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Monday, October 5, 2009

Mystic Monday

Zombies and Ravens

Hi there all,

Sorry for posting late, but that's half the mystery about it, don't you think? I know I should have created my post this morning before I went to bed, but I was busy finishing the YA Room, which has functioning pages now and a list of YA links. The links are a work in progress and will be in flux as I determine sites that are worthy and those that aren't!

Today is the first Monday in October and I am in prime scare mode. Over the weekend, Steve and I watched a really, super cheesy zombie movie called, Dance of the Dead.  For some of you though, it might have one redeeming quality, the zombie love scene.

Yep, you read that right, zombie love scene! - I comment no further, here.  It was not the best part of the movie.  To me, the best part was from the trailer and it never really existed, which bummed me out quite a bit.  In the trailer, when the sci-fi club found a group of people locked in a room, they open the door and say, "We're the sci-fi club and we're here to rescue you!"  That would have been the ultimate and fitting line, right?  Well, that scene actually turned out to be a compilation of two scenes.  The way it actually happened, wasn't that great as far as I'm concerned.  In fact, the movie wasn't that great.  However, some of you may appreciate it and it might be good for a few laughs early on during the zombie fight scenes.  For some reason, zombies can rebuild themselves when they're pretty dumb to begin with, yet the human body just doesn't work that way...  Somehow, the zombie scenes looked much better in the mummy movies with Brendan Fraser than they did in this one. 

There was one redeeming quality to this movie, and his name is Nash Rambler (Blair Redford)!  Why?  Well, his music soothes the savage zombies and keeps them at bay.  Plus. he's the ray of light in what looks like the most dire scene for the hero and heroine of the movie in an all too predictable way.  But it was still a pretty good scene.  Gotta love the name Nash Rambler though.  When you try to google it, you won't get his pretty face because you'll get a gazillion images of the Nash Rambler car and the group named after them, the Nash Ramblers.  Your best bet is to search under the name, Blair Reford.  No relation as far as I can tell.

Now I have to pay homage to two great authors for without whom we wouldn't have the genre we do today - 
H.P. Lovecraft  Edgar Allen Poe
H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe.

CthulhuH.P. Love craft wrote in the early 1900's and it is his writing that is responsible for much of what we have today.  Ever heard of the Cthulhu Mythos?  Well, that was his work which has influenced many people, including role-playing game creators.  Cthulhu was a hideous creature created by Lovecraft, which showed up in a few of his stories, and the Cthulhu Mythos refers to the system of lore created by Lovecraft.  His work has been referenced and used as a model so often and is now common place, so if you wonder where something from the paranormal came from, chances are, when you trace it's entire roots, you'll find them tied here, in some way shape or form.  Lovecraft has also spawned his own movement in music.  In one of my genre's articles I wrote for UW-Milwaukee's The Leader, I discovered that the group Blue Oyster Cult's music and lyrics were influenced by his works.  But they aren't the only band, there are tons.  So much so, that you might be surprised....

Edgar Allen Poe, on the other hand, wrote during the 1800's.  He had to be one of the most influential authors of our times.  He has book awards named after him and many authors in the genre of horror site him as one of their influences, but rather than having his own movement, was considered part of the romantic movement.  He is also considered to be the inventor of detective fiction.  He was also a huge contributor to the rising science fiction genre.  In case you haven't had the chance to read his poem, "The Raven," here it is below.  Enjoy!    

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"- here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!" -
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more."

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as "Nevermore."

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "other friends have flown before -
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."
Then the bird said, "Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of 'Never - nevermore'."

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore:
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted- tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked, upstarting -
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore! 

3 Moonbeams (comments):

Molly Daniels said...

Raven was always my favorite Poe work:) Never heard of Lovecraft before.

Carrie said...

Yeah, that's what a lot of people say. In fact, I heard of the Cthuhu Mythos before I heard of him because of Dungeons & Dragons, waay back when. There was also a Call of Cthulhu RPG (this was before computer-based RPGs, when they were all played face-to-face, or mostly that way!) and some related books and stuff. I had no idea it stemmed from H.P. Lovecraft, which is why I try to mention him.

It's just like any author. If you don't keep mentioning the original, all you'll see are the ones paying homage to them. Glad I introduced someone to him. He is worth exploring, that's for sure! Very interesting and "weird" stuff, which is why his was called Weird Fiction!

Sheila Deeth said...

Ooh. Thank you for the chance to listen to ravens...