Lush #DailyPrompt #amwriting

Mimas PIA06258.jpg

There is plenty. Of everything: history, people, murders, treacheries, wars, horror and beauty. The world is a lush stage for the writer: a space where subjects abound, where heroes, villains, creators, liars, assassins wear the most amazing camouflages. Over all this, the dream machines reign supreme. The last man on Mars, the destruction of the Moon, deeper still under the oceans. The Space Station, the Ark… No adventure is impossible, for this is not only the society of spectacle, the entire planet is acting, as if Earth knew what is expected of her.

Of course it can go wrong, even, very wrong. The big meteorite may well materialise (do you remember the Death Star, emerging from Hyperspace?), and then what? Assassins do roam the streets, the Devil never gives up…

Do we lack inspiration? Surely not, if anything is missing it is our (collective) inability to make sense of it, and turn all this into great literature…

Photo: The Saturnian moon Mimas, photographed by the Cassini probe in 2005. The large crater in the upper right (Herschel) gives it a resemblance to the Death Star.

Source: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA06258

Copyright: This file is in the public domain in the United States because it was solely created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that “NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted“. (See Template:PD-USGovNASA copyright policy page or JPL Image Use Policy.)

The Prompt

Ten (steps) #DailyPrompt #WritersWednesday

The prompt

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“Ten steps, you said, and, well, I’d like to know…”

“It is simple, also we are in 2017 remember,” she replied with her irresistible smile, “The hundredth anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution – remember Petrograd? But also 1517, five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation: Wittenberg, brother Martin, the revolt of the peasants, Münster, Q! So, here you are, the ten steps:

  1. Remember always which year you are in
  2. Look at the cages, have this picture above your desk, remember them!
  3. Every year take a trip to Wittenberg, or Münster, or wherever an event of importance took place that has inspired great works…
  4. Reread “The Ten Days That Shook the World”, “Q” and other classics: food for thoughts.
  5. Bert from the Well be your model: the calm hero.
  6. Never rush on mere enthusiasm: there has to be a reason!
  7. Reread the “Tractatus”, Wittgenstein is good for the soul.
  8. Walk.
  9. Respect her, I mean, me!
  10. Gym, three times a week!

There you are, I told you: simple!”

Photo: the church of Saint Lamberti in Münster, with the original cages where the tortured corpses of the Täufer were exhibited (1536)

Pillage #DailyPrompt #WritersWednesday

So much to see, so little time…

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History walks along the quiet streets, ghosts hide in the corridors of museums: our steps resonate in the night, so much to explore… The story ripens, enriched by the findings, tombs of soldiers, standing knights in corners of baroque churches, damsels hidden in wooden scarves and dark mantels. Renaissance painters, medieval crosses, Japanese swords, enough material for many books.

Will there be time to pillage so much wealth?

Photo: Alte Museum, Berlin – © 2016 Honoré Dupuis

Culture #DailyPost

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

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It’s all that we have learnt, and forgotten. It’s all that we remember, suddenly, as we walk through the woods, and see the castle, across the lake, which reminds us of beauty and the beast, of treasure island, of snow-white and her friends the dwarves… It’s all that may reappear, in our dreams, in the soft ripples of desires and memories. It may even be about a lost ring?

We follow the lane, our steps made silent by the thick cover of dead leaves. We cannot be sure who lived here, did they write symphonies, or wrote novels? Or did they study the dark heart of time? Were they wizards, or evil magicians? Did they come from the underworld, or from an island, far away, across an immense ocean? Are they still alive?

Behind those trees, we see the old school, the coal fire burning, the ancient wooden floor. It is what will remain when we are ready to embark, on our last voyage…

Photo: Schloß Dammsmühle, Brandenburg, © 2016 Honoré Dupuis

From the mist #WritersWednesday

 

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They emerge from the mist, slowly, their shapes and faces only taking colours once the first sun rays appear: they look hesitant, perhaps a little shy. They are not alone, small nebulae surround them: their memories, their secrets, their hopes, often encrypted, not yet readable. They don’t speak, they appear to listen, to sounds we cannot hear, to melodies long forgotten, or voices of others, far away.

Sometime, one of them comes into clearer focus, surprised, but determined to find her way. It is then our turn to listen, attentive to the moves and gestures of the newcomer. It is as if she wishes to communicate with us, a few words at a time, often names. Eventually we know her name, and, later, that of people who matter to her. It is then the start of a journey of discovery. Where does she come from? When was she born, and where? Who were her parents? Who was her first love? Or, if there was no mercy, when did she die?

If she’s dead, already, then she may be coming, from that distant past, on behalf of someone else, her living self, or an old lover, or a child she lost, somewhere. She may be here to denounce some falsehood, some slander she was victim of, some lies people told about her life. She wants justice.

When she starts talking, we are surprised, how young she sounds, how present she is, and we want to hear more, of her life, of her story.

If we are lucky, she will tell us enough, about her life, her loves, her world, for us to write about her, to make her live again.

Photo: Christian Daniel Rauch, Danaide mit aufgelöstem Haar (Danaid with dishevelled hair), 1842-1846 – Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin

 

Joseph Nasi @ Altaj, Wu Ming

Altai, by Wu Ming, the story of A Venetian spy in Constantinople… Altai can also be read as another encounter with Gert from the Well…

leesmagazijn

.Guiseppe Nasi

#deconspiratie Voor wie het nog niet wist of zich herinneren kan. De Turken (Ottomanen ) werkten met Nederland samen tegen Spanje.

Maintaining contacts with William the Silent,[10] Nasi encouraged the Netherlands to revolt against Spain, a major adversary of the Ottoman Empire (the rebellion was ultimately carried out by the Union of Utrecht, as the start of the Eighty Years’ War).[11]

Meer over Nasi in Altja van Wu Ming

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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

 

Amnesia #AtoZAprilChallenge

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Amnesia is the absence of memories, or the inability to recall them.

In his book “Rue des Boutiques Obscures” (translated as Missing Person), the French novelist, and 2014 Literature Nobel prize winner , Patrick Modiano tells the story of a man who has forgotten all about his past, and indeed lost even his identity. His slow and painful investigation reveals  names and places he cannot recall, until some old photographs start stirring what appears like a misty recollection. But who is he really? Is he the rich playboy who married the Russian heiress, or his friend, the tall South-American diplomat, with whom he sought peace, and perhaps surviving an ancient threat, in the snows of Megève? A tragedy took place then, and witnesses can be found, but no clue to who he really is.

Amnesia is not rare among victims of violent traumas, or torture.

Image: “Blitz”, ©Eduardo Seco

 

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