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Fog on a Saturday Dawn - Laura Wise

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June 30th, 2012

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09:07 am - Fog on a Saturday Dawn
This morning the Blonde Dog (ailing, but drug-enhanced and ready to walk) and I went out into the sunrise for our everyday stroll. When we stepped out into the street, however, I realized that the world was all mist, hanging low, stealing nearer even as a light cool wind stirred the grey.

We had a convivial walk together -- the park was only touched by fog, and our morning friends were easily distinguished as they walked out of the obscuring vapor. After I brought the Blonde Dog home, I went back out for my own mile-and-a-half walk-run. The first half of the outing was weighted by the grey, it lowering down to touch the grey concrete streets, trees and Spanish moss disembodied, just reaching toward me.

Then in an instant the sun dissolved the fog, and I was back in an everyday Saturday, grounded.

This is of course a good prompt for a link and two quotes on the topic of the unheimlich.

Four days left to listen online to a really cool BBC Radio4 half-hour program on "the Uncanny." The presenter takes us through Freud, novelists like A.S. Byatt and John Banville talking about the uncanny, a short creepy reading of Hoffman's "The Sandman" by Mark Gatiss, art, and music. Highly recommended -- EXCEPT, if I might just mention it, the program's identification of the Gothic as early 19th-century would shock the hell out of, oh, say, Horace Walpole who wrote The Castle of Otranto in 1746 [EDIT: 1764, dash my numbers issues]. But okay.

After I listened to this, I went back to one of my favorite short stories, "Sredni Vashtar" by Saki. In "Sredni Vashtar" a young, sickly orphan is fighting a home which in its mundanity is itself killing: Mrs De Ropp was Conradin's cousin and guardian, and in his eyes she represented those three-fifths of the wold that are necessary and disagreeable and real; the other two-fifths, in perpetual antagonism to the foregoing, were summed up in himself and his imagination. In the horrifying climax of the story, where the force of the Real meets the "hutch-god" polecat-ferret Conradin has been hiding and worshiping, But he knew as he prayed that he did not believe. He knew that the Woman would come out presently with that pursed smile he loathed so well on her face, and that in an hour or two the gardener would carry away his wonderful god, a god no longer, but a simple brown ferret in a hutch. And he knew that the Woman would triumph always as she triumphed now, and that he would grow ever more sickly under her pestering and domineering and superior wisdom, till one day nothing would matter much more with him, and the doctor would be proved right. Yet Conradin and his imagination have called on the uncanny, and it has answered....

Cheers to all, and may your Saturday be full of things you like to think about, and may all your mists be friendly.

(9 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:June 30th, 2012 02:05 pm (UTC)
Beautiful description of the misty morning. And I've loved Shredni Vashtar since I read that story at 12!

I would settle for any kind of mist today...
[User Picture]
Date:June 30th, 2012 02:46 pm (UTC)
[sending you mist, or at least thoughts of it]

"Sredni Vashtar" is still an amazing story -- tight, well-observed, uncanny. ;-)

Cheers for your Saturday!
[User Picture]
Date:June 30th, 2012 03:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, Saki! One of my favorite story beginnings ever:

"You are not really dying, are you?" asked Amanda.

"I have the doctor's permission to live till Tuesday," said Laura.

"But today is Saturday; this is serious!" gasped Amanda.

"I don't know about it being serious; it is certainly Saturday," said Laura.

Also, your misty walk sounds delicious.
[User Picture]
Date:June 30th, 2012 03:25 pm (UTC)
I love Saki so much -- both the camp comic bits (with Clovis) and the creepy stories. One of my favorites is "Gabriel-Ernest": 'There is a wild beast in your woods,' said the artist Cunningham, as he was being driven to the station. It was the only remark he had made during the drive, but as Van Cheele had talked incessantly his companion's silence had not been noticeable, it begins, and the reveal of 'the wild beast' is creepy and yet hilarious. (Actually, I'd love to see a short film made of it. And Mark Gatiss would have to play Van Cheele. ;-))

Hugs and a beautiful Saturday!
[User Picture]
Date:June 30th, 2012 04:45 pm (UTC)

[User Picture]
Date:June 30th, 2012 05:28 pm (UTC)
Gatiss's discussion of "The Sandman" makes his Doctor Who ep "Night Terrors" ever so clear. ;-)

Cheers and hugs, L!
[User Picture]
Date:June 30th, 2012 10:55 pm (UTC)
You always write so lyrically, even on the most mundane subjects. [hugs]
[User Picture]
Date:July 1st, 2012 12:43 am (UTC)
Thank you, A. Cheers and good thoughts for your weekend, and hugs as well!
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:July 1st, 2012 12:23 pm (UTC)
Happy Sunday to you, L. [hugs hugs]

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