The Show Tell Project

For Seymour's Fat Lady

Tag: Literature

Loaded Quotes: Bloody Ambition

by fyarlgiles

She danced, and was obliged to go on dancing through the dark night. The shoes bore her away over thorns and stumps till she was all torn and bleeding; she danced away over the heath to a lonely little house. Here, she knew, lived the executioner; and she tapped with her finger at the window and said:

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‘Come out, come out! I cannot come in, for I must dance.’

 And the executioner said: ‘I don’t suppose you know who I am. I strike off the heads of the wicked, and I notice that my axe is tingling to do so. “Don’t cut off my head!’ said Karen, ‘for then I could not repent of my sin. But cut off my feet with the red shoes.’

Excerpt from  ” The Red Shoes” by  Hans Christian Anderson

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An enchanting woman whose feet have been hacked to bloody stumps is an image of humanity that comforts me.

Let me explain. 

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We are all complex mixtures  of beauty and horror, pain and delight, greed and charity. But there is such a cry for dichotomies in western culture, that we tend to ignore this.  It’s simple!! Pretty is pretty, and Yucky is yucky, now let’s all get ice cream sandwiches!!

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But there is no pretending when it comes to Karen.   The crude image of her perfect body sitting atop bloody mutilated legs makes her brokenness impossible to hide. And isn’t that sort of honesty liberating? Sometimes, I feel like my body is a lie I tell to anyone who is capable of seeing me. It is young, functional, it has no apparent deformities, and it conceals my self-loathing. It’s nice sometimes because I never truly feel vulnerable, but it breeds a lot insecurity. If no one sees me for what I am, how can I ever truly feel accepted?

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I think that a lot of people will say that this story is about how vanity can ruin you and blablabl..  more oppressive ideas about female sexuality professed by the catholic church… but I have always seen it as a tale about facing the good, the bad, and the bloody within yourself.

The truth isn’t simple; It is a young girl who looks gorgeous from the waste up, but is forced to hobble around on the ghosts of her own feet.

Angie

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Loaded Quotes: Post Modernist Indecisiveness in The Bell Jar

by fyarlgiles

 

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Europe and Africa […]

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I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

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– Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar 

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At 24, I related to Sylvia so much that  it frightened me. ( If you’re not familiar,  her story doesn’t end well). I felt her words in my bones. The fear of death without growth, the heaviness of responsibility, the inclinations to find life both meaningless and meaningful… I saw myself becoming her: A lonely, deflated, narcissist sipping on an agonizing cocktail of self-loathing  and superiority. I think maybe that is what drove me to start making decisions in my own life.

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What I understand now is that the right decisions are only right because you’ve made them. Whether you decide to be a missionary in Africa, or a pinterest-obsessed house-wife, you will be OK. The problems arise when your mortality weighs on you so heavily, that you neglect to make any decision at all.  Maybe if I don’t choose, life will stop moving and I can just stop dying. But it won’t, because no one get’s out of this world alive, and if you don’t make your own decisions, Time will make them for you.

  Don’t get me wrong. I can’t order at a McDonald’s without calling 12 friends for advice first, but I am much more capable of dealing with the big stuff in my life now that I realize I will die, and I have to make my peace with not having enough time to do ALL THE THINGS!  Decisions-real decisions– require sacrifice and commitment. So, there is no moving forward without accepting the death of those lives that  will never belong to you. 

Here’s to breaking out of Limbo

– Angie

Lit Mash: Unmasked

by meaghanmerrifield

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“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to

the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.”

―Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”
―Oscar Wilde

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“The trouble with a mask is it never changes”
―Charles Bukowski

“Love takes off the masks we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.”
―James Baldwin

Artwork by Dene Leigh and Colleen Cunningham

Lit Mash: The Grasp

by fyarlgiles

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Anxiety is love’s greatest killer.

It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you;

you want to save him,

but you know he will strangle you with his panic.

-Anais Nin

Artwork by Daria H

http://society6.com/daria_h/Grace-NPl

 

 

 

Lit Mash: Her Sexual Awakening

by fyarlgiles

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She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun, and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her. She saw a dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace, and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight. So this was a marriage! She had been summoned to behold a revelation. Then Janie felt a pain remorseless sweet that left her limp and languid.

Zora Neale Hurston Their Eyes Were Watching God

Artwork by Leigh Viner

http://www.etsy.com/shop/leighviner

Top 5 Tuesday: American Authors who went to War

by fyarlgiles

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1.) Shel Silverstein

author of Where the Sidewalk Ends, The Giving Tree, A light in the Attic

 Shel Silverstein, author of The Giving Tree and Where the Sidewalk Ends, began drawing cartoons for the military newspaper, “Stars and Stripes”, in the 1950s, when he served in Japan and Korea.

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2.) Roald Dahl

Author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach

Dahl was a fighter pilot in World War II,  until he got shot down in the Libyan desert, which left him with head injuries that eventually caused him to have terrible headaches. One of Dahl’s first published works was a piece for the Saturday Evening Post called “Shot Down Over Libya,” which became a popular article and helped encourage him to try his hand at writing.

[information taken from here]

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3.) Mario Puzo

author of the Godfather Trilogy (novels and films)

Mario Puzo was brought up in a poor family in New York. He served in Germany in World War II and later went to college on the GI Bill.

[ information taken from here]
 
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4.) J.R.R. Tolkien

author of The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, The Hobbit, & Multiple critical essays including Beowulf: the Monsters & the Critics

Tolkien was a survivor of the trenches of World War I, who wrote that “a real taste for fairy-stories was wakened by philology on the threshold of manhood, and quickened to full life by war.”

 

 
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5.) Jack Kerouac

author of On the Road, The Subterraneans, & Big Sur

“Before he became a famous novelist of the counterculture, Jack Kerouac enlisted in the U.S Naval Reserve. He lasted through only 10 days of boot camp, spent more than two months in a psychiatric ward and then was deemed ‘unfit for service.'”

( Los Angeles Times )

 
Link to Jack Kerouac Artwork:

Mother of Worlds

by fyarlgiles

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Our mother

was

split in two by the thunderous rattle

of new worlds coming forth.

They pushed through her

and emerged with bright expressions.

New minds flooded with milky dreams

of power

Now, she floats in  a blissful sleep,

 forever drained of

vigor

and strength

but delighted

 by the sound of young chests, pulsing with new life

around her

in an orbit

 of her own creation

“Mother of Worlds” by Angie Hoover-Hillhouse

Artwork: “A Dedication of Visions” by Hugo Barros

http://society6.com/hugobarros/A-DEDICATION–VISIONS_Print

Top 5 Tuesday: Literary Works on Lust and Destruction

by meaghanmerrifield

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1.) Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

“Love is heavy and light, bright and dark, hot and cold, sick and healthy, asleep and awake- its everything except what it is”

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2.) Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

“Be with me always – take any form – drive me mad! Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I can not live without my life! I can not live without my soul!”

images3.) Lolita by  Vladimir Nabokov

“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul.”

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4.) Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

“The hell with this aching, suffering, callow, half-assed delusion that he was in “love” with her. The hell with “love” anyway, and with every other phony, time-wasting, half-assed emotion in the world.”

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5.) Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

“They’ve got no idea what happiness is, they don’t know that without this love there is no happiness or unhappiness for us–there is no life.”

Dwell in Possibility

by fyarlgiles

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“When old age shall this generation waste,

Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe than ours,

a friend to man, to whom thou sayst,

‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’– that is all Ye know on earth,

and all ye need to know.”

– John Keats “Ode to a Grecian Urn”

Artwork by Pope Saint Victor:

http://society6.com/PopeSaintVictor/Dwell-in-Possibility_Print

Top 5 Submission Guides & Writing Resources for Poets/Authors

by fyarlgiles

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Top 5 Tuesdays

Top 5 Internet references for Writers and poets who want to improve and submit their work

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1.) WRITER’S RELIEF:

This site is extremely useful.  It offers information about where and how to to submit poetry and fiction work. The site also provides answers to common questions about submitting and guides for formatting.

http://www.writersrelief.com/

2.) SCRIPT FRENZY

Close the pop-up window when you reach the site in order to access content.

This website is no longer updated at this address, but I offer this link because it allows you to view content without becoming a member. Script Frenzy is very useful to all writers. It offers writing guides that focus on every form of creative writing as well as recommendations of free and cheap writing software.

http://2012.scriptfrenzy.org/eng/whatisscriptfrenzy

3.)  PW: POETS &WRITERS

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By far one of the best places to visit if you are interested in finding high quality literary magazines to read and submit to. This site allows you to browse a directory of lit mags, contests, and other content. It also offers basic writing guides and forums where you can receive feedback on your work.

http://www.pw.org/

4.)  AGENT QUERY

This site provides free resources for authors seeking representation as well as instructions for new writers who are unfamiliar with the query process. The search is very simple, and the agents are listed by the genres that they represent.

http://www.agentquery.com/

5.) PLAY SUBMISSIONS HELPER

This is an excellent site for playwrights who do not have the ability to produce their own work. It offers solicitations for plays. These calls often ask for plays  of specific lengths on specific themes. It’s helpful in that it can provide direction to those who are struggling to write something new.

http://playsubmissionshelper.com/blog/?main1