One of my great pleasures arrives when I’m writing stories. Copyediting is fun, but I’m often so involved in the story, I forget that I’m “supposed” to be working. That said, what I like about telling stories in novel form is that it’s very like reading: I can’t wait to find out what happens next.
Truly, I most often have no idea what will be a novel’s future - how novel. The characters tend to go off on their own after an initial set-up. A good writer friend, who writes fiction and non-fiction, told me that when writing about real persons, they sometimes go off on their own before he realizes he has lost control of the situation. As well, he had a fictional character of great import - the protagonist - drop dead without the writer’s permission. Having real people move about on their own must be corrected. Fictional characters who go their own way most often create a storyline that the author might have never created. That character who dropped dead saved the story.
The unconscious is a wondrous tool, difficult to pin down, but on its own is a marvel of invention, information and that pesky thing we call the Shadow. I’ll leave the Shadow for another time - but you can count on my getting back to it eventually.
What is your bête noire? I’ve used those last two words deliberately for they mean “black beast” and remind us of the Shadow. In more simple terms, it’s a synonym for those two French words and means “anathema.”
This is a blog going off on its own. If it were not so, I would have told you. Do you mind taking a short walk within a tiny handful of interesting words? You don’t? Really? That’s the answer I was waiting for.
Bête noire >black beast>anathema. Only the first two are clearly connected, the French translated into English. In English, anathema is a synonym for the French Bête noire - and that tiny tent over the first E in that first word is called a “diacritical mark” which means it tells us how to pronounce that E: It sounds the same as the short E in English (which has it’s own diacritical mark - you’ll see those in dictionaries online or hard copies).
As for anathema, it’s the same word - however in different alphabets - in Latin and Greek. In Latin it means accursed; in Greek, accursed morphs into excommunicated which means a person who is an EX Roman Catholic or Greek Orthodox.
What is the use of knowing “stuff?” All knowledge is useful. Because institutions of lower learning are too loaded with technical subjects, language has become only the basic of basic. How are children going to learn the gifts of superb language? Yes, language is for communicating. We could compare a simple act of sexual congress to a divine act of the communion of two souls - or one soul shared. There’s no reason we can’t enjoy quick reads of non-taxing books but, oh! to read books rich in language, to wallow in stories told by the precious few. While we need not study Virgil and Homer (speaking of Latin and Greek), we use their quotations without giving them much thought.
Thomas Cahill wrote a series named The Hinges of History. The fifth volume’s title is a quotation from Homer: SAILING THE WINE DARK SEA: Why the Greeks Matter.
I had the book on the passenger seat of my car when I fetched a friend who picked it up, read the title and asked, “Do the Greeks matter?”
Lord love a duck! Yes, the Greeks matter.
If you’re interested, the public library, book stores and the internet await.