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Posts Tagged ‘allegory’

The Buck glowed with strange fires, and it followed with unerring sense the track of the doe. But in his wake rose up puffs of points of light with colors that struck the ravens with foreboding. It was not part of their calculation.
“What are they?” Null shrilled.
Knull said,” I am stumped. I guess these are spun off from all that energy the tree acquired in defining Space and Time. Nothing more we can do but watch how these develop?”
Null went blank and snapped out of its spell screaming “The Ghost Runners!”
Later he asked,” What put that thought into my mind?”
“It of course! But what worries me more than anything else, “Who is dead here anyway?”
Knull had reason to feel puzzled. ‘How can there be ghosts without death as a reality?’
Or were they angels, flames of fire spun out of Will (or Thought?)
The ghost runners were as incidental as humans transfer parasites evolved alongside through many cycles of their birth.
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End of Prologue

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Boughs of the tree shook heavily and consequently the leaves began to glow and like froth skimmed off the many jagged waves of a choppy sea. The bright cloud lifted by itself and the raven broke loose flapping their wings. Null asked conversationally, “A buck for the doe. Like us – we are made for one another?”
Knull said, “What use is a shape if it cannot be pinned down? What use is It if it cannot think and express? ”
“Yes I am the Thought you its Active Agent and the Buck?
Knull answered promptly: Merely incidental.”
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Null said,:”Time?”
Knull was not to be drawn in. He said, “ How much space shall your wings cover?”
“A day’s flight.”
Knull said after a long silence. “ My flight for the same duration is a cosmic year.”
“Why such difference?”
Knull chortled, “ I make things happen so much so events like a ripple touch end to end.”
Meanwhile the Caribou lowed and Knull said, “ There the beast has got free from the tree.”
Null said cryptically: “ So it is destined. Slain before the foundation of time.”
Knull “ I know the Thought, and you said it loud and clear.”
The ravens said with one voice, “Away! Begone!” The doe dropped off.
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It is often said a writer is judged by his second book. In the case of Balzac La Peau de Chagrin was his second (if his Physiologie du Mariage is excluded It is not a literary work in the strictest sense).Yes Physiologie earned him notoriety as a rake that made him bristle with irritation. He protested .”Many women readers will be disappointed to learn that the author… is young,steadygoing as an elderly departmental manager, sober as an invalid on a diet…and a very hard worker.’ Of the last he was absolutely correct.)
His potboiler days were behind him and his head was teeming with ideas that never flagged. The novel that established him as a literary star came with La Peau de Chagrin. His day-book contains the germ of an idea: The discovery of a skin representing life. Oriental fable.’In January 1831 he sold it to Messieurs Charles Gosselin and Urbain Canel for the sum of 1,135 francs, a work in two volumes under the title La Peau.. which he was to deliver by 15 February. He was as usual in no hurry to get down to work. But working never frightened as much as his promises were easier given. He often ended up with contracts with the publishers that required inhuman labor something of twelve labors from Hercules. The book got off to a slow start.
When he noted down the idea first he thought of it no more than a fantastic novel in the manner of Hoffmann. He even referred to it as’ a piece of thorough nonsense in the literary sense..’ The story is about a magic talisman,an ass’s skin, which makes all its owner’s wishes come true. The only catch was that the skin would shrink with fulfilment of each wish, and when the skin disappears so will the owner. The aged and decrepit antique-dealer shown in the illustration sells to the central character, never dared to express a wish lest he should die. Balzac pondering over his work saw, as a true genius he was, hidden depths of human condition. He knew his father who had retired to his country estate in order to prolong his life. What would longevity mean? Is it not miserliness and to achieve it men economize their activities and their emotions? For them it carried all their wisdom because they dared not wish another. As the dealer discloses to Raphael his life-lesson,’Man expends himself in the performance of two instinctive acts which drain away all the sources of his being. All the forms of these two agents of death may be summed up in the two words ‘will’ and ‘can.’ ‘ By his genius he turned the Hoffmannesque fantasy into an allegory. It was set in his time. The truism,’It is the property of a good fable that the author does not know himself all the riches it contains’ was true in this case.
By this book mingling fantasy with realism he made the story vivid and totally absorbing. Jules Sandeau found it impossible to put down. The book made the young man from Tourain, unknown three years ago, who had with three works became the most sought out of all publishers, the golden boy of the booksellers and the women’s favorite author.
(Ack: Prometheus-The Life of Balzac/Maurois-Pelican bio)

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The Gingerbread Man- retold ©

The old couple knew they had a winner with the second try. They had made a cookie out of gingerbread and it came out perfect from the oven. The mold was in the shape of a boy and this time the form was crisp and fine. It brought smile to their old eyes. ‘No better Gingerbread Boy will be found in all the kingdom!’ they exclaimed. The old woman fashioned a chocolate jacket while her man handed the cinnamon seeds that she fixed one after the other on his jacket.
‘What shall we put for his eyes, or for that matter his lips, woman?’ he asked with the solemnity of a surgeon handling a very difficult case. His woman fixed fat raisins for eyes and rose-colored lozenges went where his mouth was. Looking with intent among all the odds and knickknacks they had, the man settled for an orange marshmallow for his cap while the woman shaped out of green marzipan, a pair of shoes was a perfect fit. After they had thus made a gingerbread boy they looked at each other with pride and joy. Their joy was broken only by a gay laughter and to their great astonishment the boy was as much reveling as they at his attire.
Presto! The Gingerbread Boy made a leap and said, ‘The world is my stage. It is time I made a run for it.’
The boy ran out of the door and down the street. He cried without turning his head, ‘Catch up with me if you want to thank for your labors!’ Of course old as they were, they soon stopped when they were out of breath. They leaned on each other and turned to their cottage. Not a glance the boy wasted on them.
He ran past a cow on the roadside, ‘Catch up with me if you have as fine shoes as I have.’
The cow knew she was chasing the impossible. But the sight of Gingerbread Boy running was a marvel. She felt her whole frame heaving. Heading to her stall she knew her udders were bursting with milk, as she never felt before. ‘OK I shall delight my master with a vat full of milk.’ It was what happened that evening and did it not cheer up her master? Yes indeed!
Meanwhile the Gingerbread Boy running smoothly without slackening speed was noticed by a horse. He was led by his trainer through his paces. He was to run at the Derby that weekend. The trainer saw the Gingerbread Boy and exclaimed, ‘ Like a thoroughbred. Black Magic, can you run like he does? ’ The horse neighed acknowledging that he had indeed inspired him to run faster as never before. The Gingerbread Boy racing with the wind was noticed by threshers and mowers. The Boy hollered without breaking his stride, ‘Catch up with me if you have such gay cap as I have.’
The Gingerbread Boy ran on and on and by sundown he came across a Fox who asked, ‘Oh Gingerbread man, why in a tearing hurry?’
The Gingerbread Boy asked, ‘Gingerbread Boy I am.’
The Fox sidled up to him and said, ‘ Boy you are not. You might say you are. But you are not’.The Fox was now running neck to neck and asked, ‘ I say, where is your gay cap? For that matter you have let your fine shoes fall down the road.’
The Fox now ran past him and stopped in front of him. He said that he could overtake him only because he had lost his cap and shoes. The Gingerbread Boy had to agree that the slush and stones along the road had taken their toll. He said still cheerily,’ My jacket is still in good condition. See my buttons are all there.’
The Fox softly said, ‘There is no denying the fact. You are still good enough to eat.’
The Gingerbread Boy asked after a painful silence, ‘Are you sure that I am a Gingerbread Man and not the Gingerbread Boy?’
The Fox smiled sadly, ‘You are no longer the same. A Gingerbread Man I grant you that.’

The gingerbread Boy felt a little put out. The Fox said, ‘It is always difficult to see yourself as you are. ’
Later he assured that it was often the case with those who ran on and on and never stopped to reflect. He added, ‘Whether Gingerbread Boy or Man you and I have some matter to settle’.
From the tone the Gingerbread Man knew the Fox was never as serious as he was then.
‘Who are you?’
‘I am Death, ’ murmured he in his ears.
But to his surprise the Gingerbread Man laughed loud and said, ‘You are more a rag and bones Man.’
As he felt the breath of the Fox on his neck he dug his heels into the mud of the way and taunted him for the last time. He said, ‘I gave my best to those who deserved more.’
The Gingerbread Man did not say another word.( selected from the Fractured Tales-ben4ben.wordpress.com)

benny

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1.

According to Cassian(c.400 AD)St. John an Apostle of Jesus was seen sporting with a tame partridge by an archer, who thought the holyman should not waste his time in frivolities. St. John replied that if the archer didn’t at times relax his bow, it would lose its spring.

2.

Marcion,the son of a bishop made his fortune at sea. While in Rome he became a Christian about 140 AD. He gave a gift of 1600 pounds to the Church which was returned to him when he turned to gnosticism. The canon of Marcion recognized only the gospels of St.Paul and St. Luke. This prompted the Church to lay down her canon of the New Testament( 180 AD) and it was confirmed in Antioch,Ephesus and Rome.

Marcion’s teachings caused a sharp division in the Church which later caused him much distress and he sought a reconciliation.

When Polycarp(c.AD 69-156)the Bishop of Smyrna came to Rome Marcion sought him out and asked,’Do you recognize me?’

‘Yes,’ replied Polycarp,I recognize the firstborn of Satan.’

3.

Athanasius,Bishop of Alexandria(AD.256)

was caught in the Arian controversy where his life was often only one step away from disaster since there were great many enemies who wanted to destroy him. None came more implacable as Bishop George, formerly a pork contractor from Cappadocia. He supported the Arian doctrine. He was merciless,hard and mercenary in hunting down who didn’t subscribe to it. He was appointed a Bishop at a gathering of 30 bishops at Antioch.

He terrorized churches that smacked of Orthodoxy and Athanasius became the symbol of everything that he hated.

The contest between them became mixed up with the same Bishop who was martyred during the reign of Emperor Julian the Apostate. This confusion of two events have given us an iconic image of George contending for the Empress Alexandra against the magician Athanasius. The same George is the patron saint of England!

ii

Athanasius was an ascetic and steadfast in his belief and he was targeted by both Meletians and Arians. Once charge was brought before Emperor Constantine that the Bishop had killed a Miletian bishop named Arsenius. In fact he was hidden away by his faction in a monastery. They produced a dismembered hand in a box stating that Athansius had cut it off for purposes of magic.

Luckily for Athanasius, he could spirit away Arsenius from his place of hiding. His enemies didn’t know this.

Athanasius produced a muffled body in front of the emperor. He first showed his face asking,’Is this Arsenius, whom I murdered?’

Then he revealed one hand and then the other to say:’ Let no man ask for a third; for two hands,and two only was everyman from the Creator of all things.’

In the manner in which he could wriggle out of all the traps set for him naturally his enemies believed that he was a magician.

Origen(c.AD185-254) considered as the father of textual criticism came from a devout Christian family. From young age it fell on his shoulders to support the big family which he did by taking on pupils,copying manuscripts in his elegant handwriting. He was the pupil of Clement who headed the first Christian university set up in Alexandria.

At 17, he became the he head of the Catechetical School, a perilous post at that time. As there was no stipend attached to his post he sold off his library for an annuity of money equivalent of six pence a day, and for the rest of his life lived on this small amount. He wore but one garment ,went barefoot,slept on the ground and ate and slept sparingly. His holiness and deep erudition brought flocks of pupils to his lectures.

Having female pupils he,in order to avoid any scandal that may arise made himself an eunuch literally following an injunction of Jesus. The father of textual criticism and allegorical method in explaining the Scriptures took it literally!(Ack:Lights and shades of Christendom-Bishop Pakenham-Walsh,The Christian Literature Society-1935)

benny

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