the latest Requested Materials from the Los Angeles County Library have arrived!
(or, more correctly, we went to Pick them Up from the shelf and ran our fingers delicately across the tomes looking for the piece of paper sticking up with our original RL surname thereupon)
and so we spent many happy hours late (a bit too late, actually, tired eyes behind reading glasses, finally forced to capitulate and set aside) and a little this morning, with our dark embrace of caffeine…..
From Hymn to Aphrodite:
Sing, Muse, the Force, and all-informing Fire
Of Cyprian Venus, Goddess of Desire:
Her Charms, th’Immortal Minds of Gods can move,
And tame the stubborn Race of Men to Love.
The wilder Herds and ravenous Beasts of Prey,
Her influence feel, and own her kindly Sway.
Thro’ pathless Air, and boundless Ocean’s Space,
She rules the feather’d Kind and finny Race;
Whole Nature on her sole Support depends,
And far as Life exists, her Care extends.
William Congreve, 1710
[Aphrodite and Anchises]
Bright as the Moon she shone, with silent Light.
And charm’d his Sense with Wonder and Delight.
William Congreve, 1710
According to our friends at the Oxford University Press*, these extracts are both from what are known as The Homeric Hymns – a collection of thirty-three poems in epic style composed between the eighth and sixth centuries BC and addressed to various divinities, falsely attributed to Homer.
*and may we say how Modern it is that the OUP (may we be so familiar?) are doing ‘Print-on-Demand’ (top right, of this catalogue page)- – gosh.
of course one does Wonder who these poets were that wrote the Original versions in the once-Ancient Greek and didn’t sign their name so they were passed over by the mists of time and Mr. Homer took the credit (or his Publishers did)?
having done a little ghost-writing-for-executives in our time *coughs* we know the feeling of our words being attributed to Others.
and back to Classical Greece.
you see we’ve decided to put the Hollywood Novel on hold for a moment and adapt the Goddess of Donal Bay (which, strictly speaking is Set in Los Angeles, and there are definite Hollywood Moments).
we wrote it as a screenplay a few years ago and feel ready to write at length to make it (or reveal it, depending on one’s opinion of how-books-are-written) a Novel.
we LOVED writing the classical Muses.
the gowns alone…..
CLIO, another muse ENTERS. She flies off the top of the stacks.
CALLIOPE (CONT’D) Clio!
Clio is as beautiful as Calliope. And mad as hell.
CLIO We’ve been watching you.
Calliope looks guilty. Clio grabs her arm and shows her a whole stack of self-help books.
CLIO (CONT’D) They call it self-help. Humans buy these books to make them feel better. But they don’t do the work.
CALLIOPE I was just trying to help. They invented these life coach people and said they were the new muses.
CLIO Why did you take on human form? It’s forbidden. You are confusing the human incarnations. You wrote a book with your picture on it, your image is displayed in permanent daylight on those billboards out there, you were on the machine!
CALLIOPE They call it television.
CLIO I don’t care what they call it.
CALLIOPE I’ve been kissed. Clio is stopped in her tracks. Her eyes fill with emotion.
CLIO What was it like?
CALLIOPE Like nothing I have ever experienced.
This is going to be a delicious distraction.
excuse us while we return to Bryon’s translation of Catullus and enjoy (is this possible?) our (small) bowl of Special K (the cereal, not the narcotic).