I remember the day we left school, full of hopes. I have my eyes left to cry.

Inspired by Erich Maria Remark’s immortal novel, Die Kameraden

 

Hope #TheDailyPost

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Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

You said the change will do us good. I was not so sure, but now we have to do it, no turning back. You may well be right: the city of Faust may be  just what we need…

What we need to revive the flame, to forget the past, to erase certain memories…

And then we will walk, hand in hand, along the tree-lined streets, past haunted dwellings, as if nothing had ever happened, just a couple of lovers, taking in the Spring air, in a city that saw so much worse…

… than a couple of murderers on the run…

Image: House 3 Providence RI 1976, © Francesca Woodman

#VisDare 135: Negotiating

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At long last I found you again my darling, after all those months of anxiety! Where could you be? And you are there, just in front of me, in the middle of those inert little dolls… When your turn comes be sure that fellow will notice your guy, I’m a good head above the others.

Yes, those idle folks will be surprised, such a small woman, with that huge fellow! We will laugh too, and cry a little. You will hug me, me holding you in those strong arms, my little beauty.

Then we will take the long road home, away from this city, no more auctions for you. You won’t leave my sight, on the way you’ll tell me your story. And I will tell you how much I love you, cherish you, how I feared to have lost you, and won’t let you go away again, without me…

Image source: Doll Auction at Caledonian market, 1920s.

 

Kafka #AtoZAprilChallenge

From my “K” entry in the 2013 AtoZ Challenge: 

In the world of this blogger there are two of them: a writer of genius, who died in 1924, wrote The Trial, The Castle, The Metamorphosis and a host of stories and plays, and Nakata “Kafka” Tamura, hero of “Kafka on the Shore”, the novel by Haruki Murakami.

Kafka statue in Prague Franz Kafka, the writer, inspired Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre, among others.  To the love of his life, the writer Milena Jesenská, he wrote passionate letters. Milená died in 1944, murdered with so many other women at Auschwitz.  He is the lead writer on the Absurd of the beginning of the 20th century depicting the insanity of the bureaucracies of his time.

The other Kafka is a growing young man, who discovers love in the person of the unattainable Miss Saeki.  When I go to Japan, I hope I will meet them both.

Elementary #AtoZAprilChallenge

 

Statue of Holmes, holding a pipe

“Elementary, my dear Watson” as the great detective Sherlock Holmes once told his hapless companion. But this is not the whole truth! This entry in Wikipedia seems to establish the historical fact:

The phrase “Elementary, my dear Watson” is never uttered by Holmes in the sixty stories written by Conan Doyle. He often observes that his conclusions are “elementary”, however, and occasionally calls Watson “my dear Watson”. One of the nearest approximations of the phrase appears in “The Adventure of the Crooked Man”, when Holmes explains a deduction: “‘Excellent!’ I cried. ‘Elementary,’ said he.”[58][59]

The phrase “Elementary, my dear fellow, quite elementary” (not spoken by Holmes) appears in P. G. Wodehouse‘s novel, Psmith in the City (1909–1910),[59] and his 1915 novel Psmith, Journalist.[60] The exact phrase “Elementary, my dear Watson” is used by protagonist Tom Beresford in Agatha Christie’s 1922 novel The Secret Adversary. It also appears at the end of the 1929 film The Return of Sherlock Holmes, the first Holmes sound film.[58]William Gillette (who played Holmes on the stage and on radio) had previously said, “Oh, this is elementary, my dear fellow”. The phrase may have become familiar because of its use in Edith Meiser’s scripts for The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes radio series, which was broadcast from 1939 to 1947.[61] Holmes utters the exact phrase in the 1953 short story “The Adventure of the Red Widow” by Conan Doyle’s son, Adrian.[62]

Which shows that great men’s words are sometime extended to a life of their own!

Photo: Statue of Holmes in an Inverness cape and a deerstalker cap on Picardy Place in Edinburgh (Conan Doyle’s birthplace) – By Siddharth Krish. Original uploader was Siddharthkrish at en.wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User:Blurpeace using CommonsHelper.
(Original text : self-made), CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8863912

 

#VisDare130 Possibility

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You came, in this infinite solitude, on the edge of the lake. Last night I fetched you from the small town: you were dead tired, I had to carry you to your room.

And this morning, early, I saw you, standing in the silence, the calm, icy water half way to  your knees, the black shawl over your shoulder. For long minutes we were immobile, taking in the immaculate beauty of these shores.

No words are needed. It has been so long: I know now that you will stay. All these years I hoped, alone. Perhaps you did, too.

You are here. The world is reborn, the trees are alive, and black is the water at your feet.

Soon, Spring will come, and we’ll walk through forests so old we will have to relearn their tongue – but maybe, you, will remember.

I look into your eyes, deeper than the lake.

 

 

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