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Literary Chimeras

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Literary Chimeras

Postby Stanley Anderson » 16 Feb 2009, 16:32

I ran across this in an archived old email (that I had written to a wardrobian who hasn't been here in ages, Monica). I had long forgotten about it, but it struck me as rather funny and as a possible topic for other sorts of "chimeric" merging of passages and themes from two different books. Any takers? Here is the one I had done years ago:

Miss Hardcastle comes back from a trip to Edgestow and tells her friends at Belbury, "I'm back! I'm back. Oh I was gone for hours and hours and I had this wonderful little tea with a sweet woman named Jane and everything all around was white because there was heavy fog and it's always foggy and never Halloween, but they say Alcasan is on the move..."

Frost: You'll have to hide longer than that, Fairy, if you want to fool us

Wither: It's all in Nietzsche! What DO they teach them in the Objectivity Rooms these days!


--Stanley
…on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a fair green country under a swift sunrise.
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Re: Literary Chimeras

Postby moogdroog » 18 Feb 2009, 23:04

That's fantastic! I love the line 'Alcasan is on the move' and Wither's 'It's all in Nietzsche! What DO they teach them in the Objectivity Rooms these days!" Very good indeed.

Keeping with the Cosmic Trilogy theme...

“The tragedy of my life,” said Weston, inhaling deeply on a hookah, “and indeed of the modern intellectual world in general, is the rigid specialisation of ravens as ravens and writing desks as writing desks. We must rise above such primitive nonsense! There is interchange – exchange – mutable boundaries! Why – one thing may well be the same thing, only entirely different in shape and form and substance. Do take more tea, Ransom.”

“A writing desk is a raven, or a raven is a writing desk?” Ransom said, shaking his head at the offer of tea. Weston snorted in derison and waggled his finger at him.

“Don’t be a fool, Ransom! All you have to do is take a bite from the other side of the mushroom. You are far too small to see things as they really are.”

Ransom thought this entirely absurd, but politeness kept him from saying so. “I’m terribly sorry,” he said, “but I must be going.I mustn’t keep Maledil waiting.” He glanced at his pocket watch and his look changed to one of horror. “Oh no! I’m late, I’m late!”

“The Lady is asleep again,” remarked Weston, and poured a little hot tea on her nose.
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Re: Literary Chimeras

Postby galion » 22 Feb 2009, 20:42

Come on now, gentlemen - you've been skipping your medication, haven't you? :wink:
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Re: Literary Chimeras

Postby moogdroog » 23 Feb 2009, 20:25

*twitches ever so slightly*
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Re: Literary Chimeras

Postby Stanley Anderson » 23 Feb 2009, 21:53

Poem of the Rings of Power
From the musical version of LotR (sung to the tune of "My Favourite Things")

(first verse)
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the heavens,
Dwarf-lords in stone halls, rings numbering seven,
Nine for the Mortal Men doomed from the start,
One for the Dark Lord who sits in the dark

(second verse)
Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul,
ash nazg thrakatulûk, ash nazg krimpatul.
("agh burzum-ishi", above, you should sing)
These are a few of the magical rings

(break)
One to rule them,
One to find them,
One to bring them all
It simply binds all of the magical rings
In Morder where Shaa---dows fall

--------------------------
Before the Black Gate the armies of the West await their doom as they seem to be overwhelmed by evil forces. Pippin suddenly breaks out into song (to the tune of "The Sound of Music")

The hills are a hive
with a swarm of Uruks
with rocks they have slung
for a thousand years

The hills fill my heart
with a dread of Uruks
My sword wants to slay ev'ry orc that it fears...

--Stanley
…on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a fair green country under a swift sunrise.
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Re: Literary Chimeras

Postby Stanley Anderson » 23 Feb 2009, 22:55

galion wrote:Come on now, gentlemen - you've been skipping your medication, haven't you? :wink:


That was no gentleman, that was my fellow Wardrobian!

(ref: Moogdroog is a "she" -- and my line above, in keeping with the chimeric theme of the thread is a takeoff on that old comedy line "That was no woman, that was my wife" :smile: )

--Stanley
…on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a fair green country under a swift sunrise.
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Re: Literary Chimeras

Postby Stanley Anderson » 24 Feb 2009, 05:07

This isn't actually a new item for me. I ran across this in an old file. It was actually an effort that I did in an earlier version of these forums in a creative writing thread where each week three "random" words were proposed and then people would write (something like) 500 or less word stories that used all three words. In this example I decided to do "Fellowship of the Ring" as a series of sonnets. Unfortunately, I can't remember what the three words were that were supposed to be used. In any case, combining that book with the sonnet form seems like a bit of a "chimeric" exercise (if I push the definition some:-), so here is that effort from several years ago:

The Fellowship of the Ring as Three Sonnets

When Bilbo gave his riddle-woven ring
Away, the fate of Middle-Earth was left
In Frodo’s hand. Then Gandalf warned him: Bring
It safe to Rivendell where elves bereft

Of Valinor still dwell in green vale there.
Past Willow, Bombadil, and Barrow Wight
He fled with Merry, Pip, and Sam to share
A terror clad in black. But from its sight

Them Strider hid, till, fell on Weathertop,
A knife was drawn, and stealth abandoned. Now
Athelas e’en could not the fading stop.
But Glorfindel rode forth. To not allow

The wraiths to cross, a raging equine froth
Was conjured. Drowned they were by Grey of cloth.

In fair Imladris gathered now the race
Of Elf and Man and Dwarf and Halfling long
Foretold in Gondor. Boromir would trace
Isildur’s Bane, yet Elrond’s counsel wrong

He thought. Legolas, Gimli, Aragorn,
With Frodo, Pippin, Merry, Mithrandir
And Sam, he joined to find -- his silver horn
Announced -- Mount Doom within the Land of Fear.

Caradhras barred their passage over snow.
Instead the wizard led them down to moon-
Lit gate through darkened Dwarvish caverns so
Immense and deep, that Bridge of Khazad-Dum

Held no release from Morgoth’s beast of Hell.
The others fled, but there Olorin fell.

Past Mirrormere and over Nimrodel
They came at last to gold Lothlorien.
And at the fountain of Galadriel,
Her virtue by the ring was tested then.

A box of earth; of star Eärendil,
Its light enclosed -- the Lady gifts bestowed
Before the company departed. Still
A fellowship, the Anduin they rowed.

At Rauros Falls the bearer of the ring
Must make a hard decision. Gondor’s son,
Seduced by power, tried to take this thing
From Frodo suddenly, the break begun.

The halfling chose on top of Amon Hen
To leave alone. And Sam went with him then.
…on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a fair green country under a swift sunrise.
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Re: Literary Chimeras

Postby galion » 24 Feb 2009, 09:27

Yes, I did wonder about moogdroog's gender, but worked on the old principle of "tact" (plumber, asked what "tact" means gives the example: "I went into the bathroom, and there was the lady of the house taking a bath - so I says 'Excuse me,sir. That's tact that is, and I got an extra ten shillings for it.")

But male or female, elf or orc ... I still think you should go back on the old chlorpromazine.
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Re: Literary Chimeras

Postby moogdroog » 23 Mar 2009, 19:54

I like the plumber story! No worries, Galion. Droogs are male, after all.

Wonderful stuff, Stanley. I like the 'Favourite Things' LOTR very much :) and the sonnets are beautiful. My favourite lines are:

"The wraiths to cross, a raging equine froth
Was conjured. Drowned they were by Grey of cloth."

"A box of earth; of star Eärendil,
Its light enclosed -- the Lady gifts bestowed
Before the company departed."

And lovely form, too. That 'half-line' rhythm (e.g., "The halfling chose on top of Amon Hen
To leave alone./ And Sam went with him then") has a distinctly early medieval flavour. Intentional?
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Re: Literary Chimeras

Postby Stanley Anderson » 28 Apr 2009, 15:53

I was searching for something else in some old files and ran across the following bit that I must have posted here years ago. It seemed like I might be able to squeeze it into this thread (even though it doesn't exactly fit the parameters). It was apparently in response to some comment about a reference in OotSP about humour.

Malacandrian humour and other myths

(the subject line is a parody on a book I once gave to my parents -- all of us are of Scandinavian ancestry to the hilt -- called "Scandinavian Humour and Other Myths", a very funny book by the way. And it makes a parallel reference to the idea Lewis brings out in the Space Trilogy about myth on Earth being true in some sense on the other planets:-)

Yes, the initial paragraph of the chapter on humour among the hnau of Malacandra is intriguing. One wonders what more of the details of this subject would be like. For instance, since the pfifltriggi were "sharp and excelled in abuse", I wonder if the gentle hrossa might be heard saying, of pfifltriggian humour, that "they're a little to coarse for my tastes with their blue language -- it seems like every other word is the pf-word".

I wonder what group would be most susceptible to punning? Perhaps the sorns? They were also supposed to be the ones that make least account of their females. Might there be a Sorn Jack-Benny-like standup-comedian whose famous line was "Take my wife -- please"?

I suppose there would be some visual humour too. I can see a pfifltriggian carving on a rock showing the tiny Ransom sitting on top of Augray's shoulders, evoking the sort of smiles that we might get upon seeing that photograph of the tiny little yellow bird sitting on the hippo's back.

With three different types of hnau, I suppose ethnic humour abounds there. But cautious of offending their Malacandrian brothers, I would guess they engage more in telling "dumb Thulcandran" jokes -- "Hey! Did you hear the one about the Dumb Thulcandran who tried to make a joyful noise unto Maleldil and couldn't?" (Thulcandra="Silent Planet").

There would surely be a whole slew of jokes along similar lines -- eg.
"Why did the Thulcandran cross the interplanetary heavens?" "Answer: To get to the other handra", and "they're all left-handra-ed",

"How many Thulcandrans does it take to change a torch wick? Answer: Three, two to kidnap a third one from Thulcandra, bring him to Malacandra and force him to do it in exchange for sun's blood".

Not only are Thulcandrans silent, they are blind as well -- can't even see an eldil clearly. Did you hear about the Thulcandran spaceship that crashed into the eldil officer holding his hand up in an effort to prevent them from crossing interstellar space? When being issued the ticket, Weston told the eldil "I'm sorry officer, I didn't see the stop sign".

Then there are the eldlilla mimes wearing white gloves that imitate the dark eldils of Thulcandra trying to get out of Thulcandran air-space, their hands butting up against imaginary invisible barriers and being "boxed in".

They must have their comedy movies too. One of the most well-known, I’m sure, would be "Monty Pfifltrigg and the Holey Granite". Fans can quote most lines from the movie by heart and are fond of saying things like "What is the speed of an eldil carrying a message from Oyarsa?" and being answered with "Do you mean in a handramit or a harandra?", or describing in detail the hilarious scene where a rebellious Thulcandran challenges Oyarsa to a dual. First Oyarsa disembodies the man's left arm. Still challenging him, Oyarsa disembodies his right arm, then his leg, then his other leg. As Oyarsa turns to depart, the limb-less man yells out "It's only a flesh wound -- come back!". Or how about asking the Thulcandran what his favourite colour is, and the Thulcandran stumbles because he has experienced new colours that he has no names for.


--Stanley
…on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a fair green country under a swift sunrise.
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Re: Literary Chimeras

Postby galion » 28 Apr 2009, 16:21

:lol:
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Re: Literary Chimeras

Postby Stanley Anderson » 28 Apr 2009, 16:53

Actually, in the same searching, I also ran across some other bits that seems to fit in with some of the other posts above:

Modern Major Uruk-hai

How about jumping over to Gilbert and Sullivan's famous lyric?:

(scene [not actually in the book, but from the FotR movie]: Saruman looks on as his master creation, the uber-orc rises from the slime under Orthanc. As it opens its eyes and crushes the skull of one of the mid-wife orcs standing nearby, it breaks into song)

LURTZ:
I am the very model of a modern Major Uruk-hai,
Created out of vegetable, animal, and pure mud pie,
I know the kings of Gondor, and I quote the fights historical
From Morgoth's reign to Numenor, in order categorical;
I'm very well protected, too, with armour, weapons physical,
I understand destruction, both concise and cataclysmical,
About the halfling race's part, I've heard the Bor'mir prophesy,
With many dreary facts about returning kings in office, see?.

OTHER ORCS:
With many dreary facts about returning kings in office, see?

LURTZ:
I’m very good at traveling and slaughtering the enemy
I wield a nasty mace I call my little sea anemone
In short, in matters dangerous, I say, “what—me worry? Why?”
I am the very model of a modern Major Uruk-hai.


or this from a Scriptural question of the scene with Jesus writing in the ground when the crowd wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery that someone posted a long time ago in these forums (seems to be June of 2003):

[from sofia]:
>I've always wondered what it was, exactly, that Jesus was writing...

I think it was "If you can read this, you're too darn close" with a little drawing below of pistol-toting Yosemite Sam saying "Back off". That would explain why they all left, wouldn't it?:-)

Or maybe he was writing "WWFSD (What Would Fellow Sinners Do?)"

Or possibly "Put the stones on the ground and step away from them." (Talk about an effective Witness Protection Plan!:-)

How about this? It was a schematic plan drawing of how to assemble a scourge of small cords used, say, to drive money changers out of the temple, but heck, no reason not to build and test it out beforehand on any hypocritical sinners wanting to stone a woman caught in sin that might happen to be hanging around nearby.

Or possibly (pre-figuring Dirty Harry), "I know what you're thinking: did he warn us six times or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, I've lost track myself in all this excitement. But seeing as this is the Son of God, the most merciful savior in the world, and will blow your sins clean away, you've got to ask yourself one question: do i feel saved? Well do ya punks?” (I’ll assume it wasn’t the other famous Dirty Harry line of “Go ahead, Make my day”:-)

Could it have been a sort of “shopping mall” map of the world showing the Earth, Heaven and Hell with a little arrow pointing toward a pathway leading to the gates of Hell and a caption saying “You are here”

Jesus seemed to talk about money a lot in his parables. Maybe he wrote “Cana Post-Wedding Sale. Top quality wine – half price. Limited time only.”

Maybe it was a traffic sign-like icon showing one of those generic round-edged figures hurling a stone with a large circle and diagonal slash over it indicating to the crowd that this was a “No Stoning Zone”.

Or finally, maybe it was simply an inspirational message that said “Be all that you can be – in the Army of God”

(thinking I’d better leave the scene along with the crowd about now too:-),
--Stanley


And here is another bit (from about December 2004 apparently) about transforming various literary things into limericks:

The idea is to take a famous quote or some kind of well-known text and recast it in the form of limericks. I can be a bit tricky to get the meter and rhyming correct, but it is quite fun to see once you come up with something.

As an example of a serious text, here is Shakespeare's most famous lines from Hamlet redone as a limerick:
---------------------------------------------
There once was a question of being
Or not, as I'm presently seeing.
Is't nobler to bear, oh!,
A fortune of arrows
And slings, in outrageousness fleeing?
-----------------------------------------
A less serious quotation is Clint Eastwood's famous lines from the movie Dirty Harry. Here is the original quote followed by my limerization (this one took three limericks to get all the way to the end):

"I know what you're thinking. Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?"

[limerization]:
I know how you're thinking and wired
Did five, or six bullets get fired?
To tell you the truth
Although I'm a sleuth
In all this excitement, I got mired.

But being as this is a Magnum
Of 44 caliber and then some,
The most powerful pistol
(I get a bit wistful)
you'll see in the world of the handgun,

'Twould blow your head off with a thunk.
If you test me, then trust me, you'll flunk.
As a personal lesson,
To yourself ask one question:
DO I feel lucky? Well, do ya' punk?
---------------------------------

Here's another one from a more serious excerpt -- the opening of Lincoln's Gettysburg address:

There once was a time years ago
About four-score and seven, I trow
When our forefathers brought
To this continent's lot
A new nation conceived in the know.

Th' conception was liberty fed,
Dedicated and properly said
In a mean proposition
That the people's positions
Are created all equally bred.
---------------------------------------

How about the first line from Austen's Pride and Predjudice?


[original line]:
"It is a universally acknowledged fact that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

[limerization]:
There once was acknowledged a fact
universally: single men packed
with good fortune must be,
if yet maritally free
in great want of the wife that they lacked
-------------------------
…on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a fair green country under a swift sunrise.
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