“Tragedy” / A Memorable Fancy #379

It is an ancient time, the first time actors pretend that there is no audience. This is new. Always before, in all those past centuries, the actors declaimed toward the audience, addressed us. This new way of acting is both revolutionary and insulting. Audiences boo at it. After all, those actors are ignoring us, are saying their best lines to each other, not to us. We paid admission, so we should be acknowledged, spoken to. We are the ones, after all, who are expected to applaud. But the … [Read more...]

“‘We sing what happened'” / A Memorable Fancy #314

     We sing what happened; music makes it real for us. Once there were great battles and only our ballads recall them. We sing to each other of brave warriors and ships covering the sea, shouting men, glints of spears, the men’s first glimpse of the walls, those high walls that reached to the sky and could never be thrown down, never scaled, never breached by intrigue.      Our warriors came home in despair, but we do not sing of things as real as this.     <END> … See … [Read more...]

“An Ancient Contract” / A Memorable Fancy #084

We agree to pay Kleanthos ten plates of meat from the civic feast, and not all the worst parts, or deer found rotting in the hills. And we agree to pay him fifty jugs of wine put up in harvest (but ten in a bad year), to be memory among us when our old men forget. Recall the battles of our kings, their lineage and strength! Relate our deeds of war and wealth and tell our daughters’ freshness to our listening eyes. We inscribe our names below (some of us with doubts) but if Kleanthos … [Read more...]

“An Ancient Decree About Maps” / A Memorable Fancy #082

On any map of our kingdom the chamberlain cares to have made, our capital must take up all of the space, even to the folds and curls; and writing codes in the edge as if the map could connect forever Is not allowed. And likewise, On maps of our capital, the palace grounds only must be shown, and even there only the temple, the innermost temple, the idol’s porch, the grand beast itself, its glowing eyes; Only the darkness in its glowing eyes. … [Read more...]