Colin Firth in Another Country 1984
I walk into a room, and for this industry, I’m impossibly tall. When they find it hard to pair you up with the opposite sex, then what’s left for a woman? Either you’re the ball-buster or the not-so-attractive girlfriend standing by the lead. I mean, traditionally not so attractive. Because you have your starlets and then you have their best friends who are these character actresses. When you fall within the cracks, you thank God for sci-fi, because they’ll give you a gun, and they’ll say, ‘Go over there and conquer that world. You kick some ass, girl!’
For Cervantes’s birthday today, stunning vintage illustrations of Don Quixote by Spanish graphic design pioneer Roc Riera Rojas.
John Green, Crash Course (Literature)
(Relevant given the widening release of the documentary SALINGER)
The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
This photograph was taken in India.
NEW BLOG IS LIVE:
Nurse Lugton’s Curtain – Virginia Woolf’s little-known and lovely children’s 1924 story about the whimsy of dreams, revealed decades after the author’s death and revived in gorgeous watercolors.
Richard Mosse, North Kivu, Eastern Congo
This month’s color for Angela’s color project is fuchsia, and damn, this picture is absolutely insanely incredible. She has featured more from Mosse’s Infra series at The Adirondack Review. Check it, yo.
I’ve blogged about Kodak’s infrared-sensitive Aerochrome film before, but it’s amazing every time I see it. It was used to pick out camouflaged military camps in South Asian jungles, since only real vegetation reflects that “pink” color, on account of a plant having no use for infrared light in photosynthesis and reflecting it away.
Another example of the rich world that exists beyond our senses.
Virginia Woolf, photographed by Lady Ottoline Morrell, 1917
"Silmarillion Chapter 2: Of Aulë and Yavanna"
Of all the Valar, Aulë and Yavanna are my favorites, the ultimate husband & wife combo. Aulë is functionally the god of craftsman, and is said to be most like the villainous Melkor in personality (his servants Sauron and Saruman both turn evil, plus he trained troublemaking Fëanor) but Aulë himself remains virtuous and humble. Even when he created the Dwarves in defiance of Eru, it was meant to be a tribute to the Elves & Men (Eru’s personal creations). As such, the Dwarves were given true life and allowed to be awakened after the Elves. Aulë represents the creative ambition of Melkor without the jealousy or vanity.
Yavanna, creator of the Ents, is great because she’s one of the only Valar who actively tries to keep Middle-Earth from becoming overrun with evil, as her interest is with the actual plants and animals of the world. She’s also the one who chose Radagast to be one of the Istari sent to Middle-Earth. It’s also worth noting that while they got along very well, Aulë’s and Yavanna’s creations or servants did not. Dwarves and Ents have never had good relations, and Saruman despised Radagast to the end of his days.
Previous Silmarillion entries:
Silmarillion Project Part 5: Chapter 1 - “Of the Beginning of Days”
- Part 1: “Ainulindalë - The Music of the Ainur”
- Part 2: “Valaquenta - Account of the Valar and Maiar in according to the lore of the Eldar”
- Part 3: “The Monsters of Middle-Earth”
- Part 4: “The Free Peoples of the First Age”
We’re finally into the Silmarillion proper! Chapter 1 deals with the details of the shaping of Arda (Earth). In the beginning, the Valar attempted to assemble Arda, but were constantly at odds with Melkor, who warred against them to a standstill. This persisted until the last of the Valar, Tulkas, descended into Arda as well, and together they managed to scare Melkor off for the time being.
What followed was an era of peace, and to light the world (in addition to the stars), the Valar constructed two titanic lamps at opposite ends of Arda. In the middle, they resided on the Isle of Almaren, which I’ve illustrated above, along with one of the lamps. In the foreground is Tulkas himself, ever vigilant.
Melkor ultimately returned while Tulkas slept and toppled the lamps. The destruction was so devastating that Arda itself was deformed, and the Valar retreated to the Western continent of Aman, leaving Middle-Earth to the dark powers.
Notes: I find the character of Tulkas pretty fascinating, as he’s initially the only member of the Valar who entered Arda because there was a conflict, not to contribute to the building of the world. He is also one of the only Valar never to be duped by Melkor, as he seems to have at least a moderate understanding of evil (a rare trait among the Valar). Here I’ve depicted him mostly in silhouette, along with some vaguely humanoid Valar in the distance.
"You never have sex the way people do in the movies. You don’t do it on the floor, you don’t do it standing up, you don’t always have all your clothes off, you don’t happen to have on all the sexy lingerie. You know, if anybody ever ripped my clothes, I’d kill them."
Our elf brother from Mirkwood, readying himself for battle. A deadly fighting machine; glad he’s on our side.
(“Legolas,” 2000) Viggo Mortensen