Sunday, December 29, 2013
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Monday, September 9, 2013
I am pleased to say that the new website, calogrenant.com has been very well received. I want to once again thank Sami Quinn, who is an absolute saint, and everyone who has been so supportive over this past year. I'll continue posting links here, as well as other things of interest. Thanks one and all!
Sunday, September 1, 2013
We're live! Calogrenant now has her own website! You can read her adventures at www.calogrenant.com weekly from now on! I'll be posting a reminder here each week as Mythcongeniality reverts back to being a repository for my mythic thoughts.
Thank you Sami Quinn for all your help.
Thank you Sami Quinn for all your help.
Friday, August 30, 2013
The Calogrenant website goes up at 10pm Pacific time on Sunday. I want right this minute to thank with all my heart Samantha Quinn, who has put in so many hours writing HTML to help me get this up. Bless you, Sami!!!
I'm looking forward eagerly. Samantha has done a wonderful job of taking my graphics and crafting a website with an easily maneuverable archive so those who are new to the comic can read from the beginning. There will be other goodies as well. This will be a growing project with links to resources in gender, myth, folklore, history and storytelling. If you are interested in exchanging links, please let me know.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Monday, July 22, 2013
As is is wont, Sir Gawain is eager to accept the Red Knight's challenge, and, as is her wont (in our
story at any rate) Lady Ragnell remind him that he has other fish to fry. The anonymous Middle English Romance "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" is a comparatively late romance, dating from the late 14th century and written in a northern dialect of Middle English. In the poem, a gigantic green knight rides into Arthur's court and offers a challenge: Take his axe and lop off his head, but be prepared to receive a similar blow a year hence. Gawain accepts the challenge and must face the consequences - and more. Many translations are available, including one by J.R.R. Tolkien. Here's a link to a late 19th century prose translation by Jesse L. Weston, author of the Grail study From Ritual to Romance, which is amongst Cally's books back at Myrddyn's cottage.
(I also heartily recommend the website, Internet Sacred Text Archive, which is a truly impressive digital library of scripture, folklore, mythology, and what-have-you.)
There are also at least two film adaptations of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," and I am sorry to report that both of them are wretched. Here, however, is a nifty BBC documentary about the romance, hosted by poet Simon Armitage:
There will be a short quiz next class meeting.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Obscure Reference. I admit to being starstruck, I must also admit that my awe is not limited to celebrities in the entertainment industry. Not only do I worship at the feet of writers and animators, but scholars hold a special place in my firmament. I am very proud to have the friendship of Dr. Helen Nicholson of Cardiff University. Not only was it her translation of an excerpt from the medieval romance Claris et Laris that inspired this project, but her translation of another romance inspired one of the asides in this week's page. I take the liberty, then, of linking to her translation of the anonymous early 13th century romance "Melion." (Please note that the copyright to this translation is owned by Dr. Nicholson.)
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Sunday, June 9, 2013
In the earlier romances, Sir Gawain was the noblest and strongest of Arthur's knights before he was supplanted by Lancelot as a paragon of chivalry and courtly love. Gawain is the eldest of the sons of Arthur's half sister Morgause. There are five in all, and they run 3 to 2 in terms of nobility vs. dastardliness. We've known Mordred for some time and we Agravain last week. They cover the dastardly side of the family. To clarify things (or make them even murkier - we'll see) here is a chart of Arthur's extended family culled from Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur and T.H. White's wonderful compilation of novels The Once and Future King.
Dame Ragnell's protean condition deserves explanation, which I think is best served in a tale. Below is a link to a modern translation of the 15th century Middle English poem, "The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell." Some might recognize it as also the Wife of Bath's Tale from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. It is one of my favorite stories to tell, and I am proud to have been hired to tell this story as a wedding present. Some do say it containeth the secret of a happy marriage.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
A word of explanation: Mordred is King Arthur’s son, as has been established. He is also the brother of Agravain, who is not Arthur’s son. Agravain is Arthur’s nephew. If Agravain wants to be judgmental, he might look to his right. Or, for that matter, look to his mother, who, according to the romances, was Arthur’s sister Morgause, the wife of King Lot of Lothian and Orkney, who cast a spell upon the young king and seduced him, and the result of this action was Mordred. The more generous romancers maintained that neither Arthur nor Morgause knew of their relationship. Others saw it as a deliberate way to get revenge for the death of her father, Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall, whom Arthur’s father, Uther Pendragon, had had killed whilst he seduced Igraine, Gorlois' wife and Morgause's mother (and mother of the enchantress Morgan Le Fay). Sir Thomas Malory, who tied it all together in Le Morte d’Arthur, doesn’t have his characters make a secret of it. Either way, this may account for Mordred's bad attitude. Arthur acknowledges his son (after a Herod-like attempt on the infant Mordred - at Myrddyn’s suggestion, making the whole thing even more disillusioning). More family skeletons next week.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Monday, March 4, 2013
I thought it would be nice to put up Tennyson's poem, Waterhouse's painting, and Loreena McKennitt's beautiful setting of the poem (a frequent earworm for me). This is the Arthurian Legend filtered through Victorian morality and sensibility, but this work, with its theme of unsated desire, speaks profoundly to me as a trans person.
ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON
Part I. On either side the river lie Long fields of barley and of rye, That clothe the wold and meet the sky; And thro' the field the road runs by To many-tower'd Camelot; And up and down the people go, Gazing where the lilies blow Round an island there below, The island of Shalott. Willows whiten, aspens quiver, Little breezes dusk and shiver Thro' the wave that runs for ever By the island in the river Flowing down to Camelot. Four gray walls, and four gray towers, Overlook a space of flowers, And the silent isle imbowers The Lady of Shalott. By the margin, willow-veil'd Slide the heavy barges trail'd By slow horses; and unhail'd The shallop flitteth silken-sail'd Skimming down to Camelot: But who hath seen her wave her hand? Or at the casement seen her stand? Or is she known in all the land, The Lady of Shalott? Only reapers, reaping early In among the bearded barley, Hear a song that echoes cheerly From the river winding clearly, Down to tower'd Camelot: And by the moon the reaper weary, Piling sheaves in uplands airy, Listening, whispers "'Tis the fairy Lady of Shalott." Part II. There she weaves by night and day A magic web with colours gay. She has heard a whisper say, A curse is on her if she stay To look down to Camelot. She knows not what the curse may be, And so she weaveth steadily, And little other care hath she, The Lady of Shalott. And moving thro' a mirror clear That hangs before her all the year, Shadows of the world appear. There she sees the highway near Winding down to Camelot: There the river eddy whirls, And there the surly village-churls, And the red cloaks of market girls, Pass onward from Shalott. Sometimes a troop of damsels glad, An abbot on an ambling pad, Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad, Or long-hair'd page in crimson clad, Goes by to tower'd Camelot; And sometimes thro' the mirror blue The knights come riding two and two: She hath no loyal knight and true, The Lady of Shalott. But in her web she still delights To weave the mirror's magic sights, For often thro' the silent nights A funeral, with plumes and lights And music, went to Camelot: Or when the moon was overhead, Came two young lovers lately wed; "I am half-sick of shadows," said The Lady of Shalott. Part III. A bow-shot from her bower-eaves, He rode between the barley-sheaves, The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves, And flamed upon the brazen greaves Of bold Sir Lancelot. A redcross knight for ever kneel'd To a lady in his shield, That sparkled on the yellow field, Beside remote Shalott. The gemmy bridle glitter'd free, Like to some branch of stars we see Hung in the golden Galaxy. The bridle-bells rang merrily As he rode down to Camelot: And from his blazon'd baldric slung A mighty silver bugle hung, And as he rode his armour rung, Beside remote Shalott. All in the blue unclouded weather Thick-jewell'd shone the saddle-leather, The helmet and the helmet-feather Burn'd like one burning flame together, As he rode down to Camelot. As often thro' the purple night, Below the starry clusters bright, Some bearded meteor, trailing light, Moves over still Shalott. His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd; On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode; From underneath his helmet flow'd His coal-black curls as on he rode, As he rode down to Camelot. From the bank and from the river He flash'd into the crystal mirror, "Tirra lirra," by the river Sang Sir Lancelot. She left the web, she left the loom, She made three paces thro' the room, She saw the water-lily bloom, She saw the helmet and the plume, She look'd down to Camelot. Out flew the web and floated wide; The mirror crack'd from side to side; "The curse is come upon me," cried The Lady of Shalott. Part IV. In the stormy east-wind straining, The pale-yellow woods were waning, The broad stream in his banks complaining, Heavily the low sky raining Over tower'd Camelot; Down she came and found a boat Beneath a willow left afloat, And round about the prow she wrote The Lady of Shalott. And down the river's dim expanse-- Like some bold seër in a trance, Seeing all his own mischance-- With a glassy countenance Did she look to Camelot. And at the closing of the day She loosed the chain, and down she lay; The broad stream bore her far away, The Lady of Shalott. Lying, robed in snowy white That loosely flew to left and right-- The leaves upon her falling light-- Thro' the noises of the night She floated down to Camelot: And as the boat-head wound along The willowy hills and fields among, They heard her singing her last song, The Lady of Shalott. Heard a carol, mournful, holy, Chanted loudly, chanted lowly, Till her blood was frozen slowly, And her eyes were darken'd wholly, Turn'd to tower'd Camelot; For ere she reach'd upon the tide The first house by the water-side, Singing in her song she died, The Lady of Shalott. Under tower and balcony, By garden-wall and gallery, A gleaming shape she floated by, A corse between the houses high, Silent into Camelot. Out upon the wharfs they came, Knight and burgher, lord and dame, And round the prow they read her name, The Lady of Shalott. Who is this? and what is here? And in the lighted palace near Died the sound of royal cheer; And they cross'd themselves for fear, All the knights at Camelot: But Lancelot mused a little space; He said, "She has a lovely face; God in his mercy lend her grace, The Lady of Shalott."