Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Saving The Past II

See Saving The Past.

Alan Moore saves the Burroughs by writing a novel in which Alma Warren saves the Burroughs by representing the area in visual art. The titles of Alma's art works correspond to Alan's chapter headings.

Alan writes and Alma says:

"'That's what art's for. It rescues everything from time.'"
-Alan Moore, Jerusalem (London, 2016), p. 1171.

Right on.

Saving The Past

"'Sooner or later all the people and the places that we loved are finished, and the only way to keep them safe is art. That's what art's for. It rescues everything from time.'"
-Alan Moore, Jerusalem (London, 2016), p. 1171.

"Kine die, kinfolk die,
"And so at last oneself.
"This I know that never dies:
"How dead men's deeds are deemed.
-copied from here.

Hassan asks, "How could the city last?" but then goes home "...by child's short-cuts..." with, behind his eyes, "...towers and jewels and djinn, carpets and rings and wild afreets, kings and princes and cities of brass..." (p. 258). That is how the city lasts.
-copied from here.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Inversions?

In the Afterlude of Alan Moore's Jerusalem (London, 2016), we read detailed descriptions of the partly sequential works of art in Alma Warren's exhibition. The art works correspond to several chapters that we have already read, even including one that I had forgotten reading! (This book is like several books.)

Suppose that the art works are real and that the previous chapters are stories written to correspond to the visuals of the art. Thus, the entire volume would be turned inside out. I do not believe that that is the author's intention. I offer it as one surreal imagining by someone still reading the Afterlude.

Here is another inversion. In one of the art works, a line-drawing, Oliver Cromwell lies asleep in bed in the midst of a battle. Alma's brother is unsure whether this means that Cromwell is unaware of the suffering that he causes or that he dreams of the battle. But it can obviously be both. He is unaware in waking life but his unconscious knows. This one piece of art seems to transcend the rest of the exhibition. But I have yet to read to the end of the Afterlude and am about to join the Lord Protector (not literally) in the realm of Morpheus.

Walking Back III

See here.

Maybe Snowy's walk to the mortal "end of time" takes so much of his time that, by the time he gets there, the Upstairs realm has advanced into its era when the demons regain their angelic status? No, because, as I understand the text, the fallen angels are still demons when Snowy has completed his return journey.

Either he has walked forward, then backward, along the first temporal axis and has endured through a short period of the second temporal axis or he has walked forward, then backward, along the first temporal axis and has endured through a long period of the second axis but has then endured backwards along that second axis. The latter would make life more complicated. In fact, he would be passing his outward bound self at every step of the way back.

It is not easy to think about more than one dimension of time (see here) and I may be getting this all wrong.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Walking Back II

See Walking Back.

Snowy, a ghost, is able to walk to what mortals regard as the end of time because his backwards-forwards dimension corresponds to their temporal dimension. Walking along a corridor above the mortal realm, he is able to look down through apertures at cross-sections of some of the world lines in that realm. It follows that Snowy's temporal dimension is at right angles to the temporal dimension of the mortal realm.

Although the last mortal dies a long time before the end of the universe, Snowy continues walking until he reaches that ultimate end. If he were to converse with the last mortal, then he would have to:

interrupt his "futureward" hike;
descend through one of the apertures;
rotate through ninety degrees so that his temporal dimension became the temporal dimension of mortals.

He would then be able to converse with a being who would otherwise appear to him as one end of a static world line.

The corridor along which Snowy walks is the lowest part of an "Upstairs" realm inhabited by ghosts and angels. Some of the angels have either fallen or been pushed down into a demonic role but will eventually regain their angelic status. But surely this "eventually" is in the far future of the temporal dimension of the "Upstairs" realm which is at right angles to the temporal dimension of the mortal realm? Snowy should not find a demon transformed back into an angel waiting to converse with him at what mortals regard as the end of time. This "end of time" is not the end of time for angels but is merely a remote point along one of their three or more spatial dimensions.

Story-Telling Media

A story can be narrated, enacted or depicted. Thus, the three story-telling media are narrative, drama and sequential art. Narrative can be verse or prose.

Alan Moore's Jerusalem has:

many chapters of prose;
one dramatic script;
one chapter of verse;
art panels on the cover;
one Joycean chapter that I skipped but must revisit;
streams of consciousness.

When we have read a dialogue from both POVs, we think that that scene has been exhausted but then we read it again as observed by a third party. Some incidents make more sense literally hundreds of pages later. I don't think that I will reread any time soon.

Life In Lancaster

Today in Lancaster: Chinese New Year. See Kinds Of Dragons, China and Adzel On Earth last year.

This year: dragons, dancing, music and food. A guy was selling what he did not want to call waffles so I told him just to call them Hong Kong waffles. Many of the performers are not Chinese and I met several non-Chinese friends in the crowd.

Yesterday, I anachronistically joined the Industrial Workers of the World in picketing a cafe while other comrades went further afield to demonstrate about more global issues.

Back home, I am just 100 pages away from the end of Alan Moore's monumental Jerusalem. It might not be possible to formulate an over-all assessment of the book. The earlier chapters now seem like a different novel.

Schlemiel

Here, I quoted and googled "schmendrick" and learned that one meaning is "apprentice schlemiel." Then I read:

"...such a schlemiel..."
-Alan Moore, Jerusalem (London, 2016), p. 1066.

Coincidentally, 1066 is an important date in British history. Since that year, an absolute monarchy has gradually become a constitutional monarchy with a republican interregnum thanks in part to Naseby.

Am I on the same mental wavelength as Alan Moore? I am Marxist, not anarchist, practice meditation, not magic, and invoke "whatever gods may be," not Glycon. However, we are comrades in the Brotherhood of Being.

The Origin Of Genre Fiction?

Alan Moore, Jerusalem (London, 2016), pp. 1055-1057.

The first novels were comedies of manners.
James Hervey, a theologian, contrasted human transience with divine eternity.
Hervey influenced other theologians and the Graveyard Poets.
Later Graveyard poets focused on graveyards, not on God.
The first Gothic novelists followed the later Graveyard poets.
Gothic fiction was the first genre.
Gothic novels were followed by ghost stories, horror fiction and fantasy.
Frankenstein was both a Gothic novel and the first science fiction novel.
Edgar Allan Poe wrote Gothic fiction, then invented detective fiction.
Bauhaus independently influenced the modern Goth movement.
Like Hervey and Alan Moore, David J of Bauhaus came from Northampton, the center of England, with "...its churches, murders, history and ghostly monks." (p. 1057)

Addendum: Superman is transitional between sf and superheroes as Frankenstein was between Gothic and sf. See here.

Addendum II: For some discussion of the issues in this post, see here.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Walking Back

I have to disagree with a fictional incident as described in Alan Moore's Jerusalem (London, 2016), pp. 999-1000.

First, imagine that I walk from point A to point B and then return. I depart from A at 1:00, arrive at B at 2:00, immediately turn around and arrive back at A at 3:00. Of course, I neither meet nor briefly converse with myself shortly before arriving at B.

Secondly, imagine that I can walk backwards in time:

depart from A at 1:00;
arrive at B at 2:00;
immediately turn around;
arrive back at A at 1:00.

In the second case, I would be passing myself at every moment of the outward and return journeys.

In Jerusalem, Snowy Vernall walks, carrying the eighteen-month old May on his shoulders. (They are ghosts whose ectoplasmic bodies are permanently the size and shape that their material bodies had when they died.) Snowy and May inhabit a space of at least three dimensions. (Other dimensions are mentioned but we can only visualize three.) Their (at least) three spatial dimensions are, of course, backwards-forwards, left-right and up-down. Snowy walks along a very long corridor. The world lines of the mortal world are below the floor of the corridor and parallel to it. Thus, Snowy's backwards-forwards spatial dimension corresponds to our, not his, temporal dimension. Snowy has a temporal dimension. He perceives, thinks, talks and walks. All of these activities take time. His temporal dimension is at right angles to ours and might (or might not) correspond to one of our three spatial dimensions. He should no more meet himself on his outward and return journeys than I do when walking from A to B and returning to A.

Literary Comparisons

We compare Alan Moore's Jerusalem:

with Poul Anderson's The Corridors Of Time here;
with Anderson's The Winter Of The World here;
with Anderson's "Time Patrol" and There Will Be Time and with an idea in his The Day Of Their Return here.

Now we should add that, as Moore's temporal pedestrians approach the end of life on Earth, they emulate HG Wells' Time Traveler. Thus, they are in the very best of literary company. And, since my reading of the text is continually interrupted, e.g., by blogging and by walking from Morecambe to Lancaster, I have yet to learn how their journey into the far future is going to end.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Crisis

We referred to DC Comics Crisis on Infinite Earths here while discussing the Smallville TV series. Now we should refer to it again while discussing Alan Moore's Jerusalem.

"A jackboxer from the Manhattan saltbogs of 5070 had managed to bring down a young ichthyosaurus with his whorpoon..."
-Alan Moore, Swamp Thing: A Murder Of Crows (New York, 2001), p. 85.

"...barbed and ornate wolf-killing 'vulpoons'..."
-Alaon Moore, Jerusalem (New York, 2016), p. 970.

A "vulpoon" is not the same as a "whorpoon" but the coinage was sufficiently similar to make me reread Swamp Thing. Both are future weapons. Jerusalem, astonishingly, moves into what we call the future although ghosts can walk there.