Fairy Tales/Chaucer

Tanaqui tweaver at imbolc.ucc.ie
Wed May 3 00:32:04 EDT 2000

+   Speaking of Chaucer, too, I would heartily recommend The House
+ of Fame (unfinished, alas) to those who are fond of DWJ's world-building.
+ Travel to the centre of the world, where lies the House of Fame, to which
+ voices travel through the air from each of the world's corners.  Receive
+ instruction in physics from a whiny golden eagle.  Visit, above all, the
+ fantastick House of Rumour.  (Don't mind me, I burble.)  Like DWJ, Chaucer
+ has that amazing gift to render a prodigiously imaginary place
+ extraordinarily vivid--with a sense of humour, too!

It's my favourite Chaucer poem, too. Have you read Dame Frances Yates' book
_The Art of Memory_? It's all about significant systems for thought and
memory, like Camillo's Memory Theatre and the Roman rhetorical technique
of wandering through rooms full of topics (atrium=opening remarks) and other
systems through the ages. Writing on that Art, I started with the House of
Fame - and that of Rumour, working through Blake's Daughters of Imagination
and Memory right up to the modern writers (John Crowley, Mary Gentle) who
explicitly use the Art of Memory techniques.

Much more fun than taking tedious instruction in Flowers of Rhetoric from
a burbling franklin with a muddled moral.

The symbolic logic of dream visions. Ah, me...


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