Ramblings & ephemera

Richard Ford on how to deal with mythical narratives

From Bonnie Lyons’s interview of Richard Ford in “The Art of Fiction No. 147” (The Paris Review: Fall 1996, No. 140): …when you start manipulating mythical narratives, whether you blunder into them or you do it by calculation, you’d better—to be in control of your book—reckon with their true potency and wide reference. They haven’t […]

Ray Bradbury on science fiction

From Sam Weller’s interview of Ray Bradbury in “The Art of Fiction No. 203” (The Paris Review: Spring 2010, No. 192): Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the head and doesn’t exist yet, but soon will, and will change everything for everybody, and nothing will ever be the same again. As soon as […]

Chinese folklore and the colors green, white, red, yellow, and black

From Allen Abel and Madeleine Czigler’s “Ireland, Islam and envy” (National Post: 24 June 2008): According to a Chinese folk tale, there once was a turtle whose wife fell in love with a snake. Too humiliated to watch their pan-reptilian canoodling, the turtle pulled a large green leaf over his eyes. Hence the usage, still […]

1 Henry VI: an urn … rich-jewel’d of Darius

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (I: 6): CHARLES: ‘Tis Joan, not we, by whom the day is won; For which I will divide my crown with her, And all the priests and friars in my realm Shall in procession sing her endless praise. A statelier pyramis to her I’ll rear Than Rhodope’s or […]

1 Henry VI: Astraea

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (I: 6): CHARLES: Divinest creature, Astraea’s daughter, How shall I honour thee for this success? Astraea: in Greek religion and mythology, goddess of justice; daughter of Zeus and Themis. Because of the wickedness of man, she withdrew from the earth at the end of the Golden Age and […]