I hear mandarine, loud in my ear. I’m taller than many Chinese women and fatter. They pull at my blond hair and it’s hard for me to understand why people in China have little concept of personal space.
I came to China to see the history: The Buddhist temples and buildings; The Terracotta Army and other artifacts; and even the Great Wall, though it was a tiring hike which spanned a distance too great to finish walking.
I have known many wonderful people of Chinese descent; I have great friends from China. But I will never live in China nor return.
Yet, there is strange kind of beauty here; I see it in the paper lanterns, glowing at night and in the New Years fireworks. I wanted to love this country, until one too many women tried to cut-off my blond hair; they each said it was for luck.
Connections are something I’m passionate about. I enjoy the connections ideas have with one another.When I was in university, my major concentration of study was English Literature because I loved to read, write, and hear stories. Later in my studies, in my third or fourth year, I learned about ‘New Historicism’ in a Literary Criticism Course. New historist’s believe that: “what is history is textual and what is textual is history.”
When we write about history we are also writing something literary and vice versa. This is because the writer’s beliefs, or the beliefs of the regime the writer was working under, affect their work. The ideas of ‘New Historicism’ made a fascinating connection for me between my English Major and History Minor.
Many kings such as Charlemagne (768 AD) for instance, had books written about them. These books made them appear to readers and history in a certain light. Charlemagne (or Charles the Great) United Western Europe, laying the grounds for France and Germany. He also was a huge supporter of the Papacy because the Pope legitimized him as a King ordained by God. Perhaps, that is one of the most extraordinaire tactics Charlemagne takes, he makes Western Europe Christian. Charlemagne would have his writers (monks) leave out any details that might make history look back on him in a less then ideal way. But history can often be no more than stories based on a few facts, it might be more literature than historically accurate.
An example of this is the epic poem, The Song of Roland. The epic poem is French literature that takes place during Charlemagne’s reign. It is the oldest surviving work of French literature. The poem is about the Battle of Ronceveax, a historically accurate battle. Charlemagne’s army is fighting the Muslim armies in Spain when they are tricked. The French army is annihilated, until Charlemagne arrives and defeats the Muslims. The character Roland and the French army have no qualms about bravely dying for their king. They appear noble. They are not like many of today’s anti-heros who are scared to die and do not have much in the way of fighting skills. Medieval heros were written to appear strong and divinely blessed (such as Roland) so history would look back on them in a favourable way according the values of the time, and of their Kings.
Another connection to history and literature is philosophy — which was almost was my second minor. What the great minds of a time period were thinking, influences the historical events of the time and the way literature was written. Thomas Aquainius for example, a philosopher in the 1400’s, believed in ‘natural theology’ as a priest for the Catholic Church. Much of his work was based off of Aristotle’s works, especially Aquinius’ famous Summa Theologica.
Catholicism regards Aquinas as a Saint and a model for priesthood. He influenced religion in his time (and now) and his philosophical work on Aristotle had an effect on literature being written. Aquainus’ views such as his beliefs on ‘virtue’ effect the history of the Catholic Church in the sense that Aquinas’ beliefs were the image the Papacy liked to portray.
In the latter Middle Ages, Renaissance and beyond, Catholic clergy such as the Pope and Cardinals, held a great deal of influence, similar to that of Kings. They commanded armies and despite Catholic teachings of celibacy, had wives and families. Peasants were sold items such as ‘indulgences’ to save their ancestor from purgatory, or to help buy their own way from hell. The focus was taken off how Jesus would save you if you believed in him to what you could do to get into heaven.
Clearly, history was deviating from what Acquinas taught and wrote. In this case what was written in literature was philosophical, but not the actual history occurring. I’m sure at the time, the Papacy would have argued that what they were doing was perfectly in line with Aquanius and the teachings of the Catholicism. This is why in part, a Reformation in religion occurrs in the 1600’s.
For the most part, I found my studies of philosophy, history, and literature to be connected. For many events, history is not what we think it is. Actual history is influenced by opinion and thought – our philosophies and beliefs. History to a large degree can be made-up or embellished and is more so literature than a sound historical account. But literature can have sound philosophical beliefs behind it. This is a fascinating and complex way to look at how ideas connect with what occurs in our lives, what we write, and what we believe.
Prompt: Go to your Stats page and check your top 3-5 posts. Why do you think they’ve been successful? Find the connection between them, and write about it.
1. MAC Mineral Foundation and Powder – I wrote this article along time ago. It is kind of shocking it is my most popular post. But I know many women love MAC makeup and are striving to use mineral makeup because it is healthier for their skin. Honestly, I’m not using either of these products now. The foundation is not made for people with oily or combination skin. The powder is a nice finishing powder but I honestly like my Clinique Almost Powder makeup better than this powder. I adore MAC eyeshadow and lipstick.I’m coveting some lovely new shades of light pink they have brought out for Spring 2016. Some of MAC’s eyeliners are alright and the same with some of their other products here and there. But honestly, there are so many other better mineral brands then MAC. But perhaps, I should try some new MAC makeup again, it being so popular with my blog visitors. I will think about it, when I need some makeup again.
2. The Sunflower House – My blog has been growing in leaps and bounds lately. This is one of my more recent stories. I think people like cute love stories and the protagonist Kayla standing up for Gram Janice and her sunflowers in this story. The fact, Gran Janice has a handsome Grandson named Devon for her new friend Kayla also helps. In short, I’m receiving many views for FfftAW from people as the next two posts are also from the same challenge. Thanks so much for reading from this Flash Fiction challenge!
3.The Lady’s Breakfast – Another Flash Fiction piece from Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writer’s. I loved the picture prompt in this piece. There were so many directions I could go with it but I saw the old painting in the back and was inspired. I think the history, of this piece is special and the connection it has to the present day bar is special too. Not to mention, it’s another great love story. The kidnapper becomes the Lady’s beloved. History plus love story plus bar equals a good story. Many people have a favourite place they go for a beer or glass of wine, the history of these joints can be fascinating.
4.A Nice Young Guy – Yet another love story with the involvement of a caring Grandparent — one who has died. Also, I think I wrote this piece only last week, so this tells me the blog is doing well lately. Also, I think the format of this Flash Fiction piece is interesting because Janine finds a letter in her car from her Grandpa. He leaves her a special gift and the story of how he met Janine’s Grandmother. It is a sweet story, how an old car was so important to Janine’s Grandpa and why. You people simply love sappy love stories. You must be fans of Nicholas Sparks too 🙂
5.The Boss Who Foze – I am excited you guys liked this Sunday Flash Fiction piece. Mostly because it is more of a thriller. Cara wakes up and realizes she is late for work. The story is misleading because you think the story is only about her throwing herself together to get to work on time on a blizzardy day. What’s the catch? What Cara finds after seeing the office is closed for the day — her frozen boss. So, happy this is in the top five. Some of you must have been thinking of your own boss. Lol. ;). Plus, I like to write thrillers as well as the love stories the readers adore!
Thank you so much anyone who follows and/or reads Mandibelle16. You are amazing and I love that you take the time out of your day to read my blog. It is touching that you appreciate what I write.
In the silence of the graveyard where Nadia stood, most people would see a statue of an angel, chaste, with arms crossed. But remembering the Art History of sculpture, Nadia could see a goddess. She could picture the statue she was thinking about now. She saw one of the greatest Hellenisticstatues carved by the ancient Greeks: The Winged Nike of Somothrace.
Nadia had seen the Nike at the Louvre in Paris. She could imagine the arms (no longer existing) one flung out, the other at the Nike’s mouth, shouting for victory. The Nike had been a part of the Somothrace Temple and had stood on a pedastal, the prow of a ship. She commemerated a great navel battle. The Nike captured both wild momentum and absolute stillness.
Nadia looked with pity on the angel presently. It had no movement or flare. She caused Nadia to feel only heavy misery. Perhaps, the difference was that beneath the angel lay no victory, only a small grave. But if Nadia pictured her daughter, she would rather see the winged goddess Nike and her victory song, then the angel who showed chasteness, covering the grave of a baby who never even cried.
Hi everyone! It’s Monday and I think Monday’s are always difficult even if you don’t have to go to an office. There is just something about Mondays. The world just doesn’t run the right way at the beginning of the week. Everyone is tired, and it’s hard to get into your school work or job work.
Especially with this fall time change, we know it will be an accident-prone and less productive work week for people from countries who participate in the time change. Yesterday, I learned that it is not because of farmers that we have this time change. In fact, the time change was started by Germany in 1915 to conserve energy. People would spend less energy lighting their homes because they had to get up an hour earlier. Much of Europe, the US, and Canada followed suit with Germany. Ironically enough, we spend more money on energy now because of the time change in Canada at least. The CBC has an interesting article on the time change here.
Also, how did your Halloween weekend go? Facebook was flooded with images of children and families (including pets) all dressed up. It was interesting to see the variety of costumes and how many good natured parents and grandparents dressed up with their children or grandchildren. I don’t recall my parents doing that (LOL) but I don’t blame them for it. I think dressing up your kid or pet is difficult enough. Some parents go all out, especially if your family has a “theme.” Some Moms were thinking ahead this year when they planned their families’ costumes.
What I would like to try some year is to paint my face-up artistically as a deer or lion (some type of animal.) Face painting has become wonderfully realistic since the nineties. With contouring becoming popular in regular makeup and better face paints besides those sticks that have been around forever, people can paint their own or their child’s face fantastically! I wasn’t up to doing a lot this Halloween. I had planned on attending a scary haunted house at Fort Edmonton but the tickets for the event sold out fast. I should have put more thought into that earlier.
But to tell you the truth, I was just too involved studying for my Residential Furnishings midterm (that I thought would be as intense as the Art History midterms and finals I experienced in University) that I didn’t think about Halloween including a costume, face paint, and/or buying tickets for an event. But I did hand out candy to the thirteen kids who came to visit our house for candy. We are close to a park called Rundle Park, it’s lovely especially in the Summer and is picturesque in Autumn. But it seems the kids trick’o’treating don’t come down far into our neighbourhood. It’s a shame because the kids who did come received a fistful of candy. We are generous at our house. Better that someone else’s kid should eat the candy than any of us.
Additionally, I was getting bored with the theme of my blog so I went through a few different themes this morning and settled on one. I hope you like the new look of the blog and that the header of the red shoes that is a painting, isn’t to blurry and close up. I still have a few things to fix on the blog, but for tonight it will do. Let me know what you think of the new theme? Is there too much on the bottom header where my biography is located?
I am also about to start a paper and project for my class. I have to choose a certain amount of furniture/art from different eras and design a showroom with brochures and an essay on the theme. I’m thinking about doing it on pieces from a certain periods for example, the Gothic era and then the revival of the Gothic era, Gothic Revival (in the Victorian Era). I think it would be fascinating to put the actual time period of something together with other pieces that tried to emulate it years later. So, that’s the main idea and I need to start tomorrow. I only have three weeks of time to complete my project.
Is it bad that I have started to think about Christmas? Not to diminish Rememberance Day November 11th here in Canada, but I think the birth of Baby Jesus has a great deal to do with veterans.
Anyways, every year finding gifts for people seems to get harder. It’s always hit and miss with gifts because one year one person likes their gift and another person wants to return their gift. I think for 2015, I am going to give gift cards. Some people think it’s impersonal but I think that people often have ideas of what they want sometimes and would prefer money or gift cards towards that item or service. Christmas cards take the longest time to write, especially if you are trying to say something personal. I try to write something meaningful. I don’t look up a Hallmark quote and throw it on the card. At least the card can be personal even if the giftcard with it is less so.
Moreover, I am anticipating Friday. The new James Bond Spectre is out in the movies. I enjoy Daniel Craig as James Bond. He brought something unique to the part, grittiness , and great live action chase scenes, that some of the other James Bond movies didn’t contain. I wonder who will play the next James Bond? They need someone to start out at a bit younger age than Daniel Craig did, so he can be in more films. Tom Hardy, was one name I heard was being considered but I don’t really think he has that suave demeaner that James Bond encompasses. Who do you think should play James Bond after Daniel Craig is finished the role, after the James Bond movie after Spectre ? Any other movies you are looking forward to? I can’t wait for the last Hunger Games movie Mockingjay Part II. Jennifer Lawrence is amazing as Katniss and I love Liam Hemsworth who plays Gale too. Katniss should end up with Gale, not Peta.Team Gale!
Enjoy your week everyone. I will have the regular picture/word prompt stories and some poems coming out. I am thinking about some pieces I can do that are different from my regular posts. Since last month was National Poetry Writing Month, I am considering going back and doing that this month. I love poetry! But I am not sure, I also might be doing Writing 101 to keep busy. Cheers!