Sunday, November 22, 2009

Learn something new every day cetra, part n

So today I've learnt that in the old legend of love, Tristan and Isolde, at one point King Mark (furious with jealousy and so on) decides to have the illicit lovers burnt at the stake, but when Tristan manages to escape, decides to give his wife to the lepers instead, as their sex toy. No, really. It was in my paper, and I had to go rooting around the internette for more information, and lo, I found it. Unfortunately, only rewordings of the tale, not the original ballads, but *man*. Talk about revenge. The mediaeval folks really knew how to juice up a story.

I feel someone clever who knows more about this should point me in the right direction.


Reading the Signs said...

What version of the story you looking at? In the one I remember, King Mark was a bit of a saddo, not surprising since everything had gone so pear-shaped on account of the love-potion chaos, but he never actually did anything much. It all came to no good for the doomed lovers because of a tragic Misreading of Signs. Though some would say that the Signs had been deliberately befuddled.

What I always come up against in this story is the fact of the love potion: and that their grand passion would never have been were it not for some concoction. And yet, and yet - did you see the film A.I.? It's like that, really. The humanising, anarchic power of love, however it happens.

Montag said...

I probably know less about it than anyone else, but I think King Mark is the "Fisher" king - or the wounded king - and this makes him rather special.

I'm going to look into it, but I'm going to concentrate on Mark and Fisher King.
There was a film within the past decade with Robin WIlliams titled "The Fisher Kin" and it seemed to be pretty much directly drawn from the old tales about the Fisher king.

Montag said...

I removed 2 comments.
I had published, but wasn't sure what you wanted me to do, so I sneaked back and removed.

When the deed was done, it seemed authoritarian and "King Mark-ish".

Castigate at your leisure, I remain, yours truly...

Anna MR said...

Oh Signs. It was a version - I remember there being various versions, I spent a fair while on Sunday reading about this with a fairly overheated brain (and, I will confess to you and you only, while I was meant to be revising for the Giddens thing which I endured the day after, on Monday), but which version it was I can't remember anymore. It was in the part about the Forest of Trollois or Mollois or somewhere. (I am *not* the Boff, you know. No.)

Yes, the love potion. I do recall from my Sunday readings that the main versions differ in the long-lastingness of the potion - one says three years, the other, lifetime. I think this could be read through Bettelheimian eyes as an explanation to the mysteries of the anarchic power of love. Or an attempt at an explanation. Where does the searing, omnipotent, potentially destructive, potentially healing power of it come from? The history of stories is full of explanations, Cupid's arrows and the like, as you know. And there are theories about how a physical-attraction besottedness doesn't last for longer than two-three years (again, as I'm sure you know - not meaning to sound like I think I'm saying something ultra profound and clever. I'm not, Signs, believe me - saying or thinking), which would, I suppose, correspond with the one version's potion's sell-by date. And yet there is the love that grabs one and endures, never mind what - as is in the case of the potion in the other version.

And yes, I did see A.I. While it suffered terribly from the false-ending syndrome, I find, I still found myself (shhh - you will *never* tell this to a single soul) welling up and nearly weeping at one scene. I'll leave it to you to guess that it's the scene where the mother abandons her robot child in the forest and drives away and he runs after her, crying heart-breakingly, "mother, mother". I will not expose myself by actually admitting to it here. Oh no.


Anna MR said...

Hei Montag. The Fisher King? I watched the Robin Williams film a few years ago with my kids - or they watched it in my company, while I did stuff. They liked it a lot, though, and were in an unusual way effected by it, which made me wish I'd watched it properly.

This, I'm afraid, is all I know about the Fisher King - but King Mark, I thought, is made rather a sidekick character in Tristan and Isolde (and I am quite open to the possibility of being v. wrong here, for I've only read various renditions of it, rather than the real things, as I said).

Isn't "The Fisher King" an allusion to Jesus? I always thought it was. Now I'm just confused.

(And oh. I am sorry about the comments and the deletions and things, Montag. Unpleasant business. I'm sorry, for real.)


Anna MR said...

Montag? Montag. MONTAG. (Sorry for shouting, but these are dire times and need decisive action.)

Montag, what the living blazes has happened at your blog? The comments have *all* disappeared - and here I was, wobbling on with my snow-shoes, to reply to *everything*. And what's more, so's the entire post you have all been so merrily frolicking on, after my skulking away to wear the dunce cap for a while (which I richly deserve to have permanently stapled to my head, Montag). And your latest post is all in url-weirdese, and I sense a catastrophe of global extent, Montag. Do something. Return your post and return your comments, to us, please. This cannot go on, the world needs you and your comment pages.


Ruth said...

I'm pulling up with my big Thanksgiving belly to say hello.

I am sadly unschooled in Tristan & Isolde, to the chagrin of my poetry mentor. So I will avoid commenting upon it. I like reading your back and forths though, with Signs and Montag.

As for Montag's famously infamous blog post with all those comments, I too am sad. Sad for the goneness of the comments, and sad for my stupid one about hookahs, and that made it sound like I was an imbiber, and blah blah blah. Anyway, I think all is well between me and the Montague. But I think the whole lot took its toll on the poor man, right when he was delivering up a Thanksgiving feast.

As for you, how nice you came back having seen my little whispered words about you. I really did miss you, which is strange considering the brevity of our acquaintance. I was definitely voo-dooed (as Montag said).

Another alarm in Blogger world! I went back to ages past - 2006 - to find a post, and all the comments in the posts of that year as far as I can tell have been disappeared. I have left my report to Blogger about it, though I have found that whole process to be shady and back-doorish, making me wonder if anyone really sees them complaints. I still can't edit posts at synch, though I can at my test blog where I tweak and write until I post.

Ok, long comment (which you bring out in me). Bye. See you. Be good. Be well. Take care. Until next time.

WV: reeadocy

Anna MR said...

Oh Ruth. How nice it is to see you, how glad I am you're here. Hello. It's been a funny old week here at the House of Future and Past, but I did have a chance to nip over to Montag's the other day, and I thought his famous post was up there *twice* - once with comments, once without. So that's a hurrah, to be sure - and don't you be feeling sorry that you spake of imbibing there. Nobody (who matters anyway) is *seriously * going to go "oooh aaah, now Ruth must have *r** p*****m". Are they? Surely not? I know for a fact that Signs, TPE and I have talked (amongst a fair number of other things) about my addiction to a vitamin product called Berocca, and how I believe its addictiveness can only be explained with it containing crack cocaine, and the Blog Drug Squad still haven't busted me (ha-ha, the losers, they'll never catch me alive). So I think you shouldn't worry either.

But I do worry now about two things - your comments of 2006 disappearing, and dear Montag's well-being. These are both serious issues. Deary me. And I know just what you mean - the blogger help pages just have that cobwebby tumbleweed feeling to them. Nobody - nobody - ever reads our woes and complaints there, Ruth, and that is just a fact. All we can do, when these hard times hit us, is stick together, blogger to blogger.

Ruth, I'm rambling. You see what I meant when I warned you? I can go on and on. Dreadful business. You, however, should not apologise, for long comments bring happy to me. Hurrah.

Bis weiter, Ruth my friend. May your Monday dawn all lovely.


Ruth said...

Oh, thank you Little Anna.

I actually didn't feel bad for baring my imbibing soul for myself so much as that it seemed to touch Montag in a painful way. Thank you for telling me about the addiction discussion thing, that does make me feel better.

Reading the Signs said...

righto, peeps, just popping in here for a quick one - whisky, brandy - Berocca! dammitall, I have a tube of the stuff in my kitchen, and I could have been crack-cocaineing it all through NaNo. Will begin right this minute.

Something up with Blogger? I suppose I should check this out - anon, folks.

Anna MR said...

Oh Ruth. I do like being called Little. What a thing. But hei and hello and glad you feel better, knowing that somewhere in Blogoslavia (here at mine, at the House of Signs, at the Divine Stables of TPE, at any rate), addictions and things are discussed without flinching.

But that something has touched Montag in a painful way is a bad thing. I worry, to be truthful, that instead of your addiction-talk, it is my messy commenting and subsequent unusual request (for deletion) which has upset him. I don't feel particularly good about that, or myself, truth to tell.

I will have to deal with this matter somehow. Soon. In the meantime, though, I hope you're having a wonder weekend, Ruthie dear.


Anna MR said...

Ah, Seeskins. You know there's always a shot of something for you here - crack-cocaine, whisky, brandy, Berocca - just name your poison of the day, and it shall be served up, piping hot or on the rocks, as you like it.

(The fact that I'm near-enough a full week late in replying should not be allowed to reduce the impact of love and hospitality which I sincerely hope you feel upon visiting my house, honey Signs. I have, as you may recall, been pintering - someone called "Woman", in something short called Night - and it is taking its toll. Hoping you are well and that the NaNo NaNo thing is proceeding beautifully, November or not November. Multi-many mwahs from me to you, sees my dear.)


Montag said...

There was a catastrophe, but we managed to sort it out. It had to do with all sorts of things, and Blogger was hardly as helpful as one might have wished, but everything worked out.
I did not lose anything - even the poorer posts of mine I had wished to lose.
I have reached a modus vivendi with the Mechs, techs, and software which are parasitic on the blog, and we do each other some service: I give them space to sell Viagra, they clean up the place at night...

King Mark is a very mysterious figure. As far at the Jesus parallel, it only suffices for the least curious of us.

See if Norma Lorre Goodrich has anything on Mark. I read her "King Arthur" three or four times - the second time becasue I couldn't believe the first time, and so on.
In the old days, Ms. Goodrich would have been a goddess or a sibyll; that's how good she is.
She purposely does not go into the Tristan/Isolde traditions, however.

I have been well, but I have many friends and relatives who are not so shipshape and Bristol fashion, and they have taken quite a bit of time.
It gives me great joy to be the care-giver, rather than vice-versa.

I have read some of the rest of these comments. I just sort of wonder who this "Montag" fellow is. He hardly resembles me.
He must be the "good twin".
Me...I was just in Toronto, Canada, where I alienated everyone.
I was in a tea shop with my niece - her favorite tea shop - and the young lady behind the counter asked me if I wanted to try some special "creamed" Earl Grey tea, at which I did a Dracula imitation - as if she had thrust a crucifix into my face - and did everything but throw a coffin at her.
Well...I take my tea seriously.

Anna MR said...

Montastic. Mr Maanantai. Hei and hello. I'm very, very, very happy to see you here, and to know that you're alright - even though you are claiming to have arrived as The Evil Twin (and I'm sorry to hear about the less-than-Bristolian state of your friends and relatives. Not good news, those).

I've just spent way too long, though, Montag, looking up what I could find on the sibyllic Ms Goodrich (which was a lot, and it is clear I will have to look into her work). Online I couldn't find anything by her on King Mark, though, and all the links on King Mark lead me to Tristan and Isolde flavoured things, where he is variously portrayed as a benevolent cuckold or a murderous wank (yes, this would be the technical term, Montag, I believe). Nothing on his Fisher Kingism. Montag, the trouble with talking with you is you know so much, and I am limping along the track (snoeshoes and all), trying to keep up - well, not up as such, but even within semaphoring distance.


Blogger are unhelpful and that's just a fact. Their product is lovely enough (when it works and doesn't lose comments and things), but their help support has never given me anything (not that I've asked more than once, right enough, but their silence was resounding). I'm very terribly glad that you didn't lose anything, in the end (and how come you are so plagued by these mechs and things? It must be because you are so prolific, maybe? Or perhaps you have a readership of several millions (would be totally deserved)?). I'm also very terribly sorry - in equal amounts - for the delety unpleasantness which surrounded my last speaking visit. If you think you are unrecognisable as the lovely person we refer to here, and rather find yourself as one who alienates everybody...well, I have my unpleasant, dark, unlikeable side too, which I don't like a great deal, Montag my friend. Not a great deal at all. Sorry it blurted out at your house, which should have been kept totally free of such stuff. Truly sorry.

But *what* is "creamed Earl Grey tea"? Earl Grey with - cream? I'm surprised you didn't throw the coffin, too, while you were at it. Milk, yes - cream, no. And that's just the way it is.

Lovely, lovely, lovely to see you, Montag. I'll be visiting you quite soon.


Montag said...

"Creamed" did not refer to dairy...apparently the tea was "pareve"...I reacted so violently that I didn't catch the real meaning. It probably means something like "a hint of vanilla".

Ms. Goodrich sort of cleaned up the Augean stable of Arthurian legend, and I had hoped she may have done so for T & I.
Maybe I misspoke when I associated Mark with the Fisher King, although this would connect T&I with Arthur tales...I could have erred, or I might have discovered something...I shall have to look at the data.

Montag said...

About deletions:
I did not delete anything. I merely "occluded" it.

You were as great as you always are...I was befuddled, but only because you were a Cumaean Sibyl of delight, and the sibyls aren't often seen around here.