(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Faulkner

“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities”…

Richard Whately’s 1843 book on whether Napoleon actually existed deserves to be turned into a documentary. It is either (1) an extreme example of skepticism, or (2) satire, or (3) satire of an extreme example of skepticism, or (4) a straightforward debunking of Napoleon’s existence, or—and my preferred interpretation—(5) the first example of French deconstruction…

Faulkner argued that “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Ted Gioia (@tedgioia) offers a timely historical example: “Historic Doubts Relative to Napoleon Buonaparte.” Via his wonderful newsletter.

* Voltaire

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As we contend with conspiracists, we might we might recall that it was on this date in 1804 that Napoleon Bonaparte was in fact proclaimed Emperor of France by the French Senate– at least in part an unintended consequence of Britain’s declaration of war against France (again), exactly one year before, in response to Napoleon’s “activities” in Italy and Switzerland… (Napoleon formally crowned himself “Emperor Napoleon I” on December 2, 1804 at Notre Dame de Paris.)

Jacques-Louis David’s portrait of Napoleon (1812)

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

May 18, 2021 at 1:01 am

“I hate the word ‘gothic’ but I would like to try doing something like that”*…

 

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OK, it makes one’s heart beat faster–  but is it a gothic novel?  The Guardian is here to help:

When Horace Walpole published his ‘gothic story’ The Castle of Otranto, he launched a literary movement which has sired monsters, unleashed lightning and put damsels in distress for 250 years. A horde of sub-genres has followed, from southern gothic to gothic SF, but are some novels more gothic than others? We return to the genre’s roots in the 18th century for this definitive guide…

More (and larger) helpful pictograms at “How to tell if you’re reading a gothic novel.”

* Kelly Osbourne

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As we struggle with spinal shivers, we might recall that it was on this date in 1910, in an attempt to “conquer time,” that Quentin Compson committed suicide.  While Compson was “only” a character created by William Faulkner (Quentin featured in the novels The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom! and in the short stories “That Evening Sun” and “A Justice”), his death is commemorated by a plaque affixed to the Anderson Memorial Bridge, over the Charles River, near Harvard, where Quentin was enrolled when he took his life.

“QUENTIN COMPSON Drowned in the odour of honeysuckle. 1891-1910”

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

June 2, 2014 at 1:01 am

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