Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sibyline Prophecies


A few whispers on the wind suggest that the apocalyptic novel may be regaining popularity - as a natural outgrowth of generational conceit, societal reliance on experts and gurus, and the drumbeat of doomsayers, endtimers and assorted hell-in-a-handbasket publicity agents for a variety of environmental, medical, and pick-your-own Bogeyman who encourage us to Be Very Afraid.
The millenium melt-down may have been mere prologue and may have conditioned us to entertain another cycle of the omega gene in popular fiction.
In the past our sibyls and oracles were frequently female.
Plato speaks of only one, Capella says there were two, Pliny speaks of the three sibyls, someone else maintains there were four, Shakespeare speaks of nine, Varro of ten, and medieval monks made the number to be twelve.
One assumes that only triskaidekaphobia prevented the number from increasing.
In degenerate form the delphic archetype is familiar figure to us all as a fairy godmother, wise woman or wood witch, as lake ladies, as stregas, or baba yagas.
I used the presence of a similar sibyl in variants of the Wyrm tales to justify Damie's sojourn into the past of the Conyers Legend and the famous Falchion.
Ruminations as a result of the fact that I opened my email yesterday to discover that the poem Wise Woman will appear in the November issue of Wild Child literary magazine.

16 comments:

Erik Ivan James said...

Um...er...good morning, Bernita.

Well, at least I am learned enough to understand the part about yet another publishing credit for you at Wild Child. Congratulations!!

EA Monroe said...

Hi Bernita. First, congratulations on "Wise Woman!" Second, those whispers about the apocalyptic novel will doubtless turn into shouts as the calender counts down to December 12, 2012 AD and everyone jumps onto the Myan Calender end of the world, global cataclysm prediction bandwagon. Then there's the ongoing discovery and observations of the 10th Planet, recently named after Eris of Greek mythology -- an appropriate name that reflects the times in which we live.

If one "googles" Myan Calendar, 10th planet (Sumarian mythology), Eris, and Hopi predictions, they'll find more than enough material and inspiration.

Move over Dan Brown!

MissWrite said...

Yay Bernita!!! Wonderful news.

I think apocalyptic novels have always had some popularity. Something about a dark fate entrances us for some reason.

Bernita said...

Com'on, Erik!
But thank you.

Especially since 2004 and various other prophesied dates are already behind us, EA!
Think I blogged a related article a year ago September.
Thank you.
~beaming~

I was very pleased. Thought it was lost.
Think the trend is due a resurgeance, Tami.

Ric said...

congrats on yet another pub credit.

Edgar Casey indicated 2012 as a time for great happenings as well.

In the 1950's, when our government was urging every to build bomb shelters, my Mother said she didn't want one. After the radiation settled, she would come out fine and all her friends from Woman's Club and Church would be gone. Wouldn't be worth it.

Left Behind - as poorly written as they are -

Kind of a vicarious thrill to think of something we have no control over, but, nonetheless, believe we will be the one to survive.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Ric.
I've lost count of the number of End-time predictions, from Mother Shipton and Nostradamus on down...
Novels positing cataclysms are usually great reads though, remembering "Alas Babylon" and "The Last Canadian" to name two. For awhile they were top book club picks.
As Tami says, they've always had some popularity.
Versions of "Survivor," I suppose.

Jeff said...

Congratulations on your poem, Bernita!
I believe eschatology and apocalytic events will always be popular as long as there are humans around to contemplate them.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Jeff.
I'm just speculating on an upswing in popular fiction and wondering which of the four horsemen will be the favourite.Pestilence, for choice.

kmfrontain said...

Congrats on the poem, Bernita. :D

Apocalyptic stories are excellent myth in which to make characters shine, or not shine. Love using massive disasters, but I don't buy into the "all hope is lost" aspects that some stories forward.

James Goodman said...

Congrats on "Wise Woman". That is wonderful news. :D

Bernita said...

Thank you, Karen, James!

I don't either, Karen.I love the drama but not the Doom.
James, the wonderful news is that your recovery is breaking records.

Robyn said...

Congrats on "Wise Woman!"

My fave apocalyptic characters are the bearded old men with sandwich boards reading "The End Is Near." It would be a cool twist if he were right, at least in a way.

Hmm...thank you. I've got to go write now!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Robyn.
You remind me of an old cartoon, same bearded character w/plackard: "The world will end at 12 o'clock!"
Next frame: "12:30 in Newfoundland..."

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