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Melnibonean-elvish looks

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  • Melnibonean-elvish looks

    Hello everybody,

    I'm a newcomer in these parts of the Multiverse, so please excuse my being awkward since I am not quite used to forums on the net, but when I discovered this great site, I thought I just had to be a part of it!
    Thanks to Berry and all those who contribute it.
    And of course, thank you Mr Moorcock for your work, and for being one of the very few authors still having the sense of mythos in our pragmatic times.

    I discovered Elric at age 15, and I was mesmerized. I loved fantasy, but this was different: for the first time I discovered in a book ideas very akin to those I believed in: the opposition of Chaos and Law and the regulation of the Balance as the dynamic of the Universe, and an escape from the boring Good-Evil clichأ©, so reassuring (when Evil is an external power and not an inner flaw, it is so easy to elude responsability, amongst other things...) and reductive. I discovered philosophical broodings in a work of fiction that found a peculiar echo within myself, and though I'm not quite the dark romantic (you'd say "goth" nowadays!) youth I used to be, it fixed in my heart an eternal affection for the Eternal Champion and his universe.

    That was for the (hum) short introduction

    I am really excited like the rest of you guys by the idea of an Elric movie!
    But there's a point I'd like to make about it, and though it might be knit-picking, we're also here for that too, right?
    Maybe you talked about it earlier (I haven't had time to read all the previous threads, sorry if such debate was already closed), but I'd like to have my point.
    Aside from the choice for the actor (I agree with most of what have been proposed), I am concerned by... the rendering of the Melnibonean looks!

    Melnibonean are Elves. Whatever you call them: Vadhags, Xenan, Eldar. This point has been made in the Corum saga when he encounters a lady who recognizes him as one. While Tolkien never really much described his Elves else than "fair" and "luminous", Mr Moorcock is much more prolific in details.
    They are beautiful indeed. They are slim and graceful. They have triangular faces and high cheek-bones. They have pointed ears without earlobes. They have huge slanted eyes and exquisitely chiseled features. They are feline and androgynous (let's not chicken out from that fact, please!) and they are plainly non-human, "eldritch". That element is so plain that normal humans tend to see them as demons. You cannot mistake them for a human, even at first glance...
    (That is also a part of Elric's "eeriness": when "possessed" by Stormbringer, his beautiful elvish features twist into a terrifying mask, like a snarling wolf. That dramatic change from "angelic beauty" to "raging demon" would be also a very interesting point if actually treated that way visually.)

    How to render that in the movie? Prosthetics and make-up alone are not enough, I think.
    I loved the LOTR trilogy by Peter Jackson as a whole and for its incredible cinematography, but some elements (that was inevitable, though: an actual rendering of a book will never be as good as what you once imagined and that is your own) I disliked, especially the Elves, though the Ladies fared much better than the lads! They were too human for me. Semi-elves at best.

    Also, when I look at all the images in the speculative photos album, although they're all brilliant (congratulations, guys, and we do share also that interest!), they're not completely Elric to me... still too human. They are... more Ulrich Von Bek than Elric. Which is, his human version. Very close, but human.

    What could be done?

    I remember Nizam proposing an anime for adult version, which would make it possible, but I also understand how it would scare producers off. Pity, I'd love that, I am myself in the animation business: working on an Elric animated movie would be a dream! Also, with Miyazaki's "Princess Mononoke", "Chihiro" and lately "Howl's moving Castle", it has been proved that thrilling, dark fantasy can very well be rendered in anime, in a breathtaking way at that. Also, these movies will never be dated, I can tell you that. Just look at all the Miyazaki movies from the late 70's on and you'll understand.
    Also, the closest thing to Elric I ever saw on anime was Kawajiri's "Vampire Hunter D" in 2000 (I loved the animation and art, though the story was a bit simple, and the voices quite poor): toss out that silly sombrero and dye his hair white: you have him! No wonder: the character design was inspired by the original design created by... Yoshitaka Amano, an old acquaintance, is he not?
    In animation, and 2D animation, mind you, you could really get something wonderful, beautiful, thrilling and haunting. And it could also serve a semiotic purpose: since Elric's world is a kind of "dress rehearsal" for our own and it is Elric who heralds the new "reality", it would be grand to watch that in the final scene: going from 2d to a live-action scenery!

    But to make a producer buy that... They are not as willing to take risks these days, unfortunately.

    I don't think a full CGI melnibonean would look good... even with the advance of technology by the time the movie will actually get started.
    As a 2D animator, I can tell you that you'd lose more of the acting. 2D animation is just from your mind to the pen: you can put a lot of yourself in the animation and really make the character come alive, and instinctively at that. With 3D, it is not so. You have to analyze and think of everything to render something that look "natural". That is why 3D animation is sometimes looking too "stiff" or "lifeless". Of course, there are as many examples proving the contrary of what I say, but I just mean it is more difficult. In animation, 2D is the Chaos side where instinct and creation lie; 3D is the Law side where reflection and analyse rule...
    So let's keep the 3D for the demons, dragons and some Lords of the Higher Worlds: the Lords of Law and their impossibly symmetrical faces if not only them.

    What about... a mix of the two? Live action and CGI? A kind of "digital make-up" that would allow facial transformations and keep the actor's performance as it is? You would place some (wireless!) tiny captors on the face of the actor at some strategic points, digitize it and then be able to make the eyes bigger, slanted, the nose thinner and smaller, the face more triangular, etc... which could give the final unhuman looks and keep the likeness of the actor. It has been made before, if not exactly like that, a bit in spirit. And it is technologically possible.
    Also, if that would be an innovation, a technological advance in SFX is always a very good selling point...
    Finally, maybe a little squash to the overall figure to make it look a bit more longiline; as for the hair, pointy ears and saturnine eyebrows, let's keep the good old prosthetics.
    I'd like to have a bit of that in the movie.
    As an example, I made a quick Photoshop image from Johnny Depp (I might have taken another, he's not my favourite for Elric though I love his acting in general and he has a great voice): just as a human albino (I called him Von bek) and as a Melnibonean (Elric). And of course, this is not perfect at all, but it's just to give an idea of what i meant.
    Of course, the changes on one flat image are one thing, to apply them on a 3D scale is another! But that would be worth the challenge, wouldn't it?

    [broken link]

    Also, it would be quite appropriate for the part of Cymoril and Myshella: the same actress should have both parts: digitally "transformed" as a melnibonean as Cymoril and in her natural self as Myshella. It would be a perfect rendering of the Sleeping Sorceress's eerie habit of always looking like your lost beloved.

    That's it, I hope I did not make a complete fool of myself with my personnal fantasies about this movie; apologies for my bad English (it's not my mothertongue, but I actually have no real excuse since I've been practising it for years...) and all the blah blah blah... and I hope to read from you guys, I'd like to share that with the rest of us fans out there, and why not, what does Mr Moorcock think of it himself?



    Greetings to you all and have fun exploring the Multiverse
    Last edited by Rothgo; 04-12-2010, 05:03 AM.
    “Because,” she said, “there are better dreams.” - the Sea Lady (H.G. Wells)

  • #2
    Well, those looks weren't originally considered 'elvish' so much as 'alien'. As I've said elsewhere, there were many humanoids who had those looks in the pulp magazines I preferred to read as a boy. Only over the years, thanks to Tolkien and those who have drawn and otherwise represented his elves, have those looks become standard elf looks. I should add that Poul Anderson's elf-lord in the Broken Sword also had an influence on me. I'm not so worried about how they look as how they act -- I agree it would be nice for them to be 'fey' looking, but I've also said I would like Melniboneans to be of all shades. There are some discussions on all of this elsewhere -- in the film threads, for instance. I certainly want the right looking actor, but I also want an actor who can do the character right. Thanks for all the issues you raise. Glad to have you aboard.

    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
    The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
    Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
    The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
    Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

    Comment


    • #3
      I suggest taking a look at [broken link]this Topic, where many of your points are addressed.

      I think I have to agree with Mike here: get the actor right first, then worry about the alien/elvish/whatever details later. I have to agree that I do find their description very similar to modern popular view of an elf, but that is apparently not how Mike sees them, and I think his opinion does have weight, he did create him after all.

      ;)

      Regardless of how one views texts once they leave the author's control, Mike is fortunate enough to be involved with helping form this visual representation of his character, and we can hopefully see a little of his Elric (and a little of the director's, and script-writers', and producers, and the actors', etc), as opposed to all of our Elrics (and trust me, we all view him differently).

      So, as I said, read the above thread, and if you have more to add here, feel free. It's a fun debate and I've enjoyed following it.

      Oh, and welcome to the Board, it's a great place. I hope you enjoy it.

      :D

      H.
      Last edited by Rothgo; 04-08-2010, 02:13 PM.
      Hapimeses.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow, I didn't expect answers so quickly, let alone the first one from Mr Moorcock himself! I feel very honored. Thank you very much indeed.
        And thank you Hapimeses for the thread I hadn't read about. On all that, I tend to agree with Athenys the most.

        As for the choice of a good actor being more important than the sfx and looks: OF COURSE!!!! I am not that superficial, for Arioch's sake!

        The choice of the actors is of course crucial, same for the director: a good actor badly directed wouldn't be nice either... But that's an altogether different issue.
        I was raising that "alien" (I won't use "elvish" anymore, promised) look" -would-be-nice subject just for its own sake: trivial! I just thought, if the Melnibonean on screen had something unhuman about themselves as they are discribed so, it would be a very nice cherry on the cake. And it would make the Melnibonean look original and different from the LOTR Elves and even the Star Trek Vulcans and co.

        But I agree: a cheap (moneywise...) movie with great acting will always be better than a SFX-loaded blockbuster and lame actors. And a "CGI-melnibonean-altered" moronic actor would only make at best... a moronic Melnibonean.
        “Because,” she said, “there are better dreams.” - the Sea Lady (H.G. Wells)

        Comment


        • #5
          I think it's fair to say that Virgil Finlay was a huge influence on many of us who read magazines like Fantastic Mysteries and many of the pulps. He was someone who learned the technique of producing fine drawing for pulp paper and many of his aliens were what people would these days call 'elvish' or whatever. It would be interesting to see if Tolkien perceived his elves in this way, since he was as exposed to much of this fiction as any of us, or whether artists are responsible. There were lots of pointy eared aliens long before Spock! Rackham's figures, maybe ?
          The 'Golden Age' illustrators in general. I must look at my Charles Robinson Midsummer Night's Dream and see what he offered. I doubt if anyone has actually written a paper on the subject. Would be nice to see some research. Don't have time for it myself at the moment. I'm trying to remember how many 'fairy land' or 'elf land' illustrations in the monthly magazines (like Strand, Pearsons and so on) had those characteristics. I'm not even sure where my Dunsany books are at the moment, but that would be something else worth checking.

          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
          The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
          Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
          The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
          Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

          Comment


          • #6
            iconography and storytelling

            Mr Moorcock's comment on Virgil Finlay and this whole "elf -fey looks" issue are actually very significant of the crucial but often underestimated role played by images and iconography in storytelling and even further, mythmaking.
            It is indeed very clear that images that strike an author's mind can influence and help create new stories.

            Take for instance the greek myth of the Sirens: the first author to mention them, Homer (or the poet that wrote that part of the Odyssey around 800 BC) never describes them. But in ancient greek art, Sirens are represented as bird women, the first ones in archaic art (800-500BC, thus... after Homer or contemporary) as birds with a human head, then in classic and hellenistic art as women with bird feet and wings. That image was never suggested by Homer, but came from the East (Lilitu) and maybe Egypt (the Ba-bird) and was a mere iconographic creation! But then in later versions of the myth, we encounter the Sirens described as bird-women and we also get the explanation as how they were thus transformed (by Demeter for their carelessness during her daughter's abduction or by Aphrodite for their refusal of carnal love), and in the last transcripted account, in the Argonautics by Apollonios of Rhodos, during their magical duel with their cousin Orpheus, they are described as virgins with feathers, bird-feet and wings. Clearly in here a mere image has helped create mythes.

            Something similar is happening right now, in our times, with the figure of the modern "Elf" (let's take that word very widely!).

            Tolkien never really described his Elves. They are taller, fairer than humans, and luminous, they can hear much better than humans and they can see in starlight as well as in daylight. But they actually might be completely human-looking, only in an idealized way: they are the demi-gods of his mythology, the denizens of his Golden Age. He never really says how they look. There's even a mention of a bearded Elf somewhere (!) in the Silmarillion, which ruins the traditionnal image of the beardless androgynous creature often associated with these Elves...

            The pointed ear and somehow saturnine features appeared much later, and though I confess I never really made sufficient research, I wage they first appeared in illustration. Modern illustration.
            The "modern" Elf archetype is thus a visual contemporary creation. The main influences are the representation of the Fairy Folk, Fey, Seelie and other Sidhe from Celtic Legends and other Fairy Tales by "Golden Age" illustrators: one can never see their ears quite clearly since they often wear helmets or long tresses, but they are always tall, very slim, graceful and fair, and somehow androgynous for the males.
            To this image was superimposed the pointed ears and the alien features traditionnally associated in illustration with the diminutive denizens of Faery: Pixies, Pucks, the winged Fairies. This is quite clear in Rackham's illustrations, for instance.
            Thus one can say, the modern Elf is the contraction of all the "Fairy" characteristics in illustration (those of the dignified and those of the Little People) into one figure... just like Tolkien's Elves are the synthesis of all the celtic and northern "Fairy" figures in litterature.

            You can add to that some characteristics of the modern figure of the "most cinegetic creature of fantasy": the vampire. I do not know who got the pointed ears first, but I recall Murnau's Nosferatu's as very pointy; though he is very ugly, those features remained in many later versions of vampires, even those of the more seductive kind. For the vampire alone, one might add that the fangs are also a visual creation, and a cinematographic one at that, that came to enrich a legendary figure.

            Finally, if you want to find out where all that "pointy ears business" first appeared, you might have to go back to ancient greek art, but especially classical and hellenistic, to find them in the representations of the Satyrs. During the classical art period, all the hybrid monsters so "en vogue" during the archaic period were humanized, and so satyrs lost their goat feet (except more prominent figures like the god Pan) and gained in humanity, and beauty (maybe to resemble their sisters the Nymphs better? Or to help them fulfill their lustful nature?), and all that was left of their physical bestiality was a vestigial goat tail, and of course the slanted eyes, the v-shaped eyebrowes and those darn pointed ears. For examples, check Praxiteles's young satyr for the classical period and the Barberini Faun for the hellenistic.
            The representation of those classical greco-roman nature demi-gods probably contaminated the representation of their northern and celtic counterparts...
            and I must confess that in litterature, a famous name helped that mixing of greek and celtic elements: William Shakespeare indeed, in his "Midsummer's Night's Dream". As Mr Moorcock suggests, the iconography of that play might very well be where it all began...

            Thus imagemakers are also storytellers, in the sense that they help the storytellers enrich their own universe. It's a constant kind of tennis play between iconography and litterature. I think we're in the middle of such a process right now.

            P.S.: sorry for all the greek stuff ranting, but, hey, with such an avatar, what did you expect? My roots are there.




            “Because,” she said, “there are better dreams.” - the Sea Lady (H.G. Wells)

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for all that. Very interesting indeed. I have yet to check out my own book collection. Does anyone have any Richard Dadd, for instance?

              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
              The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
              Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
              The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
              Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

              Comment


              • #8
                Richard Dadd images from Yahoo and Google image search:

                http://tinyurl.com/6xk7z

                http://tinyurl.com/4om2v

                Dadd's composition and murky colors remind me of Hieronymous Bosch.

                http://tinyurl.com/6vk9h

                Hey! Bakkhios, I'm a newbie, as well. I would wager that your "pointy ears business" goes back further in time than hellenistic art, to prehistory in paleolithic images like The Sorcerer of Trois Freres who has stag antlers and ears, an owl's eyes and beak, a human's beard and legs, and a few other animal parts. I suspect ancient people believed that wearing these parts or depicting them in art conferred those animal's abilities, like the stag's swiftness and sharp hearing, for instance (this would be helpful during hunting). You can see this use of sympathetic magic later on with heroes bearing animal names, like Beowulf, and Arthur (the strength of a bear would also be helpful to a warrior; no doubt that bronze and iron age warriors also wore wolf and bear skins for the same purpose).

                The pointed ears argument, yea or nay, among Tolkien enthusiasts is a major point of contention, which you can read in essays online:

                http://tolkien.slimy.com/essays/Ears.html

                http://www.tolkiensociety.org/faq01.html#pointed_ears

                A little about elves having beards in a certain stage of life can be found here

                http://tinyurl.com/535w6

                I do recall a line from the Silmarillion about the elves making fun of the dwarves because of their beards.

                I had no problems with the cinematic depictions of Tolkien's elves looking too human (if anything, I get irritated with the elves always being portrayed as better than humans, in the books). I read somewhere that Tolkien was annoyed that Legolas was depicted as androgynous or delicate by illustrators; he imagined him looking athletic (yet he never complained about artist's giving Legolas pointed ears). I don't have a reference link for this, but can find it for you later, if you want.

                Also, artists Tolkien liked, such as Baynes and Rackham, always gave fey folk pointed ears...

                Who knows really, what Tolkien intended. He admitted he wasn't a writer, just a linguist and world-builder, and it shows: with conflicting details, lack of description (such as Legolas's hair color), or too much maddeningly dull information (such as a description of every rock, hill, blade of grass, bird dropping, etc. on the trail to Mordor).

                Now, the most important thing about how Elric and Melnibonأ©ans will appear in the movie will be in the performances. Most aliens in sci fi movies like Star Wars never seemed anything other than people in costumes, to me, not only because of their immobile faces, but also in how the actors under all the prosthetics carry themselves. No amount of rubber or cgi hides that they walk about and move their limbs like humans. The only great exception I've seen of a unique, convincing, anthropomorphic alien is Louis Gossett Jr. as the Drak Jerry from the movie Enemy Mine; you can tell he went to great pains to create a truly alien manner in his movements and behavior.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hey Peasily!

                  Glad to meet a brother newbie! ;)
                  And thanks for the links.
                  I love Dadd's work and its eerie feeling, wether that quality comes from his insanity or not.

                  I completely agree with you about the paleolithic (and other) representations of shaman an sorcerers and the use of animal attributes.

                  That is a fact, but I just wanted to stress that it is in "classical" greco-roman iconography that those attributes were completely "digested" and synthesized into a figure that, for the first time, looks like our "fey" prototype, as the result of the humanization of said attributes, ex:

                  http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Arts/Misc/PraxSatyr2.jpg

                  But indeed, satyrs and co are the offspring of all those previous representations you mentionned: such archetypes are found all over the world since the beginning of art; merfolks are another example. As for the animal ears and antlers, I also have in mind the celtic Cernunnos.

                  Don't worry, in spite of my origins and for all my greek ranting, I'm not as bad as the father in "My Big fat Greek Wedding"! ;)

                  I also agree with you about the performance of the actors. I loved "Enemy Mine"; I think a good part of Louis Gosset Jr great depiction of an alien comes from his body language and the fact he is also a dancer (or I got that wrong?); the melnibonean "ghostly grace" requires also, I think, a good choregrapher.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oops, forgot to log in!

                    That was me above... I am indeed a newbie, booh-hoo.
                    “Because,” she said, “there are better dreams.” - the Sea Lady (H.G. Wells)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Bakkhios, slightly off-topic for one message, but there is a neo-classical statuette of a mother faun or satyr with baby fauns from either the 18th or 19th century, over which I've been wracking my brain and searching the web high and low trying to recall the sculptor's name (so I can find an image of it online). I saw it in an art history book that I lost some time ago. Do you happen to know of it? My girlfriend Michelle, who sells her prints, has been illustrating satyrs and fauns lately--at my insistence--and I've wanted to find it for her so she can use it as a reference, and I figured you were the sort of person who might know...

                      Now back to your commentary, it is interesting that Shakespeare's Puck is usually depicted as a satyr, though he was never described as having that form among his animate and inanimate shapes mentioned, even in times other than the Renaissance or Jacobean England when Classicism wasn't in vogue. I had Michelle draw Puck with monkey features in place of the ubiquitous satyr/goat parts, and Titania and Oberon as various creatures from Indian Mythos (which made sense to me, to try to be unique, to incorporate different ethnicities into fantasy art, and to honor the passages in the play that state they have come to Athens from India).

                      Your hypothesis that our collective memory of elfin characteristics having coalesced into the humanized satyr, a sort of reverse therianthropy, sounds pretty sound, and you've convinced me, but I have to add that Tolkien probably made his elves as tall as humans because of the influence of Scandinavian mythology upon him, so we are currently left with diminutive santa's and keebler's sort of elfs, and Tolkiens أ?lfar style elves. I haven't decided whether it makes more sense to assume that the short pixie/brownie/tuatha de danaan collective memory came from taller Indo-Europeans encountering shorter indigenous people of the British Isles, or that it could stem from a form of cultural genocide, such as, say, an invading group making someone else's gods and goddesses out to be lesser than their deities they wish to impose on the population--or both, or something entirely else, possibly? What are your thoughts on this?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        a Mother She-satyr and baby for you, Peasily:

                        http://www.insecula.com/oeuvre/photo_ME0000032872.html

                        Browse the other images, there is another one.

                        Was it the one you sought?

                        Otherwise, I remember a similar sculpture but rather from the romanticism period: I cannot find it on the web but the artist is Belgian, Jef Lambeaux, and he treated several bacchic subjects including satyrs, fauns, male and female. I can always check the Museum here in Brussels again and get you a postcard for Michelle!

                        About your thoughts about the origin of the "short pixie/brownie/tuatha de danaan collective memory", I think it might be a mix of what you propose, adding to that the coming of Christianity.
                        Pagan polytheist religions tended to be more tolerant when it came to foreign gods: they just englobed them or assimilated to their own gods when a connection could be made.
                        As for Christianity, with the idea of monotheism making it hard to to accept those multiple gods, it fought those ancient religions as superstitious nonsense at best and as satanic worshipping at worse...
                        All those gods became demons, the fact that the devil traditional iconography comes from the greco-roman Pan (add Cernunnos once again to that?) tells us a lot; also that the word "demon" originally meant "god" and later "lesser god" in ancient Greek. ;P
                        However, the people's faith and old habits made it hard to eradicate them completely, and from powerful gods some became lesser figures, intermediates, spirits and sprites.
                        It is also interesting to note that the lesser gods survived in that fashion better than the major ones: nymphs from all elements, satyrs, silenoi, fauns, tritons and all the menagerie of the spirits of nature of the grecoroman world mixing with all their northern, celtic and scandinavian counterparts into what has become all the legendary people of Faery.
                        Many of their attributes and powers come from christian times, like the issue of them having a soul or not (the mermaids).
                        The best "mixing" example might be the Irish legends, where the early celtic pagan elements intertwine so well with the Christian ones that it is hard to tell where the change came: it flows naturally from the Tuata to Saint Patrick and it is hard to notice the stitches.
                        So eventually, I think the "shrinking" process might come from the coming of Christianity, while the "mixing" might have started much earlier...
                        As for Puck, he might be the result of Shakespeare's idea to place popular legendary characters from his country into a classical Athens and thus a greco-roman environment who might have been, back then, more "elitist" and en-vogue for the aristocracy; also by giving his legendary creatures classical comical aspects (the Oberon-Titania argument over the Indian boy looks like a typical Zeus-Hera dialogue!).
                        “Because,” she said, “there are better dreams.” - the Sea Lady (H.G. Wells)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          satyr pics

                          Thanks for the link to the images! They weren't the original I sought, but they'll come in handy. I finally remembered the artist's name: Clodion. But I've only been able to find these pics online https://www.swiftsite.com/bronzeart/hb346.html

                          If you can find a postcard of those, or any postcard, we'd be delighted to have it, and would repay in kind. Feel free to email me from the button.

                          If I can't find that image, perhaps I can find it in the library. Scary that I spend so much time with my own books and the computer, I forget about the library!

                          You know, I hadn't thought about the Oberon/Titania argument in relation to Zeus/Hera. You've given me food for thought...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Peasily -

                            I've got to congratulate you on choosing an avatar so appropriate to the topic of first thread you've posted on.

                            Very cool.

                            mfG,
                            Ant

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hey peasily,

                              I'm sorry, I checked the museum and of course: no postcards of the pieces I was interested in! :( I'll borrow a digital camera next time and I'll send you the pics.

                              Any luck at the library?

                              Here's a reference for a book where you'll find some stuff for sure, including the belgian sculptor I mentionned before:

                              James Mackay, Western sculptors in bronze,
                              Antique Collectors' Club,Suffolk, 1977.


                              Check in sculpture, anyway: satyrs and fauns have always been a favourite of that form of art, from greek classicism until even romanticism and symbolism included. In books about Antiques you should also find one or two pointy-eared fellows...

                              Back to fairies, I found something more:

                              John Anster Christian Fitzgerald

                              I had an illustration in a book from that guy, but I found out he made quite a lot of paintings on the subject. They all have the same quality, both delicate and disturbing, for some reason... very close to Dadd's in that fashion.

                              ex:

                              http://www.anglik.net/fitzgerald.htm

                              http://www.algorithm.com.au/files/ba...ted_forest.jpg

                              http://members.tripod.com/volobuef/p...nd_Titania.jpg


                              talking about Oberon and Titania: another famous one, by Paton:

                              http://members.tripod.com/volobuef/p...andTitania.jpg

                              That particular "pompier" painting illustrates well the mix of classical greco-roman and celtic elements.

                              After those research, it's funny to notice that the pointed ears are quite timid: although they show here and there in Fairyland (the satyr's legacy?), they are most of the time hidden by locks or elfin helms, and they are in no way a general feature... It's indeed a rather modern trait to use them as a characteristic of the "Fey" people.
                              “Because,” she said, “there are better dreams.” - the Sea Lady (H.G. Wells)

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