Locus Focus: Take Twenty-Two!
I'm still paddling about in the Horror pond, but it's time to think about next month's challenge so that everyone has time to plan ahead.
With my affection for alliteration, I came up with three ideas:
a) Narnia in November
This was something I came up with long before Themed Challenges ever came to mind--my little way of drumming up anticipation for the movie adaptation of The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader". But I'm not about to ask my friends to shotgun different Narnian settings unless they want to!
b) Non-fiction November
It's definitely challenging, but not also as limiting as it seems. There are memoirs, biographies, histories, and travelogues . . . And I know I've always wanted to step into the home kitchens of some of those authors of glossy cookbooks!
c) November in New York, New York
I just realised how many great books in the world--or in my personal collection alone--are set in this amazing city. It is one setting that authors and filmmakers love with equal passion, so we might get to do another Movie Edition!
Please vote for your choice in the combox. Note that although I like making all my Loci Foci for the month line up according to the theme, you don't have to extend the challenge to your own. Link up the setting you want to share for that week.
I heard a voice cry: "Watch which way you turn:
take care you do not trample on the heads
of the forworn and miserable brethren."
Whereat I turned and saw beneath my feet
and stretching out ahead a lake so frozen
it seemed to be made of glass. So thick a sheet
never yet hid the Danube's winter course,
nor, far away, beneath the frigid sky,
locked the Don up in its frozen source . . .
The way frogs sit to croak, their muzzles leaning
out of the water, at the time and season
when the peasant woman does her day's gleaning--
Just so the livid dead are sealed in place . . .
Never mind featuring one author too often! Here I am featuring one text too often. Then again, is there such a thing as "too often" where the Inferno is concerned? (Answer: No!) This time, we descend to Circle IX--"the bottom of the universe"--"that final dismal hole/ which bears the weight of all the steeps of Hell." This is where the traitors land.
And this is where it gets really personal--for what is more personal than betrayal? I like the reading that says that these sinners are frozen forever in ice that will never melt because acts of treachery are devoid of human warmth: the warmth of affection we should feel for family; the warmth of patriotism we should feel for country; the warmth of hospitality we should feel for guests (or obligation we should feel for hosts); and the ineffable warmth we feel especially for our masters who have been a little of all this to us.
Note also that all the rounds of this frozen circle are named after people: the famous traitors Cain, Antenor, Ptolomeus, and of course, Judas. But even he whose kiss in the Garden of Olives was worse than an outright knife in the back is not at the epicentre of Hell. This final figure was the first sinner: he who was once the Morningstar and the fairest of the all the Angels in Heaven is now the "Emperor of the Universe of Pain." (Can you say, "Pyrrhic defeat"?)
It reminds us that at the centre of every sin is the same revolt against God that started the war in Heaven--the betrayal of one's creator.
Leave the link to your Locus Focus post in the linky
and take some time to check out and comment on those of others.
I can't wait to read what everyone has to say! =D
Other Loci Foci for This Week . . .
Michael D. O'Brien's Goli Otok @ Spike Is Best
Bluebeard's Chamber @ Birdie's Nest
Image Source: The Inferno by Dante (Translated by John Ciardi)