Whoo! Just got back from a weekend in Madison, WI with some friends, including IP’s own Gloomchen. We went to The House on the Mother Fuckin’ Rock and Circus World. Nice little two day vacation with friends. I’m hoping yours has been just has enjoyable.
But now, on with the column.
First, a bit of reader commentary on Issue XIII:
I just wanted to mention that there is a theory missing from Issue XXIII regarding the Hypnopompic state, that I was hoping you’d mention. I confess it is mostly out of curiosity on what your opinion of it is. I understand there are many other theories also missed, but I thought the one I am writing about would be one of the most amusing since I am not sure what your take on this type of stuff is. (Nevertheless, I can guess, I believe.)
The theory I speak of is the one stating that when in deep REM sleep, your spirit leaves your body, remaining connected only by the “silver lining” to the physical self. A side note on that, they say that dreams you remember when your spirit has roamed, are the things you saw during that time… This doesn’t happen every time you sleep or dream, but sometimes, when you are briskly awaken, and your spirit is unable to reach you before that moment, it panics, and tries to force itself back into the physical body; hence, the pressure felt on the person’s body when in that state.
Well, that is all I wanted to mention. Have a great day!
Thanks for that Priscilla. It’s always good to have a more metaphysical theory in contrast to my more clinical research commentary.
Now for the main email I’ll be answering this week:
1. Which instrument has the most folklore attached to its creation/use/popularity?
2. Is there a painting infamous with its connection to folklore and what was the tale?
3. How many issues make up a single volume aka when will you move on to Volume 2?
4. What are the folklore stories surrounding solar eclipses?
These should keep you busy and I hope to be educated thoroughly with your next issue of Nyogtha.
Alright Mike, let’s take each of these one at a time!
1) There’s lots of instruments that have significance in folklore. American Southerners have legends about Lucifer having a gold fiddle. Certain undead can be banished by musical instruments. But the one I think is worth focusing on is the one that was born in Grecian legend and still bears the name of its would be creator to this day. I’m talking about the Pan Flute.
The Pan Flute is also known as the Pan Pipes, the Quills, and the Syrinx. The name comes from the Greek God Pan, who watched over shepherds and their flocks. In Grecian legend, Pan once loved a nymph named Syrinx. Syrinx was loved by all the Satyrs and assorted other woodland creatures, but she scorned all of their advances. One day Syrinx ran into Pan for the first time, and ran away from him before he could hit on her. Pan however pursued her single-mindedly until she came to a riverbed where he overtook her. Syrinx called out for the River Nymphs to save her, and just an Pan grabbed her, she was turned into river reeds. A wind passed through the reeds and it made a lovely melody. Pan took these reeds and bound them into a musical instrument which is named after either Pan or the nymph, depending on the circumstances.
Today Pan has been turned into a god of Sex and masculinity by Neo-Pagans and Wiccans.
As for the pan flute itself, as you can see from this picture, it is a series of pipes of varying lengths bound together. The pipes are stopped at one end. This makes the sound have to travel twice the length of the pipes and thus the notes that come out are an octave lower than they would be from open ended pipes of the same length. In olden days, the Pan Pipes were tuned to their correct pitch by placing small pebbles or dried corn kernels in them. In modern days, beeswax is used.
Of course the Pan Flute is actually much older than Ancient Greece, and is in fact one of the first instruments ever made. Archaeologists have found pan flutes up to twenty-five THOUSAND years old. The Vikings were playing the Pan Flute from at least the 10th Century on, and Mesopotamia in 3500 BCE even had sculptures that featured Pan Flute players that have survived to modern times. In the Americas the pan flute outdates the Incan and Mayan civilizations by centuries. But the name has stuck for over 2000 years, and it’s the only instrument that I can think of right off the top of my cranium tied this directly to my subject of choice.
2) There are many paintings inspired by folklore and legends. In fact this subject alone could easily be a series of columns in their own right. But instead, let’s just take a few of these paintings and do a VERY quick rundown about them:
This painting right here is Swiss painter Henry Fuseli’s “The Nightmare” and was painted in 1782. In this painting we see a sleeping woman being mounted by an incubus. Notice it sitting on her chest. This references the Hag Attack or Sleep paralysis which we covered back in issue XXIII. The ghostly horse is a “Night Mare.” A Nightmare is a pun relating to the word we use for a scary dream. Since this painting, a Nightmare has also become the name for a spectral horse of doom just like the one in this painting. What most of you may not know is that the “mare” part of the word “Nightmare actually refers to a MARA which was an Anglo-Saxon and Norse female demon…that sat on people while they slept, causing bad dreams. Interesting, isn’t it?
What’s funny is that after Fuseli painted this, he began a savage lustful affair with an author named Mary Wollstonecraft. Fuseli left Mary after his wife complained when Mary thought all three should live together and be a family of sorts. Mary Wollstonecraft went on to marry a young man and would give birth to a child named Mary Shelly who went on to write…Frankenstein. Isn’t that a neat coincidence?
Here we have the tale of Lycaon. This has been turned into countless paintings and engravings, with this specific one coming from 1677. Lycaon was an evil King pf a land called Arcadia. One day the King of the Gods, Zeus came to Arcadia, and Lycaon threw a fiest in his honour. Lycaon served Zeus a human baby as a course. Zeus was amazingly disgusted by this, and in his anger, slew most of Lycaon’s sons with his lightning bolts, and turned Lycaon himself into a wolf. Lycaon’s name went on to inspire a word many of you are no doubt familiar with: LYCANTHROPY.
This painting was done by 19th Century painter, Antoine-Joseph Wiertz. It is called “The Premature Burial.” Of course, premature burials were but one of the things that caused rumours of vampirism and beliefs in the undead. This particular painting was inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s book of the same name, in which a narrator relates events and stories about this very subject. In fact you can read the story in its entirety Here.
And these are just three of MANY paintings inspired by folklore and legends from long ago. There’s countless ones out there. Just pick a subject a look. These were but three that I really love.
3) If I ever take a prolonged break from Nyogtha and decide to start it up again, then there will be a Volume II. When I did the VC, there were two Volumes as I took a six month hiatus and restarted. Then I stopped for a few years and did a one shot for 411mania, which was Volume III. Quick and simple. Plus, the Roman Numerals adds to the pretentiousness of the column. ;-)
4) Solar Eclipses eh? I was tempted to just talk about the Super Villain Eclipso, who is one of my favorites, but instead I’ll stick to the REAL topic. ;-)
HOWEVER, there is a really good webpage which covers it far better than I can in a short column as this week’s is. Check out Total Solar Eclipses!
That being said, even today, some religions view Eclipses not as a natural scientific event, but as an omen of ill portent. Hinduism is one example. In Hinduism, an eclipse represents the demons Rahu and Keta locked in eternal combat and devouring the sun.
Many holy scriptures of this religions claim Eclipses are a forewarning of widespread devastation and destruction. When Eclipses occur in India, major businesses shut down due to fear of the Eclipse, even with lecturers and government officials trying to dispel the fear of this ancient belief and explain the science behind why eclipses happen.
Here’s hoping this little bit helps out! What can I say, if I know a webpage that can give you all the info you need, and far more than I can do is this column, I will link you.
Last week I reviewed Finny the Fish! Widro and Liquidcross bought it! Why aren’t you? Is it because the game is hard to find and amazingly obscure?
As well, an offsite plug for Horrorfind.com which is the Internet’s #1 horror and Hallowe’en search engine. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a pretty face. And for a bloody ghoulish schoolgirl zombie.
In Games, Liquidcross reviews the new WarioWare game, and Tom N. reviews Pariah.
In Music, Gloomchen can confirm to you all that the Sub-Cultural Icon is BY FAR the best looking guy here at IP and that wherever I go, both women AND MEN get hit by the lust bug. Although the men gazing longingly at my ass is a bit unnerving, I will admit that. Oh, and Fernandez posts pictures of people with bad hair.
In Comics, Jim Trabold talks about Hyperion, and Will Cooling interviews Boo Cook.
In Movies, Travis Leamons reviews The Controversial Classics Collection and Kubryk reviews the latest CGI suckfest.
In Wrestling, Eric Shasn’t done a Short Form in a while, and now that TNA is off Fox Sports, it’ll just be Smackdown from here on. Unless of course, WGN picks it up. The moral of all this is, “Jeff Jerrett should have jobs his ass out a long time ago”.
In Figures, PK talks Sin City.
Saturday night we went to a wonderful Japanese restaurant, complete with private rooms for an authentic style meal. Both Gloomchen and I devoured Sushi, while our companions went for cooked meat dishes. One of these dishes is Tonkatsu, which is a deep fried pork fillet. In Japan, some restaurants serve JUST this dish.
1 White Cabbage
4 Pork loin chops, boned
Plain flour, for dusting
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
2 Eggs, beaten
1 cup dried white breadcrumbs
salt and ground black pepper to taste
English (Hot) mustard, for garnish
4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp quality ketchup
1 tsp shoyu
1. Quarter the cabbage and remove the central core. Slice the wedges very finely with a vegetable slicer or a sharp knife.
2. Make a few deep cuts horizontally across the fat of the meat. This prevents the meat from curling up while cooking. Rub a LITTLE salt and pepper into the meat and dust with the flour, then shake off any excess.
3. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or a large pan to 350 degrees F.
4. Dip the meat in the broken eggs. Then coat the meat with the breadcrumbs. Deep fry two pieces at a time for 8-10 minute, or until golden brown. Drain on a wire rack or on paper towels. Repeat until all the pieces of pork are deep fried.
5. Heap the cabbage on four individual serving plates. Cut the pork crossways into 2cm thick strips and arrange them to your liking on the cabbage (I make teepees!)
6. To make the tonkatsu sauce, mix the shoyu, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauces in a gravy boat or large bowl.
7. Serve the pork and cabbage immediately, with the sauce, mustard and if you would like, include Japanese pickles.
That’s it for this Memorial Day. A little shorter than usual, but I’m beat from the weekend. Just be glad unlike most other writers for this site, I’m always here on Mondays. Same bat time, same bat channel!