Thursday, November 11, 2004

November 11 Part II

Bogged down in research, mostly for Charlotte, but also in reference to the dreamscape.

Woodes Rogers, who took over as Governor of the Bahamas and offered pardons to pirates during that time, is a character in Charlotte, and quite fascinating in his own right. I’ve handed him the governorship a bit earlier than history gives it to him, because I need him there now to set up the next section of the story. He rescued a Scot, Alexander Selkirk, from an island off Chile in 1709. Selkirk is believed to be the model for Robinson Crusoe. Rogers was friendly with both Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift, and may, in part, have been the model for Gulliver in Gulliver’s Travels.

References within that research led me back to researching Spanish mercenaries, who were pretty busy in that region. Of course, most of the source material is in Spanish. The only Spanish I know is what I’ve picked up on the backside of the race track. And I’m pretty sure some of the material I dug up is fiction. Interesting, but fiction, but my handle on the material isn’t strong enough to delineate what’s historical fact and what’s merely based on fact.

Some of the material is in French, and, although I have to work through it slowly, I can understand most of it. I tried a translation program, but the program missed a lot of the shadings in the original text. It seems, however, that the heyday of the Spanish mercenaries were earlier, in the 1600s and possibly back into the 1500s – made sense, with people fleeing the Inquisition.

Researching the dream images takes me back into the Arthurian literature – which means studying the texts about the Grail Knights, the Knights Templar, and even the Cathars – although I think the Cathars may be a wild goose chase. I’ll have to work my way both through the Celtic and Norse mythologies to see if I can find connections. On top of that, I have to research the authors of these works in order to put it in a proper context, and then match it against archetypical, mythological and psychological frameworks.

This could take me awhile.

I thought maybe the shield of the house of Percy would lead to Sir Perceval (that’s twice in less than a week I’ve had to research Sir P.), but it doesn’t. Sir Perceval is not connected to the House of Percy, although Sir Perceval interacts with the Fisher King (who might or might not be a part of it). Reading over lists of Knights of the Round Table, one name in particular stood out.

Sir Alymere.

A character named Alymar has haunted several pieces of mine throughout the years. No matter where he turns up, his character remains intact. I’ve had to remove him from several pieces because he was causing problems, but he keeps returning to my work. That would solidify the personal connection, but not the why.

My gut instinct is that I am not looking at a grail quest. The grail is a feminine symbol. In other words, women don’t need to go on a grail quest, because the woman is the Grail (at least in archetypical and psychological terms). So does that mean I’m searching for the opposite? For the image of Knight? Or sword? And why?

That theory feels like the wrong track. Acknowledging, however unwillingly, the Freudian associations with these symbols, why would I be searching for a knight? As Grail, I have my Knight. And we are a good fit.

Besides, I’m not very good at being rescued. I’d rather hack my way out of it myself.

It’s like walking a labyrinth and hitting one of the dead ends. I have to backtrack and try another route.

Like I said, this could take awhile. It’s an intriguing process, especially when I can step back and feel an intellectual interest and not worry on an emotional level about time pressure to figure it out.

But it’s certainly not getting any episodes of the serial done.

The dream must step aside and I need to focus on the practicalities of the next few days.

And look forward to a party all about chocolate.



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