Friday, December 27, 2019

A Joyful Realisation Behind the Words of the Magnificat

Then She never could have been in transgression
Since never of the serpent She was slave
She was always the foe of the old dragon
The Virgin of the House of King Dave
The Virgin of the House of King Dave!

Did the angel mean then "thou slaydest
Holophernem or Siseram?"
"Not so," told Her cousin, Mrs. Cohen:
"Ye slayed the old slayer of Adam
Ye set things right for Eve and for Adam!"

And even if She already knew it,
Confirmation of good news comes well
If you know it in your heart, really know it
You still would like someone else to tell,
You still would like someone else to tell!

Some recall "she said yes" of a martyr
Who maybe was Cassie Bernall
But the yes of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Is the blessedest yes of them all,
Is the blessedest yes of them all.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Floor 10,024

Year 10 950 ARC (After Rocket Crash) · Floor 10,024

This time Conan dreamt of elevators.

From floor 10,024 he took the stairs up to 10,025. He could have taken the "Little Elevator" as well. There he took an elevator to floor 10,005, in just two stops. This elevator was called "Mid-Little Elevator".

From 10,005 he had several times taken a "Mid-Great Elevator" which stopped at every hundredth floor.

This time, he was taking a "Great Elevator".

It stopped every 1000 floors, and at 1 meter per second, this meant it took 50 minutes between each stop.

Obviously, this was not what one normally thinks of as Elevators, Conan somehow both didn't connect to trains and was very well familiar with train procedure. And yes, taking a "Great Elevator" was a bit like taking a train.

You had a fairly big carriage up and down. It came and left at fixed hours and could take 30 persons at a time. You had to pay tickets to take it. And, while expensive, they were kind of worth it.

You had seats. You had a toilet one floor below that with the passenger seats, and also a cafeteria room one floor above it, with automatic distributors of hot and cold drinks and of snacks. You could even buy a TV meal and you could heat it in a microwave oven, which was switched off five minutes before approaching a stop floor. You put your luggage on luggage shelves. Or, very bulky luggage, on the same floor as the toilet.

Down to 9,005, he dozed.

Waking before 9,005, he was told by a loudspeaker "we are now approaching the next floor, which is nine-thousand and five, if you are leaving here, please finish your meals, don't start a micro-wave heating, if you already have a meal going, you can take it away with you in a brown bag."

He picked up a book (in an elevator on the façade, he could have watched the skyscape, and how the landscape below unfolded, but those were more expensive and some found that an occasion of vertigo or even nausea). This was an elevator inside the building and a break in the electric current could make it go dark, but as it was, he enjoyed the lamps on the book. Some of the other passangers were reading too. Some were talking, but not too loud, he could still read.

He was five chapters through (though when he woke he had no idea what book it was) when the voice announced "we are now approaching the next floor, which is eight-thousand and five, if you are leaving here, please finish your meals, don't start a micro-wave heating, if you already have a meal going, you can take it away with you in a brown bag."

He was not leaving, not yet. One couple of lovers was, though. He watched them smile at each other as they took down their luggage from the luggage shelves. They kept hugging while the elevators was standing still for two minutes, and they went slowly out ... they were probably getting a new apartment somewhere between floors 8000 and 9000.

The elevator started again, this time a bit shaky. But it soon caught up.

All of his life, he had been hearing the noise of winds blowing around the skyscraper, somewhat mitigated by sound dampers. However, this time, he could hear it was blowing to a storm.

The elevator stopped again. "We are in an emergency, please do not panic"

He heard something crack, slowly.

"We are in an emergency, pl..."

Electricity went out, both the lamps and the voice finished abruptly.

He heard the noise of the wind again, more cracking, and felt a slight difference in angle in the dark.

Several others started moving uneasily.

He heard another crack, and the angle was slanting even worse, and now the other passengers were standing up and shouting and quarreling and each wanted to come to the door - but it was locked, as they were somewhere between floor 8,005 and floor 7,005.

As he heard another crack and felt someone stumble across his legs, he woke up.

It was just his cat. "It's you Tabs! You don't know what a relief this is!" The cat was not answering in words, just stared back at Conan.

Conan thought of what Harold Howard had told him about Nimrod trying to build "a tower so tall, that it reached to heaven".

He put on the lamp, and he opened the Bible, Genesis 11.

He read verses 1 to 9.

And the earth was of one tongue, and of the same speech. And when they removed from the east, they found a plain in the land of Sennaar, and dwelt in it. And each one said to his neighbour: Come, let us make brick, and bake them with fire. And they had brick instead of stones, and slime instead of mortar. And they said: Come, let us make a city and a tower, the top whereof may reach to heaven: and let us make our name famous before we be scattered abroad into all lands. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of Adam were building. And he said: Behold, it is one people, and all have one tongue: and they have begun to do this, neither will they leave off from their designs, till they accomplish them in deed. Come ye, therefore, let us go down, and there confound their tongue, that they may not understand one another's speech. And so the Lord scattered them from that place into all lands, and they ceased to build the city. And therefore the name thereof was called Babel, because there the language of the whole earth was confounded: and from thence the Lord scattered them abroad upon the face of all countries.

Unlike the dream, he could remember what he was reading.

Wonder how much they had lost during the Flood ... in technology. How could they have solved the elevator problem?

Was it even a sky-scraper, with an elevator he was trying?

and a tower, the top whereof may reach to heaven

He suddenly thought of a three step rocket at take off. Only the top reaches outer space.

And he thought - what if Nimrod had no clue at all, nearly, what it would really take, and God delayed this to several thousand years later at Cape Canaveral?

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Prologue to Chronicle on Susan Pevensie : Chiefly on Fan Fiction

I'm not sure if you know what fan fiction is.

It does not mean I write a novel entirely of my own, with all characters entirely of my own and take credit for that.

It doesn't mean I take someone else's novel and someone else's characters and change names and other items of exact wording and take credit for that (that's called plagairism).

It means I take the characters from someone else's novel and put them in a new novel or short story. I give them credit for original novels and take credit for my own imagination on what the original author(s) left undescribed.

As I said them, plural, not him, singular, this is actually fan fic on more authors' work than just C. S. Lewis' Seven Chronicles of Narnia.

As I wanted a girl somewhat more tomboyish than Susan Pevensie, and Lucy was already dead, and even Jill Pole was so, in came George (dare I mention at the end you may even call her Georgina?) from Enid Blyton. As I had Susan Pevensie persecuted by a Rabadash like person at the very first chapter, I felt like giving her a decent husband at the end. And Lost Road by Tolkien, John Ronald, came to mind. And obviously I mixed up Audoin and Alboin while doing so. Meanwhile, as she is a person living in England after seeing Narnia, he's one who has seen Numenor. And the Lombards. And a few more. Both have memories of a world they cannot go to. I'm going to explain (or here am explaining) the mixup with Tolkien giving the two Errols some anonymity by exchanging the names of father and of son in them.

As the presumed authorial voice in nearly all of the seven chronicles (all but the last) is a Digory Kirke, who was child and (I presume) well into his youth when Sherlock Holmes was doing detective work on Baker Street, in comes Doctor Watson. With Holmes and Watson around, I can't keep Father Brown out ....

Some guys have a deep antipathy for the whole concept of fan fic, not to mention fan fic crossing over between different authors' different universes. While bad stuff exist, good stuff also exists and on Narnia, mine is not the most noble, but perhaps the most exhaustive. Susan fics (that is fan fictions about Susan Pevensie, notably after the Last Battle) are hard to find but seem to have been very prolific once, and they are difficult to do well. I think my attempt may be the best one of those still available, because I do try to tie together so many loose ends, but there are other fields of Narnian fan fic and some have done better than I there. In Narnia, not in England, as I am doing. The best type, of those I have seen, are set between most chapters of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Horse and His Boy. Or some even introduce Swanwhite.

If you are longing for something set in Narnia, don't waste your time on this one right now, Aslan had told Susan she would never return to Narnia. A Susan fic is per definition, nearly, set outside Narnia.

My Susan fic was provoked by Neil Gaiman's (more or less acknowledged) such. Even before I read it, because I had heard of it and of its faults. Not as if I took up the pen (or keyboard) same second, I'm not Reepicheep, but inspiration came not very much later.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St. Timothy of Ephesus

PS, plagairism is of course meant to be plagiarism./HGL

Now, if you are not already there, go to chapter 1:

Susan has a bad fright.