Crisis of Creativity: “Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Muse & the Albatross”, an Essay by Jenny Fabian

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“The Mad Poet” by Michael Whelan, 1992.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Muse & the Albatross

Jenny Fabian, 2011

In 1800, when William Wordsworth rejected Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem ‘Christabel’ from the second edition of Lyrical Ballads, it precipitated a crisis of creativity for Coleridge. It would be another sixteen years before ‘Christabel’ was finally published in Sibylline Leaves, aptly-named, for Coleridge’s poetry is curiously prescient, particularly in his representation of women as portents of his own fear of failure.

This essay will examine how Coleridge’s imagination is driven by this fear of failure, the extent to which the women in his poetry are polarised, and the power they hold over speech, both to inspire and suppress. In ‘The Eolian Harp’ and ‘Kubla Khan’ I will examine the conflict between the earthly and the transcendental and the emergence of the Abyssinian maid as muse, with the idea that Coleridge sacrifices himself to her power. I will show how the fear of failure becomes represented as an inability to speak in ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, and how polarisation of women appears in the form of ‘Heaven’s Mother’ and ‘Life-in-Death’. Rituals of crime and punishment in ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ illustrate the implicit symbolic violence of Coleridge’s imagination that exists beyond the threshold of consciousness.

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Facsimilie title page from the 1816 edition.

The motif of thresholds is further explored in ‘Christabel’, which I will link with the Gothic symbolism that Coleridge employs to demonstrate the effects of evil on innocence; here Geraldine is the ultimate seducer in Coleridge’s pantheon of female representations, a lamia-like figure with hypnotic powers. Finally, in ‘Dejection: An Ode’, I will argue how, by acknowledging his loss of the transforming power of the imagination, this loss becomes transformed into a presence that enables Coleridge to explore his creative failure.

J.B. Beer, who describes Coleridge as a ‘visionary’, writes: ‘at times, he hoped to discover the ideal woman, who should be his inspiration; and at times the “Ideal woman” became, like Solomon’s Beloved, or the celestial bride of Jacob Boehme, the image of a psychological state – the recovery of Wisdom and the lost Shechinah’. (1) (Beer 1959, 270)

If Coleridge’s women represent a sense of divine knowledge, such as the sibyls of antiquity or the Abyssinian maid, they also represent the polar extreme of evil intention, like the intimidating Life-in-Death and the hypnotic Geraldine. Conflict between active and passive is intrinsic to the dynamics of Coleridge’s poetry and represents the competing desires for freedom and engulfment. Camille Paglia argues that ‘Coleridge’s protagonists are always sexually dual…The poet is feminine because passive to his own vision’. (Paglia 1991, 328-9) For the poet to abandon himself to his muse involves a form of active submission, and beneath the passive surface there is deep mental activity; consequently, the movement in Coleridge’s poetry oscillates between the doing and being done to, and it is hard to be sure who is ultimately in control.

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A beautiful antique cloth-bound edition of a selection of Coleridge’s work, ed. by Andrew Lang. The illustrations in this edition were astounding. 

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Ten Disturbing Scandinavian Folktales

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Enchanted Wood. Artist unknown. (Scandinavian Folklore/Pinterest)

 

Many folktales are concerned with magical tales of heroism and grandeur. Young people head out on a journey of discovery that makes them a better person. They vanquish evil, help others, and make the world a better place. In the end, the dashing young man usually gets the beautiful girl, and everyone lives happily ever after.

However, some folktales don’t have happy endings. Some folktales can be downright disturbing. Many of the tales in Scandinavian folklore, for instance, are not only grim; some are absolutely terrifying. We selected 10 of the most disturbing for you to enjoy…but, keep a candle burning…


#10. The Sacrificial Beggar Child (Sweden)

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The story goes that there was a town named Dalland that was suffering from a disease that was wiping out much of the population and causing many people to flee. The townsfolk were beside themselves with worry about how to stop it, until an old man from Finland came along with sage advice on how to stop the disease.

He told them that only a sacrifice would put an end to it, and explained that they would need to bury a living thing in the ground. The villagers were desperate to stop the disease, so they took his advice. They began by burying a rooster alive in the ground, but their cruel act failed to produce any results, so they upped the ante by burying an entire goat alive. Unfortunately, this also failed.

Feeling there were no other options left, they decided that the only sacrifice worthy enough to end the spread of the disease would be an actual human being. In order to accomplish this, they set their sights on an orphaned boy and offered him bread as bait for their trap. The unassuming child fell for their trap completely and was dropped in a prepared hole.

The villagers immediately began shoveling dirt on top of the hapless child. The boy was terrified and tried to plead with them to stop burying him alive, but they continued on with their work without mercy. Before long, the job was done and the child was simply left to die, in the hopes he would end the spread of the deadly disease.

Some villagers claimed that they could hear his cries from under the ground, even after his death, decrying the cruel act that had been done to him.


#9. The Christmas Ghosts (Sweden)

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This tale begins with a woman who was preparing to head to a midnight Christmas Mass.

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The Diary of Xander Tully, a Novella-in-Progress by Sanguine Woods, Coming Winter, 2018

22FE38E1-A688-4586-AA8C-B3C173D42767Dear Book Lovers and Ardent Readers,

RE: A quick note from the writer’s desk…

Greetings!

Working on my novella The Diary of Xander Tully. It is a frightening tale set in the years before America had become a nation, up in the woods of what is now the border between Michigan and Canada, where French-Canadian settlers have started a fledgling colony led by two old families.

Xander Tulley is a stranger here. His origins are not known to the community. But he is a clever man; he shows the world a practical and rational side; a lover of facts and the path they reveal to truth. But Tulley has other sides. He hails from a foreign land, across the sea. His people are tall, fair of hair and pale of skin. He appears as an artisan printer in the colony of River Raisin, where the villagers have a respect for the past and their heritage (one of the families traces its roots all the way back to a French king).

When Tulley becomes curious about a tale of an odd grouping of stones located in the deep woods that begin about a mile northeast of the village, he is drawn to the site. There is no visible path to the outcropping, and reaching it is difficult unless you know the woods, and the way. The stones circumscribe what appears to be a gash in the earth, an opening some five paces across at its widest. The villagers don‘t appear to know of the spot, its history, or the fact that a grove of trees surrounds the area in almost a perfect circle. They are deciduous trees, “evergreens”—-and they are the only trees in the wood that turn the color of glowing embers when autumn steals the light from summer and creeps toward the winter solstice.

The story of the woods is old. Some things—some geographies, secrets—-some stories—-lay quiet and undisturbed for a reason. Xander Tulley has been dreaming about the burning trees. His preoccupation with learning the history of the Wood leads him to seek out an indiginous tribe that once dwelt near the area, but has since moved higher north. It is in the tribe’s legends, wrapped tight within in an ancient language, that Tulley begins to see a story form in the forgotten shadows of time, one that once breathed life, and should now be left alone.

Xander Tulley reaches a proverbial fork in the road, where he may learn more about himself than he ever cared to know; and where he will be faced with making the hardest decision he will ever have to make.

Stay tuned for more!

SW

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Have You Heard Bigfoot Yet? Listen to These Recordings of Sasquatch Making Odd Human-Animal Noises … Keep the Lights On…

“We decided to record the sounds on CD and cassette [and digitally] to make them available to people. We do believe these creatures are trying to communicate with us, though. As we speak we are having the linguistics people look into it; they are very encouraged. What they’re saying so far is that humans cannot mimic these sounds, that the range supersedes what humans can do. The tapes were shown by a previous study at the University of Wyoming to be spontaneous and no signs of being re-recorded, or pre-recorded at altered speeds; so the idea of a hoax is highly improbable as far as professionals are considered at this time.”

— Ron Morehead, Bigfoot, a Netflix Documentary (1997)

Here Ron Morehead’s original Bigfoot vocalizations—the most bizarre thing ever recorded:

Here’s how Morehead captured the sounds on tape:


The Recordings of the “Bigfoot Language” Are Actually Pretty Frightening

Is that an ape? Wait; that sounds almost human! Indeed. And both are what you hear in the hoots and growls and whines and snarls of what Ron Morehead calls “Bigfoot Language—a series of tape recorded noises Morehead recorded while living in a remote area of Northern California’s Sierra mountains during the early 1970s. But, are they real? I have put together this post so you can check out the facts and decide for yourself.

“The sounds, vocalizations, that include whistling, have been professionally analyzed and it is the belief of the scientists who did the analysis that they are not man-made. Regardless of the findings, which incidentally have never been disproved. I am satisfied and will personally vouch for the integrity of both my associates, Alan Berry and Ron Morehead, in the matter of these recordings. Indeed I look forward to working with them again, in the Bigfoot field, in the future.”

— Peter Byrne, Director, The Bigfoot Research Project

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To this day, there is still a debate over the authenticity of the tape recordings; however, many audio and human and animal linguistics specialists admit to the recordings’ uncannily realistic nature.

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I Think They Want Our Lightning, Batman!

“The term unidentified flying object, better known by the acronym UFO, refers to the observation of a flying object, real or apparent, that cannot be identified by the observer and whose origin remains unknown after an investigation.

Despite the fact that the above explanation clearly defines the term as best as possible, many people have rushed forward to connect the term UFO with Alien/Extraterrestrial.

However, despite the fact that the UFO phenomena may in fact be real, it does not necessarily mean it’s our cosmic neighbors who are ‘riding’ the unidentified flying objects we are seeing.

Having that said, it also does not mean it’s not them.

Savy?

Anyway, as good children of the modern age and maybe due to the fact that we live in a hyper-modern era, we constantly seek logical and reasonable explanation to everything that happens around us, which we cannot logically explain at first.

When someone says: “hey I saw a flying saucer,” most people answer with skepticism. And rightfully I might add.

This ‘reasonable’ skepticism is the result of the numerous false reports of UFOs, alien crafts, and hoaxes that have been popularized throughout the last couple of years on the internet. ”

Click here to watch two UFOs caught approaching clouds during an Oklahoma thunderstorm (Source: OK weather channel):

https://www.ancient-code.com/the-best-ufo-video-yet-2-ufos-spotted-on-live-tv/

“Apparently, there are many who see an alien UFO in everything in the sky they cannot explain.

However, that doesn’t necessarily make it so.

In order for the UFO phenomena to be brought back to the spotlight and studied with ‘scientific reasoning,’ we must first establish a difference between real UFO’s, and things that can be rationally explained.

But that’s difficult.

Why? Simply because today’s society has access to tools that can literally create a UFO out of nowhere.

Whether it’s through the use of photoshop, or video manipulation, creating a UFO has become something rather easy. This fact drastically affects serious Ufology which has been swarmed with fake UFO stories, which in turn causes many people to doubt and believe in UFO’s, despite the fact that they may be real, and not from Earth.

Having that said—and it’s just my humble opinion—I present you here with a couple of videos (I only intended to post one video, but then I saw this NASA video) which have taken the online world by surprise.

Why? They were filmed during live tv shows, and/or by NASA cameras.

Live TV shows and NASA cameras don’t lie, right?

My point here is that society in today’s age must not take the UFO phenomena so lightly.

We must learn to discern what is right and what’s not in Ufology, in order to place this ‘unaccepted science’ on a stable foundation that will eventually tackle the UFO question without fear.

What do you make of the videos and what do you think about Ufology? Should real–professional–Ufologists fight back against fake UFO images and Videos? What can we do collectively as a society in order to bring back Ufology from the depths of fake videos and fake reports? ”

– Ancient Code @ https://www.ancient-code.com/the-best-ufo-video-yet-2-ufos-spotted-on-live-tv/

“Owl Man” by Michael Doig

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