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Re: Weird Folklore
Posted by: Cathbad (IP Logged)
Date: 30 August, 2020 03:44PM
We had a big tome when I was a kid - Fairy & Folk-tales of the Irish Peasantry - stories collected by the poet W.B. Yeats. Some were a lot better than others, but I guess what they lacked in variety they made up for in quantity. Aside from the little people - and you don't want to mess with THOSE guys - the devil regularly turned up (much as he does in other cultures) at card games etc, dressed all in black and sporting a limp. Even as a teenager I'd hear stories of how some girl had met a nice gentleman at dancehall the previous week-end, only to spot the cloven hoof beneath the table just in time (stories I suspect were promoted by some rival dancehall owner). One would think the Prince of Darkness had better things to do with his time.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 30 Aug 20 | 03:45PM by Cathbad.

Re: Weird Folklore
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 31 August, 2020 04:10PM
Here's a second Lafcadio Heern weird tale from Japan, "The Dream of Akinosuke."

[www.sacred-texts.com]

Re: Weird Folklore
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 31 August, 2020 09:06PM
Thanks for all the pointers and links, Dale! I've taken a look at Kittelsen's work, and it truly expresses that cold, dark world of the far northern lands, with a heavy sense of melancholy which moves me. His pictures related to the plague are my favorites, with their eerie suggestions and that isolated dark figure wandering in those lonely places. They're truly disturbing, but dignified in their mournful atmosphere. I also have a fondness for his troll figures, those very nightmarish, very enthusiastic characters. It's a far cry from CAS indeed, but I think CAS had a kindred sense of melancholy and morbidity, even if his mind was wandering through different lands. I recall CAS had only written one or two poems related to Norse mythology, but made countless references to Greek and Arabian lore, so it's clear where his preferences lie.

I've read one of Simpson's books on the Viking World, which was one of my introductions to the culture. I never thought to read more of her work (simply because I've been eager to stretch myself thin with my readings!), but everything you share of her is fascinating. Icelandic folklore has caught my mind lately, with its vast landscapes and eerie elemental beings, and that tradition of invisible people who somehow evoke both endless mystery and a weird sense of coziness. I almost wish I could move there at once, and take in all those malformed troll stones. M. R. James is my favorite ghost story author, so on top of her Icelandic studies, I'll gladly read her fiction asap!!!

Related subject continuing from another thread:

Quote:
Sawfish
BTW, our daughter came home unexpectedly from her job in CA for my wife's birthday (yesterday! 64! and she looks about 45!); she (my daughter) is fortunate in that she can work remotely.
Anway, I talked about the link to Japanese monsters that you sent, and told her:

"Can you image these coming off the ferry in Miayazaki's "Spirited Away", coming to Ubaba's bath house to "replenish themselves"?

She laughed and laughed...

It always warms me to know when a family is actually functioning and getting along. Can't say the same for my upbringing!

Haha! A Miyazaki fan, I see! Spirited Away is easily one of my favorite animated films of all time, along with his Princess Mononoke. And Ponyo and Kiki's Delivery Service make excellent films for kids and adults alike! I agree, all creatures from that website are begging for a blink-and-you'll-miss appearance in the bath house's throng of monsters! Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if some of them are in there, since the film has a strong folkloric vibe, though in the form of an original story.

Earlier I mentioned how CAS' creatures would suit Japanese folkloric aesthetics well. CAS is naturally obscure everywhere you go, but his creatures do have a small Japanese following, likely in relation to the Cthulhu Mythos. I'll ask my friend who lives in Japan for those pictures I mentioned, portraying such CAS monsters as Tsathoggua and Rlim-Shaikorth terrorizing the native landscape. If CAS were more well-known, I can easily imagine his work having a big following there, especially for his bizarre creatures and some of his kindred aesthetics. Tsathoggua could have been a patron at Yubaba's bath house! Though perhaps he'd need to be carried by several of his shapeless black servants.



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 31 Aug 20 | 09:18PM by Hespire.

Re: Weird Folklore
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 31 August, 2020 09:28PM
Cathbad Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Even as a teenager I'd hear stories of how
> some girl had met a nice gentleman at dancehall
> the previous week-end, only to spot the cloven
> hoof beneath the table just in time (stories I
> suspect were promoted by some rival dancehall
> owner). One would think the Prince of Darkness had
> better things to do with his time.


No kidding! You mean there are people who still imagine the classic Devil with horns and hooves causing mischief in the land? I always thought that idea disappeared since the middle ages, but it goes to show how little I know, ha.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 31 Aug 20 | 09:29PM by Hespire.

Re: Weird Folklore
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 1 September, 2020 01:38AM
Hespire, among the grimmest pages I’ve ever read are those on the Skafta Fires in Iceland in Dominic Cooper’s little-known novel Men at Axlir. Powerful writing, that.

Re: Weird Folklore
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 1 September, 2020 09:39AM
Going to divert a bit, on the subject of Miyazaki, below:

Hespire Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for all the pointers and links, Dale! I've
> taken a look at Kittelsen's work, and it truly
> expresses that cold, dark world of the far
> northern lands, with a heavy sense of melancholy
> which moves me. His pictures related to the plague
> are my favorites, with their eerie suggestions and
> that isolated dark figure wandering in those
> lonely places. They're truly disturbing, but
> dignified in their mournful atmosphere. I also
> have a fondness for his troll figures, those very
> nightmarish, very enthusiastic characters. It's a
> far cry from CAS indeed, but I think CAS had a
> kindred sense of melancholy and morbidity, even if
> his mind was wandering through different lands. I
> recall CAS had only written one or two poems
> related to Norse mythology, but made countless
> references to Greek and Arabian lore, so it's
> clear where his preferences lie.
>
> I've read one of Simpson's books on the Viking
> World, which was one of my introductions to the
> culture. I never thought to read more of her work
> (simply because I've been eager to stretch myself
> thin with my readings!), but everything you share
> of her is fascinating. Icelandic folklore has
> caught my mind lately, with its vast landscapes
> and eerie elemental beings, and that tradition of
> invisible people who somehow evoke both endless
> mystery and a weird sense of coziness. I almost
> wish I could move there at once, and take in all
> those malformed troll stones. M. R. James is my
> favorite ghost story author, so on top of her
> Icelandic studies, I'll gladly read her fiction
> asap!!!
>
> Related subject continuing from another thread:
>
> BTW, our daughter came home unexpectedly from her
> job in CA for my wife's birthday (yesterday! 64!
> and she looks about 45!); she (my daughter) is
> fortunate in that she can work remotely.
>
> Anway, I talked about the link to Japanese
> monsters that you sent, and told her:
>
> "Can you image these coming off the ferry in
> Miayazaki's "Spirited Away", coming to Ubaba's
> bath house to "replenish themselves"?
>
> She laughed and laughed...
>
> It always warms me to know when a family is
> actually functioning and getting along. Can't say
> the same for my upbringing!
>
> Haha! A Miyazaki fan, I see! Spirited Away is
> easily one of my favorite animated films of all
> time, along with his Princess Mononoke.

A really good comparison is that my wife's "type" of Japanese personality is very much like the peasant girls who work for Lady Eboshi.

Very earthy, ribald sense of humor...

> And Ponyo
> and Kiki's Delivery Service

I'm not kidding when I say that Kiki made the example of self-motivation and industry a VERY positive role model that my daughter was impressed with from the very first times she saw it.

> make excellent films
> for kids and adults alike! I agree, all creatures
> from that website are begging for a
> blink-and-you'll-miss appearance in the bath
> house's throng of monsters! Actually, I wouldn't
> be surprised if some of them are in there, since
> the film has a strong folkloric vibe, though in
> the form of an original story.

A great, great film which I asked for, for a birthday prenet years ago.

>
> Earlier I mentioned how CAS' creatures would suit
> Japanese folkloric aesthetics well. CAS is
> naturally obscure everywhere you go, but his
> creatures do have a small Japanese following,
> likely in relation to the Cthulhu Mythos. I'll ask
> my friend who lives in Japan for those pictures I
> mentioned, portraying such CAS monsters as
> Tsathoggua and Rlim-Shaikorth terrorizing the
> native landscape. If CAS were more well-known, I
> can easily imagine his work having a big following
> there, especially for his bizarre creatures and
> some of his kindred aesthetics. Tsathoggua could
> have been a patron at Yubaba's bath house! Though
> perhaps he'd need to be carried by several of his
> shapeless black servants.

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: Weird Folklore
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 2 September, 2020 02:27PM
Dale Nelson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hespire, among the grimmest pages I’ve ever read
> are those on the Skafta Fires in Iceland in
> Dominic Cooper’s little-known novel Men at
> Axlir. Powerful writing, that.


I've read about the Skafta Fires a few weeks ago, and it was one of the most depressing historical things I've read, downright apocalyptic, and I can hardly imagine what the social and emotional atmosphere of the country was like at the time. My interest in mythology and folk culture also made me interested in the real people that made them, so I would love to read this historical novel. A drama during that bleak and dismal period sounds gripping and unimaginably intense. I see some cheap copies online, so I'm gonna snatch one up immediately, along with Simpson's Icelandic studies. No doubt I'll get a real kick out of reading this in dark winter!

Do you know any good books that deal with Iceland's Huldufólk?

Quote:
Sawfish
Going to divert a bit, on the subject of Miyazaki, below:

No worries, I'd say Miyazaki is relevant to this thread in that his films tend to approach fantasy in a very folkish way, and it probably helps that he's an old man who didn't have much interest in popular fantasy trends. Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away especially have a lot to do with Japanese folk traditions, but the influence pervades throughout all his films. Japanese animism sees life in all things around you, and this is perfectly illustrated in his scenes portraying weird creatures or living phenomena rising from the environment. Hearn's books and Miyazaki's films would make good introductions for the average westerner.

Ha, Eboshi's women were such amazing stand-out characters. They play an ever-pervasive role in the background of the story, as the ones who keep the morally ambiguous town alive, despite having a minor role in prince Ashitaka's journey. And their irreverent spunk makes them endlessly memorable! Unlike most of the men in that film, I'd say you're lucky to be married to someone like that! No doubt you'd have an admirably independent daughter!

Re: Weird Folklore
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 2 September, 2020 10:21PM
Hespire, Simpson’s book will be a good place to start, I’m sure. She has a bibliography too.

Re: Weird Folklore
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 3 September, 2020 10:24AM
De Quincey said that a man whose daily thoughts are of cattle will cream of cattle. I dreamed I was in a bookstore trying to decide whether to buy for $8 a used copy of a volume -- I think in the Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library -- of tales from what was once called the Near East (that is, Palestine, Arabia, Persia, Afghanistan, India -- right?) as opposed to the Far East (China, Mongolia, Tibet, Korea, Japan....). I hadn't been reading such tales before lights out...

Re: Weird Folklore
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 3 September, 2020 11:34AM
Hah! Good one, Dale!

BTW, have others here on ED found that small e-readers are the best thing since bottled beer? ;^)

To me, there's no substitute for a high-quality, hardbound volume, but the cost is more than I'm willing to routinely bear (although I'm not averse to asking for these kinds of books for Xmas presents), but for the *constant* reader of popular fiction, and also some public domain stuff, e-readers are really, really handy!

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: Weird Folklore
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 3 September, 2020 12:08PM
Jacqueline Simpson wrote about the "Rules of Folklore" in M. R. James's tales --

[www.tandfonline.com]

Worth reading if you can get hold of a copy. I wish it had been included in her Where Are the Bones? collection.

Re: Weird Folklore
Posted by: Cathbad (IP Logged)
Date: 3 September, 2020 12:26PM
Ereaders are kind of pricey. There are two big advantages; you can get the book pretty much right away at the click of a button (and a lot of stuff that was out of print is now available online) and they're often easier to read (because you can adjust text size, they're back-lit etc, etc). I do have a soft spot for books though, and would hate to see them entirely supplanted by ebooks. To use a corollory; I rarely carry cash anymore. Very few people I know do. But I'd be sorry to see coins, notes etc, vanish.

Re: Weird Folklore
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 3 September, 2020 01:08PM
As to price, I bought a Barnes & Noble Nook for $20, used, on Mercari. I'd recommend a Kindle, though, simply for ease of use. There are a lot of these on the used market, and maybe $50 would get you a decent one. The screen on my daughter's broke when I borrowed it, she got a new one, and I repaired her old one for $25 and also have that one, now.

You can get them cheaply.

Also, I do, indeed, use the public library a lot, and during the lockdown it was sure nice to just get books with no need to deal with crowds, etc.

But I was going to the gym, etc., before lockdowns, and it was very easy just to carry the ereader and place it on a stationary bike! If I had to take the car in for an oil change, while waiting it was nice to have the pocket-sized ereader.

But yep, I still like hardbacks best of all.

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: Weird Folklore
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 3 September, 2020 02:00PM
Can you stick a USB memory in an e-reader? And can it read PDF files?

Or how do you fill it with books? Can you connect it with your computer and fill it from there? Or can it only be filled commercially from Amazon and similar places?

Re: Weird Folklore
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 3 September, 2020 03:04PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Can you stick a USB memory in an e-reader? And can
> it read PDF files?

Depends on the ereader.

Most ereaders are not RAM expandable, but also bear in mind that in native Kindle format (.mobi is the generic, source agnostic format you might get from Project Gutenberg, e.g.). 1GB = 1000 printed volumes, generally speaking. Epub format is more compact, bit-wise, and so you can probably double that for .epub format books.

So think of it: a 16GB Kindle can have ~16,000 volumes.

Some can read PDF, but my guess is that for PDF you no longer can change font types/families and font size, margins, line spacing, etc. These adjustments are available from Kindle and EPub formats. It is very nice to do this, for me. My eyes get tired or maybe "bored" and just flipping from serif to sans serif helps, some. At night, I increase font size, sometimes.

There are also tablets--lots and lots of them--that might appeal, but I did not mention them because the portability of a Nook or Kindle Paperwhite, e.g., is one of the biggest advantages. These would certainly do .mobi, .epub, (both by apps) and .pdf formats.

>
> Or how do you fill it with books? Can you connect
> it with your computer and fill it from there?

Yes, that's one way, and I do it that way, mostly.

Or
> can it only be filled commercially from Amazon and
> similar places?

That is the *simplest* way and I'm confident that original marketing indicated that most e-reader owners wants as simple wifi transfer that is as user-transparent as possible. This means in effect *buying* from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and a very few other vendors, but (BIG BUT)...

I have bought *only* one book in all the years I've owned a reader. I either check them out of the library, or get them online from places like Project Gutenberg. Thse I download from libraries or PG, and if you have an Amazon Prime account, the Kindle (.mobi) format books you check out from a library will be sent via wifi to your Kindle.

So it fills a niche, is NOT a replacement for regular book acquisitions. Quick and easy, that's basically what they're for. Library books and free books.

But I have one hell of a lot of free Machen, for example. All of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, Dreiser, Stephen Crane, etc., and right now, I'm reading Caesar's commentaries on the Gallic War--all from Gutenberg.

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

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