historical processes

poisonedyouthofyesterday  asked:

Hi I'm thinking about writing a romance novel that took place between the 1950s and 60s. The setting is in Kenya, Africa from the Mau Mau uprising against Britain until indepence. Could you kindly suggest how I can put that into words Thank you

Yeah dude, you know we can’t do your research for you, right? You know you’re going to have to spend many, many hours doing that research, right? So, how do you get started? And I hope I can assume this is a topic about which you are passionate because, done right, a project like this will by necessity consume you. 

Everything you need to know about what you need to know can be found in this Goodreads summary about one of the best-selling historical novels ever, Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth. It’s set in 12th century England and the overarching story is about the construction of the finest cathedral ever. 

Sounds fascinating, yeah? No. Not to most people, at least not that they think. It’s the detail and research and craftsmanship – and oddly, the relatability – that’s made it a bestseller for longer than most of you reading this have been alive. 

Follett, btw, began his writing career as a journalist; he got bored, went into publishing and began writing his own stuff on nights and weekends. The result: He’s sold more than 150 MILLION MOTHERFUCKING BOOKS in not quite 40 years. 

But let’s break down the book summary into what you’ll need to know to write: 

1. It’s incredibly detailed, in both natural and human scenery

2. It incorporates the Big Historic Events and People of the time period

3. It incorporates the small, personal events of the characters – things that might be unique to the time and culture and yet are universal to the human experience

4. There are many intriguing characters. We get to know their dreams, their labors and their loves.

5. Characters are shaped by details about their place in society.

6. There’s a damn good plot – betrayal, revenge and love – which is probably why the dude’s sold 150 million motherfucking books; this one alone has sold more than 18 million.

You need to be organized. This post here has good ideas and a list for getting started. Everyone’s method is going to be different, but if you need a place to start setting up your system, you could do much worse. 

If you aren’t already, you need to familiarize yourself with the primary, secondary and tertiary sources for the information you need. Once you dive down this rabbit hole, you’ll be well along the way to being able to find what you need to fill out your descriptions and your characters. Take notes. Keep track of your research and your sources. 

Never, ever forget that you aren’t writing a textbook. Historical fiction author Lindsey Davis has this advice and it cannot be stressed enough:

“You are not writing history. You are writing a novel. This requires you to master plot, characterisation, dialogue, narrative tone and description. Note that nowhere in my list do the words ‘research’ or ‘history’ appear.” 

(quote found in this book, which you might also find helpful.)

This is discussed elsewhere at length, and this blog can help more than we can, but please for the love of the stars do not whitewash or appropriate the culture of your setting. Don’t get caught up in white savior nonsense, a particular pitfall about stories set in Colonial and soon-to-be-post Colonial Africa.  

As we’ve mentioned many times before, the best way to write a good story that doesn’t fall into these traps is to write fully realized, well-rounded characters in a setting for which you’ve given your blood, sweat and tears to research. 

Our tags can help you with the other nuts and bolts of writing mentioned above. Writing tools might help with planning ideas, too. 

Good luck! 

– mod Aliya

…the world is not to be comprehended as a complex of ready-made things, but as a complex of processes, in which the things apparently stable - no less than their mind-images in our heads, the concepts - go through an uninterrupted change of coming into being and passing away, in which, in spite of all seeming accidentally and of all temporary retrogression, a progressive development asserts itself in the end…
—  Frederick Engels (1886) Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy
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step by step process of the first page in my Dates Anthology 2 comic, “Kantha”

Dates Anthology is a collection of short comics and illustrations by over 30 artists focusing on positive queer historical fiction, and the kickstarter for volume 2 starts today! this volume doubles the size of the comics (10-16 pages each) and centers around the theme of “progress,” be it personal, technological or societal.

my comic, “Kantha,” focuses on a young bengali trans girl growing into her culture and her identity while learning traditional embroidery passed from mother to daughter.

CHECK OUT THE KICKSTARTER HERE to see more great comics and artists! various pledge amounts are available with different goodies, including a tier that comes with one of the original inked pages of my comic or the comic “Reflections of a Glassmaker” with pencils by Cat Parra, inks by me. any and all pledges are greatly appreciated!

It was Western Europe that invented Eastern Europe as its complementary other half in the eighteenth century, the age of Enlightenment. It was also the Enlightenment, with its intellectual centers in Western Europe, that cultivated and appropriated to itself the new notion of “civilization,” an eighteenth-century neologism, and civilization discovered its complement, within the same continent, in shadowed lands of backwardness, even barbarism. Such was the invention of Eastern Europe. It has flourished as an idea of extraordinary potency since the eighteenth century, neatly dovetailing in our own times with the rhetoric and realities of the Cold War, but also certain to outlive the collapse of Communism, surviving in the public culture and its mental maps. One may begin to understand and confront the idea of Eastern Europe by exploring the intricate historical process that left it embedded and encoded in our culture.
—  Larry Wolff, Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment (1994), 4.
theguardian.com
Mark Sampson sacked as England manager after fresh allegations of inappropriate conduct
By Martha Kelner

Mark Sampson has been sacked by the Football Association after the chief executive, Martin Glenn, became aware of the “full detail” of inappropriate relations the England manager had with female players while he was manager of Bristol Academy.

Sampson was deemed fit to continue as England manager after the FA carried out a safeguarding investigation when the allegations were first made in March 2014. Glenn, who joined the governing body 12 months later, insists he was first told of the investigation in October 2015 and read the full report for the first time only last week when someone from outside the FA advised him to do so.

It is understood allegations of bullying and racism made by Eni Aluko against Sampson and first revealed by the Guardian prompted other whistleblowers to come forward and raise concerns about the suitability of the Welshman for the job of England manager. He vehemently denies the allegations.

“I have to say it is the most awkward and complicated issue I have ever dealt with,” said Glenn. “In 2014 there was a safeguarding-related complaint made about Mark when he was coach at Bristol Academy. He had been an FA employee for just a few months at that point. There was a full investigation, a proper investigation, an assessment process and when the report concluded in March 2015 he was deemed not to be a safeguarding risk.

“However the full report of that investigation was only made known to me last week,” he added. “On reading it I immediately shared it with Greg and we were both deeply concerned with the contents of the report. Let’s be really clear: no laws were broken; Greg and I are not able to challenge the professional views of our safeguarding experts. We thought the conduct issues raised in the report were what the problem was.

“Mark had overstepped the professional boundaries between player and coach.”

Glenn said that the decision was ratified by a meeting of the FA board on Monday.

The minister for sport, Tracey Crouch, said: “This situation is a mess and raises very serious questions about whether the historic processes that the FA had in place around the recruitment of coaches were appropriate, for something like this to have been missed. The FA are right to have taken action but reassurances is needed to make sure this does not happen again at any level of coaching.”

stereogum.com
Somehow, We Are Absolutely Ready For Taylor Swift’s Rapping-About-Being-Horny-Over-Dubstep Single
On Sunday morning, the world changed. Suddenly, Trace Adkins' "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" was no longer the last word in country stars using vaguely European dance-music production to talk about wanting to fuck. Suddenly, that video of Taylor Swift rapping Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass" found its inevitable conclusion. Suddenly, the rollout of Taylor Swift's new album Reputation no longer seemed like such a raging, historic catastrophe. "…Ready For It?" is out in the world now, and the world doesn't feel the same anymore. Eight AM on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend is, of course, a weird time to drop a song. Almost immediately, people on the internet started theorizing. Nobody liked Swift's first Reputation single, "Look What You Made Me Do," which came out barely a week earlier and which seemed to promise some sort of smirking, self-referential blockbuster-pop fiasco. Worse: "Look What You Made Me Do" didn't really have a hook, which is a big fucking problem for an artist who has spent

On Sunday morning, the world changed. Suddenly, Trace Adkins’ “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” was no longer the last word in country stars using vaguely European dance-music production to talk about wanting to fuck. Suddenly, that video of Taylor Swift rapping Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” found its inevitable conclusion. Suddenly, the rollout of Taylor Swift’s new album Reputation no longer seemed like such a raging, historic catastrophe. “…Ready For It?” is out in the world now, and the world doesn’t feel the same anymore.

Eight AM on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend is, of course, a weird time to drop a song. Almost immediately, people on the internet started theorizing. Nobody liked Swift’s first Reputation single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” which came out barely a week earlier and which seemed to promise some sort of smirking, self-referential blockbuster-pop fiasco. Worse: “Look What You Made Me Do” didn’t really have a hook, which is a big fucking problem for an artist who has spent the past decade-and-change conquering the world with her bulletproof, gold-plated hooks. Of course, “Look What You Made Me Do” was still immediately a monster smash, rocketing straight to #1 and deposing the months-long chart ruler “Despacito,” preventing it from breaking historical records in the process. “Look What You Made Me Do” still sold a fuckload of downloads and racked up hundreds of millions of YouTube views in a week. But these things are to be expected. It was, after all, a new Taylor Swift single, unveiled with all the pomp of a Star Wars trailer. But did the song have staying power? We might not ever know. It’s already been replaced.

But if the release of “…Ready For It?” looks like a weird marketing decision, a sudden damage-control move to immediately follow an underwhelming first single with an overwhelming second one, it’s probably best to remember that Taylor Swift album rollouts follow different sets of rules. “…Ready For It?” debuted on Saturday night, in promos for the Alabama/Florida State football game. It’s tied in with the announcement that she’ll do the halftime show of next year’s college football championship game. She and her handlers presumably made these deals months ago, and “…Ready For It?” makes a whole lot more sense in football promos than “Look What You Made Me Do” would’ve. As a cultural force, Swift has to treat her album releases like they were Marvel movies or something. The songs come out when they have to come out. There’s money on the line.

But if the timing of the release makes its own kind of corporate sense, the song itself is a fascinating fucking pileup. Within its first 55 seconds, “…Ready For it?” pinballs from monstrous dubstep stomp to feverish quasi-rapped shit-talk to sweet, lilting dancehall-flavored tropical house. Her delivery on those verses is like over-enunciated Rihanna or under-enunciated Nicki Minaj. She rides a beat better than anyone could’ve reasonably expected, staying in the pocket the way pop stars never do in those invariably ill-advised moments when they try to rap. The song is also almost cartoonishly horny, Swift rapping about a dude (reportedly Joe Alwyn, the British actor she’s been quietly dating lately) like she was one of those tongue-hanging-out Tex Avery wolves. It’s all theater, and the way her voice cracks on the “he act like such a man” line is straight-up Betty Boop. These things — rap, trop-house, sudden and jarring pop-genre juxtapositions, sexual intensity — are all pretty new to Swift. The track works like her version of what Rihanna does, with the crucial distinction that Swift’s effortful honor-student attack is essentially the opposite of Rihanna’s preternatural cool.

And yet! “…Ready For It?” fucking goes. The sheer audacity that goes into a song like this is a thing of beauty. Five years ago, when I first encountered the massive dubstep drop on “I Knew You Were Trouble,” I burst into delighted laughter. The new song is that feeling, multiplied. “…Ready For It?” is doing a lot, but all of it works. The hammering beat and convoluted wordplay — the “Burton to this Taylor” bit really underlines Swift’s inner drama nerd — are so unlikely and so ridiculous that I can’t help but admire them. And then that glorious pre-chorus kicks in, and all the song’s nonsensical silliness snaps into focus. The song’s central hook — “In the middle of the night, in my dreams / You should see the things we do” — is pure diamond popcraft. It’s what “Look What You Made Me Do” didn’t have. It’s the moment that Swift suddenly sounds like herself again.

“…Ready For It?” marks Swift’s reunion with Max Martin and Shellback, the Scandinavian production and songwriting geniuses who were her main collaborators on 1989. It would be absolutely fucking ridiculous to credit those guys with Swift’s success; she was making pop monsters for years before she met them. But she’s clearly a better fit with them than she is with “Look What You Made Me Do” collaborator Jack Antonoff. That Swift/Martin/Shellback trio — along with co-producer and co-writer Ali Payami, another guy from the Swedish pop trenches — made something ungainly and goofy, something that was probably a terrible idea, and they still made it sound like towering, colossal pop music. That right there? That is some motherfucking craft.

qpigzdz9z replied to your post: I find it really interesting how Dean’s reactions…

It cheezed me off that he’s all about Cas being family but when Cas dies he doesn’t grab him up like he’d done with Sam. He just kneels there… nothing.

OK, I usually don’t like to be so black and white about stuff that is an interpretation but here goes.

I AM 10000% SURE THAT THE IDEA WAS NOT THAT YOU WOULD THINK THAT DEAN THINKS NOTHING ABOUT CAS DYING.

Dean is in SHOCK. He is incapable of PROCESSING. The scene cut before we got ANYTHING. PURPOSEFULLY. for DRAMA. BECAUSE THIS IS SUCH A HUGE DEAL.

Honestly. Please don’t be cheesed off by this, that was not at all the writers’ intention, it was quite the OPPOSITE.

hustling-roses  asked:

how do you defend astrology to those who say there's no rhyme or reason behind it, that it's all nonsense?

World famous witch and astrologer Sybil Leek once noted, “All human beings have magic in them.  The secret is to know how to use this magic, and astrology is a vital tool for doing just that.” Access to astrology in the past was restricted largely by demonizing it, while the informed elite continued to use its services in secret; today advocates of “hard science” routinely debunk astrology, applying “objectively reasoned” test conditions in a context that does not adequately apply to the dynamic functionality of the art.   Astrology is the one discipline that can unite the cognate, sensate, emotional and intuitive realms with the phenomena of physical manifestation, not only as pertains to earthly affairs but as connected with the larger cosmos.  However unless one is strongly motivated to get past reading daily sun sign predictions, the personal empowerment available through utilizing astrological technique often goes untapped.(Marguerite Hafeman)

List of scientific based studies in relation to the effectiveness and proof astrology      

Scientific Studies in Relation to Astrology
Adderley, E.E. and Bowen, E.G. “Lunar component in precipitation.” Science, 1962, 137, 749—751.
Andrews, E.J. “Moon Talk.” Journal of the Florida State Medical Association, 1961, 46 1362—1366.

Barry, H. “Month of Birth as related to psychiatric conditions. A.M.A. Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry, 1956, 37—38.

Barry, H. and Barry, J. “Season of Birth. An epidemiological study in psychiatry.” Archives of General Psychiatry, 1961, 5, 100—108.

Bailar, J.C. and Gurian, J. “Congenital malformations and season of birth.” Eugenics Quarterly, 1965, 12, 146—153.

Bigg, E.K. “Influence of the planet mercury on sunspots.” Astronomical Journal, 1967, 72, 463—468.

Bradley, D. Woodbury, M. and Brier, G. “Lunar synodical period and widespread precipitation.” Science, 1962, 137, 748—749.

Brown, F.A. “Propensity for lunar periodicity in hamsters and its significance for biological clock theories.” Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, 1965, 120, 792—797.

Brown, F.A., Webb, M.M. and Bennett, M.K. “Proof for an endogenous component in persistent solar and lunar rhythmicity in organisms.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 1955, 41, 93—100.

Burr, H.S. “Electromagnetic studies in women with malignancy of cervix.” Science, 1947, 105, 209.

Burr, H.S. The Fields of Life (N.Y., 1973).

Burrows, W. “Periodic spawning of pablo worms in Pacific waters.” Nature, 1945, 155, 47—48.

Charles, E. “The Hour of Birth.” British Journal of Preventative Social Medicine, 1953, 7, 43—59.

Clayton, H.H. “Auroras and Sunspots.” Terrestrial Magnetism and Atmospheric Electricity, 1940, 45, 13—17.

Cowgill, Y.M. “Season of birth in man.” Ecology, 1966, 47, 614—618.

Cowgill, Y.M., Bishop, A., Andrew, R.J., Hutchinson, G.E. “An apparent lunar periodicity in the sexual cycle of certain prosimians.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 1962, 48. 232—241.

Dahlen, Per. “Month of birth and schizophrenia.” Acta psychiatnica Scandinavia, 1968, 203, 55—60.

Davis, A.R. and Rawls, W.C. Magnetism and its Effects On The Living System (N.Y., 1974).

Dewey, E.R. Cycles (N.Y., 1971).

Dewey, E.R. “A possible key to sunspot-planetary relationships.” Journal of Interdisciplinary Cycle Research, 1975, 6, 175—184.

Edwards, J. “Season and rate of conception.” Nature, 1938, 148, 357.

Fox, H.M. “Lunar periodicity of reproduction.” Nature, 1932, 130, 23.

Friedman, 1-1., Becker, R. and Bachrnan, C. “Geomagnetic parameters and psychiatric hospital admissions.” Nature, 1963, 200, 626—627.

Gauquelin, M. The Cosmic Clocks (Chicago, 1967).

Gauquelin, M. The Scientific Study of Astrology (N.Y., 1969).

Gribbin, J. “Planetary alignments, solar activity and climatic change.” Nature, 1973, 246, 403—405.

Gribbin, J.R. and Plagemann, S.H. The Jupiter Effect (N.Y., 1974).

Hare, E.H. and Price, J.S. “Mental disorder and season of birth: Comparison of psychoses with neuroses.” British Journal of Psychiatry, 1963, 115, 533—540.

Hare, E.H., Price, J.S. and Slater, E. “Schizophrenia and season of birth.” British Journal of Psychiatry, 1972, 120, 124—125.

Hare, E.H., Price, J.S., and Slater, E. “Mental disorder and season of birth.” Nature,

1973, 241, 480.

Hare, E., Price, J. and Slater, E. “Mental disorder and season of birth. A national sample compared with the general population.” British Journal of Psychiatry, 1974, 124, 81—86.

Hawkes, J. Man and the Sun (N.Y., 1962).

Hughes, D.W. “The inconstant sun.” Nature, 1977, 226, 405—406.

Huntington, E. Civilization and Climate (New Haven, 1924).

Huntington, E. Season of Birth. Its Relation to Human Abilities (N.Y., 1938).

James, W,H. “Schizophrenia and season of birth.” British Journal of Psychiatry, 1971, 119, 229—230.

James, W.H. “Social class and season of birth.” Journal of Biosocial Science, 1971, 3, 309—320.

J ohannson, B.W. “Myocardial infarction in Malmo.” Acta Medica Scandinavica, 1972, 191, 505—515.

King, J.W. “Solar radiation changes and the weather.” Nature, 1973, 137, 433—444.

King, J.W. “Weather and the Earth’s Magnetic Field.” Nature, 1974, 247, 131—134.

Knobloch, H. and Pasamanick, B. “Seasonal variation in the birth of the mentally deficient.” American Journal of Public Health, 1958, 48, 1201—1206.

Koebler, K. and Jacoby, C. “Season of birth and Schneider-Oriented diagnosis of schizophrenia.” Archives für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankeiten, 1976, 223, 69—75.

Kolisko, L. The Moon and The Growth of Plants. Anthroposophical Agricultural Foundation (Brag-on-Thames, 1936).

Krupinski, J., Stoller, A. and King, D. “Season of birth in schizophrenia: An Australian study.” Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 1976, 10, 311—314.

Lester, D., Brockopp, G.W. and Priebe, K. “Association between a full moon and completed suicide.” Psychological Reports, 1969, 25, 598.

Lieber, H.L. and Sherin, C.R. “Homicides and the lunar cycle.” American Journal of Psychiatry, 1972, 129, 69—74.

Lilienfeld, D.M. “Lunar effect on mental illness.” American Journal of Psychiatry,1969, 125, 1454.

Malek, J., Greich, J. and Maly, V. “Characteristics of the daily rhythm of menstruation and labor.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1962, 98, 1042—1046.

McCartney, J.L. “Seasonal variation in psychiatric illness.” Psychosornatics, 1962, 3, 312—316.

Menaker, W. and Menaker, A. “Lunar periodicity in human reproduction.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1959, 78, 905—909.

Mills, C.A. Medical Climatology (Springfield, III., 1939).

Milstein, V., Small, J.G., Shelbourne, D. and Small, J.F. “Manic depressive illness: Onset diurnal temperature and season of birth.” Diseases of Nervous System, 1976, 37, 373—375.

Norris, A.S. and Chowning, J.R. “Season of birth and mental illness.” Archives of General Psychiatry, 1962, 7, 206—212.

Odegard, 0. “Season of birth in the general population and in patients with mental disorder in Norway.” British Journal of Psychiatry, 1974, 125, 397—405.

Osborn, R.D. “The moon and the mental hospital.” Journal of Psychiatric Nursing,

1962, 6, 88—93.

Osseukopp, K.P. and Ossenkopp, M.D. “Self-inflicted injuries and the lunar cycle.” Journal of Interdisciplinary Cycle Research, 1973, 4, 337—348.

Ott, J. Health and Light (N.Y., 1976).

Parker, C. and Neilson, M. “Mental disorder and season of birth—a Southern hemisphere study.” British Journal of Psychiatry, 1976, 129, 355 361.

Pasamanick, B. and Knobloch, H. “Seasonal variation in the births of the mentally deficient—a reply.” American Journal of Public Health, 1960, 50, 1737—1742.

Piccardi, G. The Chemical Basis of Medical Climatology (Springfield, Iii., 1962).

Pile, W.J. “A study of the correlation between dementia praecox and month of birth.” Virginia Medical Monthly 1951, 78, 438—440.

Ravitz, J. J. “Electrodynamic field theory in psychiatry.” Southern Medical Journal, 1953, 46, 650—660.

Ravitz, L.J. “Comparative clinical and electrocyclic observations in twin brothers.” Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, 1955, 121, 72—87.

Rippmann, E.G. “The moon and the birth rate.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1957, 74, 148—150.

Rosenberg, R.L. and Colman, F.J. “27-day cycle in the rainfall at Los Angeles.” Science, 1974, 250, 48 1—483.

Rush, A.K. Moon, Moon (Berkeley, Cal., 1976).186

Sarton, C. “Lunar influences on living things.” Isis, 1939, 30, 498—507.

Schnurman, A.G. “The effect of the moon on childbirth.” Virginia Medical Monthly,1949, 76, 78.

Schuster, A. “The influence of planets on the formation of sunspots.” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 1910, 85, 309.

Shimura, M., Nakamura, I. and Miura, T. “Season of birth of schizophrenics in Tokyo, Japan,” Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica, 1977, 55, 225—232.

Soyka, F. and Edmonds, A. The Ion Effect (N.Y., 1977).

Sterling, T.D. “Seasonal variations in the birth of the mentally deficient.” American Journal of Public Health, 1960, 50, 955—965.

Stetson, H.T. Sunspots in Action (N.Y., 1947).

Tchijevsky, A.L. “Physical factors of the historical process.” Cycles, 1971, 22, 11—21.

Tempkin, 0. The Failing Sickness (Baltimore, 1971).

Tromp, SW. and Weihe, H. (eds.) Biometeorology (N.Y., 1967).

Videbech, T., Weeke, A. and Dupont, A. “Endogenous psychoses and season of birth.”

Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 1974, 50,202—2 18.

Volland, FT. “Can sunspots influence our weather?” Nature, 1977, 269, 409—410.

Watson, L. Supernature (London, 1974).

Winkless, N. and Browning, I. Climate And The Affairs of Men (N.Y., 1975).

Wood, K.D. “Sunspots and planets.” Nature, 1972, 240, 91—92.

Woodrugg, R.A., Guze, S.B. and Clayton, P.J. “Psychiatric illness and season of birth.” American Journal of Psychiatry, 1974, 131, 925—926.        

How Einstein’s theory of gravitation experienced a Renaissance after World War II

Journey into the post-war transformation leading to the return of General Relativity within physics

Einstein’s 1915 theory of gravitation, also known as General Relativity, is now considered one of the pillars of modern physics.

It contributes to our understanding of cosmology and of fundamental interactions between particles.

But that was not always the case.

Between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, General Relativity underwent a period of stagnation, during which the theory was mostly considered as a stepping-stone for a superior theory.

In a special issue of EPJ H just published, historians of science and physicists actively working on General Relativity and closely related fields share their views on the process, during the post-World War II era, in particular, which saw the “Renaissance” of General Relativity, following progressive transformation of the theory into a bona fidae physics theory.

In this special issue, new insights into the historical process leading to this renaissance point to the extension of the foundation of the original theory, ultimately leading to a global transformation in its character.

Contributions from several experts reveals that the theory of 1915 was insufficient to reach firm conclusions without being complemented by intuitions drawn from the resources of pre-relativistic physics.

Or, in the case of cosmology, the theory needed to be complemented by philosophical considerations that were hardly generalizable to help solve more mundane problems.

As physicist Pascual Jordan puts it, there was a “mismatch between the simplicity of the physical and epistemological foundations and the annoying complexity of the corresponding thicket of formulae.”

A number of contributions in this special issue also explain how the theory underwent a period of successive controversies, leading by the 1960s, to the renaissance of the theory.

Subsequently, it became in the 1970s, an important, empirically well-tested branch of theoretical physics related to the new, successful sub-discipline of relativistic astrophysics.

###

References: Editorial introduction to the special issue “The Renaissance of Einstein’s Theory of Gravitation” edited by A. Blum, D. Giulini, R. Lalli, and J. Renn (2017), European Physical Journal H, DOI 10.1140/epjh/e2017-80023-3

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Margaret Bourke-White wasn’t just the first woman photographer at Life— her images dominated the magazine’s inaugural issue when it premiered in November 1936. Her assignment to cover the building of the Fort Peck Dam was meant as a continuation of the kind of industrial documentation she excelled at while working for Fortune, but as the telegrams she sent back to her editors make clear, her interests went beyond the project itself to include the lives of people living in the nearby settlement. The cover image she produced remains iconic, and the accompanying photographic essay helped set the tone for what Life would be as a publication. 

The magazine’s editors described her work in their introduction:

Photographer Margaret Bourke-White had been dispatched to the Northwest to photograph the multi-million dollar projects of the Columbia River Basin. What the Editors expected—for use in some later issue—were construction pictures as only Bourke-White can take them. What the Editors got was a human document of American frontier life which, to them at least, was a revelation. Having been unable to prevent Bourke-White from running away with their first nine pages, the Editors thereafter returned to the job of making pictures behave with some degree of order and sense.

Margaret Bourke-White. Telegrams to Dan Longwell. October 27–November 4, 1936. Time Inc. Bio Files. New-York Historical Society.

Life. November 23, 1936. Time Inc. New-York Historical Society.

Processing of the Time Inc. Archive is made possible through the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation

The consequence of this tendency toward universality is that the straight mind cannot conceive of a culture, a society where heterosexuality would not order not only all human relationships, but also its very production of concepts and all the processes which escape consciousness, as well. Additionally, these unconscious processes are historically more and more imperative in what they teach us about ourselves through the instrumentality of specialists. The rhetoric which expresses them (and whose seduction I do not underestimate) envelops itself in myths, resorts to enigma, proceeds by accumulating metaphors, and its function is to poeticize the obligatory character of the “you-will-be-straight-or-you-will-not-be.’
—  Monique Wittig, “The Straight Mind” (107)

anonymous asked:

I've been wondering lately if there is much discussion in norse myth/lore along the theme of "gluttony" or discussion of cultural views regarding what we may now view as gluttony (particularly related to food)? You seem like the person to ask such a broad question - you have such thorough knowledge it seems.

Sæll (eða sæl), vinur minn,
(Hello, my friend,)

This is a very peculiar topic, but I quite like that. My first impression, after doing some research, reading, and thinking, is that gluttony as we understand it today (which is a fairly Christianized concept) does not quite stand in Norse mythology and lore. There was, however, a fairly similar social expectation for food to be shared with others. A traveller, for example, was to be given lodgings, and that often included a meal, as well; guests are meant to be given food and a host must not withhold, or else he or she is a poor host. Yet, there does not seem to have been a set amount on how much had to be shared. A host could have more food than the entire local community put together, but he or she (because women often controlled the food, which was no small task, mind you) did not have to divide it out and be left with the same amount as the rest. They simply had to share it when the social situation demanded it of them. There is a case in Njal’s Saga where a man refuses to share food during a famine, yet that man was not charged with gluttony by the author (although the thought may have crossed his mind). Instead, he was threatened with rán, an unsociable act of theft that typically resulted in a feud. In theory, the concepts of gluttony and this social expectation have the same function within a society, but the cultural ‘essence’ behind them is a bit different.

To answer this properly, though, we must consider at least two things: our sources and who wrote them. Much of Norse mythology is contained within two books, the Prose Edda and the Poetic Edda, but bits of mythology are also scattered throughout other sources, such as Ynglinga saga and Volsunga saga. When considering themes such as gluttony in Norse mythology, we must first consider the authors who composed those texts, because we must ask ourselves whether or not they would have been concerned about gluttony to begin with. So, before jumping into the myths themselves, we should consider the cultural views of those who put the myths into writing, and how this society understood such a concept. For simplification, we will only focus on two sources for Norse mythology: the Prose Edda and the Poetic Edda, since they are the most cohesive sources that we have regarding Norse mythology.

The answer is quite long (perhaps even the longest that I have produced), and I hope that does not bother you. I had originally placed the information under a ‘keep reading’ tab, but it was not working properly for some people, and so I have since removed that. It is a fascinating topic in general, but there is much to be learned about the historical process here as well because I have constructed this answer as a progression of thought rather than just a definitive argument. That said, though, the answer may not be as straightforward as desired.


A DISCUSSION OF GLUTTONY IN NORSE MYTHOLOGY:

DEFINING GLUTTONY

Pinpointing the exact origin of an abstract concept is always a difficult feat to undertake, and so finding an actual ‘origin’ may be an unfavorable place to begin. Yet, our understanding of gluttony as being a negative practice of excessive consumption does not actually seem to be a natural part of Norse mythology itself. Rather, it seems more likely to have been ‘seeded’ into the myths through Christianity. This does not mean that gluttony is completely irrelevant in terms of Norse mythology, though, because much of our material has indeed passed through Christianity’s filter. Thus, to discuss the role of gluttony in Norse mythology, we must first remind ourselves where gluttony as we view it today (as a sin, or as a negative behavioral trait in general) began, but also how this concept would have been understood in their own time.

To get into the medieval mind a bit, I am going to bring up a few biblical verses about gluttony from the Douey-Rheims’ translation of the Latin Vulgate (with the Latin text first, followed by the English translation). Although it is not directly applicable to Norse mythology, it will allow us to better understand the concepts affecting the minds of our medieval authors.

Isaiah 22:12-14

“Et ecce gaudium et laetitia, occidere vitulos et jugulare arietes, comedere carnes, et bibere vinum: comedamus et bibamus, cras enim moriemur. Et revelata est in auribus meis vox Domini exercituum: Si dimittetur iniquitas haec vobis donec moriamini, dicit Dominus Deus exercituum.”

“And behold joy and gladness, killing calves, and slaying rams, eating flesh, and drinking wine: Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we shall die. And the voice of the Lord of hosts was revealed in my ears: Surely this iniquity shall not be forgiven you till you die, saith the Lord God of hosts.”

Zachariah 7: 4-6

“Et factum est verbum Domini exercituum ad me, dicens: Loquere ad omnem populum terrae, et ad sacerdotes, dicens: Cum jejunaretis, et plangeretis in quinto et septimo per hos septuaginta annos, numquid jejunium jejunastis mihi? Et cum comedistis et bibistis, numquid non vobis comedistis et vobismetipsis bibistis?”

“And the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying: Speak to all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying: When you fasted, and mourned in the fifth and the seventh month for these seventy years: did you keep a fast unto me? And when you did eat and drink, did you not eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?”

Given just these verses about gluttony, and assuming that this was not a similar concept to be found in pre-Christian nordic lore or society, we can deduce that gluttony, if it were to appear in the Nordic myths of the Eddas and sagas, would be excessive consumption with an emphasis on selfishness. If our medieval authors were ecclesiastically trained, or at least familiar with the writing and copying of Latin texts and thus intimately familiar with biblical verse and Christian culture, then this would have been, generally speaking, what gluttony may have ‘looked’ like in their minds.

Now, there are several complications involved with this, but the most important of these is that our authors are often anonymous, meaning that we cannot be sure they would have such intimate familiarity with a biblical definition of gluttony. There are only two sources out of the four mentioned above that have a comfortably known author, and that is Snorri Sturluson and his Prose Edda and Ynglinga saga (contained within his larger work, Heimskringla). Yet, given the tone and treatments of certain subjects, it is possibly to assume, within reason, whether or not an anonymous author had a ‘Christian-oriented’ mind based on their use of language and narration style, or tone. The anonymous author of Hrolf Kraki’s Saga, for example, clearly demonstrates the Christian mind through his treatment of how that saga, and Hrolf’s final battle, came to a close.

Discussing Christian themes in these sources is tricky business, because they are not solely Christian nor are they solely pre-Cristian; they are blends of old and new, and thus separating them becomes rather difficult. Assuming gluttony to be a Christian-only concept, for example, is one such difficulty. Our lack of sources to help confirm a pre-Christian Nordic tradition regarding excessive food consumption or hoarding is another. And yet, assuming that pre-Christian Nordic lore had such a concept at all, and that such a concept held a similar negative context, would also be dangerous, because many of our source have passed through that Christianized filter. Even when looking at sources that perhaps did not pass through that filter, such as a runestone, there is still the filter of our own, contemporary minds to worry about. In fact, equating the Cristian-based understanding of gluttony that western society holds today (which has a long-rooted history) to a possible, similar concept in pre-Christian Nordic lore also brings us insecurities.

Yet, these debates will not be able to get us anywhere at the moment, for they obviously involve a long, winding path to a place we do not intend to walk to. My lack of knowledge in terms of gluttony in the pre-medieval Nordic world, or rather in any place outside of the Christian-medieval mind, could also be holding us back from a more concrete answer. Instead, it may be best to keep these complication in mind and move forward into the texts themselves.


WEAVING OLD AND NEW: SNORRI STURLUSON

A good place to begin such a broad journey is with the most secure source. When I say ‘secure’, though, I mean it in a fairly specific way. In terms of this answer, secure means that we know the author and date of the work in question. Since we know that Snorri Sturluson played a major role in writing down much of Norse mythology and lore, he is a suitable place to begin a discussion about themes of gluttony. Not only does he provide us with a time period to work off of, but also a voice.

Snorri Sturluson, born at Hvamm (in western Iceland) in 1179, was a historian, poet, and politician. Although he was a very secular man, caught up in matters far removed from traditional ecclesiastical concerns, Snorri was a learned and Christian author. Yet, he was not a cleric, unlike many other Icelandic writers during this time. (1.) Still, considering his Prologue, one could hardly argue that Snorri was completely detached from Christian learning. He wrote in the thirteenth century, which was a time of great political, economic, and social change for Iceland. The Church, for example, had gained more power and authority in Iceland (it was a native Church, but eventually becomes very much Norwegian, which, in turn, was more continental). While this happened, the Church “attacked the traditional power of secular chieftains,” which Snorri himself was. (2.)

While all of this turmoil unfolded, Snorri seemed concerned about his traditional succumbing to new order. As early as the twelfth century, at least, Latin stories, such a saints’ lives and chivalric romances, were being translated in Iceland. (3.) It is likely that Snorri saw this as superseding the tradition of the skalds, which could have been one motivation for writing his Prose Edda; he wanted to encourage his contemporaries to compose traditional poetry with traditional (and new) material and thus keep the art form alive and well. In such a sense, his Prose Edda truly does become a blend of cultures, which explains his purpose for aligning Norse mythology and lore to the newly encompassing Christian realm. In form, at least, the Prose Edda owes much to the influx of Latin works, particularly of Latin learned treaties. (4.)

In the end, although Snorri was passionate about his traditions, he was still a Christian, which means that Christian elements could have made their way into the retelling. Even though he was no ecclesiastically trained, he had to have been taught by someone who was (and if not he, the one before him). Even so, he lived in a Christian world, not a pagan one. His purpose was not to revive heathenry, but to revive the traditions within a Christian framework. He did not do this in a religious sense, though; his work is fairly detached and impartial. Even in the Skáldskaparmál, for example, he warns his readers against actually believing in the material. (5.) Thus, it is quite likely, then, that Christian themes like gluttony could have made their way into certain stories, whether consciously or subconsciously. Having this temporal context in mind, as well as Snorri’s personal ‘voice’, we might be able to unravel the question of gluttony a bit more easily.


SOCIALIZING WITH GLUTTONY IN THE PROSE EDDA

The Prose Edda, despite its many flaws, is “the only comprehensive account of Norse mythology from the Middle Ages.” (6.) Yet, even if Snorri’s work was not particularly influential in his own time, it is definitely foundational to our understanding of Norse mythology today. In considering the theme of gluttony, though, there are several portions of lore that concern food and consumption in particular, especially in Valhalla and at feasts. The problem we will begin to run into is that food is often being referred to in a magical and ideal sense; when food is mentioned, it is among gods, not men. In the realm of the heavens there is no shortage of food and thus no shame in abundance, for all have an endless supply. This is suggested by the nature of food in Valhalla:

“…there will never be such a large number in Val-hall that the meat of the boar Sæhrimnir will not be sufficient for them. It is cooked each day and whole again by evening.” (7.)

In the Norse world, there seemed to have been a slightly different importance placed on food than there is in Christendom. For example, as the Hávamál will later attest to, there is a social expectation for the wealthy to hold great feasts for their guests, although these guests are often of high class themselves. Although this next portion of the lore does not say that a gluttonous man is to be shamed, it does suggest that a non-providing host would be shamed in a similar fashion:

“This is a strange question you are asking, whether All-father would invite kings and earls and other men of rank to his house and would give them water to drink, and I swear by my faith that there comes many a one to Val-hall who would think he had paid a high price for his drink or water if there were no better cheer to be got there, when he had previously endured wounds and agony leading to his death. There is a goat called Heidrun standing on top of Val-hall feeding on the foliage from the branches of that tree whose name is well known, it is called Lerad, and from the goat’s udder flows mead with which it fills a vat each day. This is so big that all the Einherjar can drink their fill from it.” (8.)

Although ending once more on a magical and idealistic source, such a passage begins with a strong tradition in providing food for guests of rank. Not only that, though, but it is expected that the host provide more than mere water. This, of course, is skewed to upper strata thinking, but still indicates an significance being imposed upon the nature of food. In terms of excess, though, there does not seem to be any negativity surrounding it, although there is an expectation that it should be shared with your guests. This is a bit different from gluttony, though, and so I would not be quick to consider them to be the same concept. The punishment for not sharing in excess is not considered to be sinful, but rather it is considered unsociable; a host does necessarily not need to provide for the needy, but for his guests.

This guest-host custom is actually a bit more complicated than that, though. It is not solely fixated on food, nor is it only a practice among the wealthy. In sticking to mythological material only, there is an instance in which Thor and Loki are guests in a peasant’s home:

“In the evening they arrived at a peasant’s house and were given a night’s lodging there. During the evening Thor took his goats and slaughtered them both. After this they were skinned and put in a pot. When it was cooked Thor sat down to his evening meal, he and his companion. Thor invited the peasant and his wife and their children to share the meal with him.” (9.)

This bit of lore actually brings even more complexity into the question concerning gluttony. For one thing, Thor is able to bring an unlimited food source to their table, because his goats can be sacrificed and brought back to life if treated properly. Yet, Snorri has also been very removed from these stories and thus does not offer much elaboration on their meanings. Thor shares the meal with the peasants, which could suggest that it was expected that one should share their food. If gluttony is selfishly hoarding and consuming food, then this social expectation to share food with others could suggest the possibility of a more social-based gluttony, rather than the moral and religious based understanding of gluttony that we have procured from Christianity.

Things begin to change once we consider the stories told in the Skáldskaparmál, though, which is not terribly surprising considering that there is speculation that Snorri wrote this portion of his Prose Edda before the Gylfaginning, meaning that it could easily contain a slightly different intent. It also has a different purpose than the Gylfaginning, because it aims to instruct a contemporary audience on applying mythology to contemporary skaldic practice, whereas the Gylfaginning was much more like a contextual background for the Skáldskaparmál. Literary debates aside, there is a more ‘active’ take on food customs from the very beginning of the Skáldskaparmál, when Loki is enraged that a giant eagle was being rather gluttonous:

“…it let itself from from the tree and sat on the oven and to begin with immediately put away the ox’s two hams and both shoulders. Then Loki got angry and snatched up a great pole and swung it with all his strength and drove it at the eagle’s body.” (10.)

I used the word ‘gluttonous’ a bit carelessly, but it is clear that Loki is upset (and rightfully so) because the eagle was selfish about his portion of the meal, which was meant to be shared. Of course, this tale may have a different intention overall, but this is still an evident moment where the selfish indulgence of food causes strife. Yet, it is still within the frameworks of an unsociable act, rather than a sinful act that would result in some spiritual damnation. We could debate this, though. If a person is a bad host, are they not punished by some divine force? In Hrolf Kraki’s Saga, Odin, disguised as a traveler named Hrani, puts King Hrolf’s behavior as a guest to the test. King Hrolf fails to accept Hrani’s gifts with appreciation, resulting in Odin denying him victory in a battle yet to come. Thus, a divine force could punish a person for not adhering to a social custom. This, however, did not involve food, which is a key difference between the Norse guest-host custom and gluttony; it does not have to be about food.

Taking a step back, though, there was never a heavy distinction placed between religion and society in the pre-Christian Nordic world; they were very much connected and inseparable. Even from a scientific viewpoint, religion and morality have a social function; they are ‘created’ to ensure that a group can work together more easily. The difference we have begun to observe, then, comes down to where the theme of gluttony is applied; is gluttony a spiritual failure or is gluttony an unsociable act? Although the Norse custom of guest-host behavior could involve food, and when it does it seems similar to the Christian notion of gluttony that we hold today, one could argue that the Norse had different connotations associated with it. Still, in the end, a sinful gluttony and an unsociable gluttony have the same role in a society, which is to ensure that food is shared when others are in need. I strongly advice against equating the two, though. The Nordic notion of guest-host behavior was not exactly the same as the Christian theme of gluttony, especially because that custom was not founded in food alone.

Having discussed these intricacies, we should be able to read our next example a bit more cautiously. In the Skáldskaparmál, Odin boasts about his horse, Sleipnir, to a giant named Hrungnir. In a “giant fury”, he chased Odin all the way into Valhalla, even getting past the gates! Since he had arrived, the Æsir treat him as a proper guest, for that is the guest-host custom that must be kept, even between gods and giant. Nonetheless, here is how Hrungnir behaves:

“…when he got to the hall doors, Æsir invited him in for a drink. He went into the hall and demanded that he should be given a drink. Then the goblets that Thor normally drank out of were brought out, and Hrungnir drained each one. And when he became drunk there was not lack of big words: he said he was going to remove Val-hall and take it to Giantland, but bury Asgard and kill all the gods, except that he was going to take Freyja and Sif home with him, and Freyja was the only one then who dared to bring him drink, and he declared he was going to drink all the Æsir’s ale.” (11.)

After this, the Æsir have Thor come into the hall with his hammer. They are unable to fight right away, though, because they must work around the social norms and customs that regulate guest treatment and host responsibilities. Eventually they do fight, and the Æsir are ‘avenged’. When we consider Hrungnir’s actions, he did two things that led to his ‘downfall’: he consumed more than was respectful and he cast various threats to those acting as his hosts. As a result, food is not the only issue here, although it clearly is a part of the problem. He was gluttonous in nature, but it was this in combination with poor guest habits that truly caused the violation.

Overall, these various examples from the lore preserved within the Prose Edda paint a complicated picture of ‘gluttony’ in Norse mythology. If gluttony is “excessive consumption with an emphasis on selfishness,” then there are indeed elements that do resemble gluttony. The giant eagle was selfish in his portion of food, which resulted in Loki being angered and attacking him. The giant eagle’s behavior was clearly a selfishness derived from excessive consumption, but more importantly of the best cuts of meat. Hrungnir was completely selfish in his consumption of the Æsir’s ale, which also encouraged anger among his hosts. Yet, this was also packaged with various, unsociable insults. Thus, there was a concept of gluttony in the Norse traditions of the Prose Edda, but this concept was not the gluttony that we know today. It may appear in a similar form, but it is intermingled with various other unique social norms and practices; food was never the only factor.


FOOD AND THE GUEST-HOST NORM IN HÁVAMÁL

Now that we have looked deeply into this theme as it appears in the Prose Edda, we will turn to the Poetic Edda to better define what we have observed. Although the Poetic Edda consists of a great variety of poetry, this discussion will mostly be centered around the Hávamál. Not only will that poem serve to help us better understand this guest-host norm, but it also has a bit more to say about excessive consumption in regards to both food and drink. Of course, this perspective will complicate things, because it would be wise to remind ourselves of the caution that should be taken. The poems in the Poetic Edda are considered older material, but they were still written and compiled much later, in the 1270s, by far-removed hands; they are not free from possible alterations.

Most scholars agree that the mythological material contained in these poems is largely unaltered, but the social backing may have not gotten off as easily. Mythology, and the beliefs involved therein, were never standard nor stagnant; practice and belief varied on the basis of both region and time. As far as we know, “the localized nature of cults and rituals produced neither dogma nor sacred texts.” (12.) Thus, the contents of the Hávamál, for example, which has much to say about the doings of guests and hosts, may have been speaking more to a thirteenth-century audience using older, mythological motifs. We do not know the author who compiled these poems, nor do we actually know when and where these poems actually originated for certain. Such a claim (concerning a thirteenth-century influence) would require a lengthy discussion, though. The point I wish to make is that this material could be a blend of old and new, and that it would be unwise to assume otherwise. Although many of these norms have roots in a more distant past, they have not gone through time unchanged.

With that having been said, we shall turn our attention to this guest-host norm. The very beginning of Hávamál concerns the expectations of a proper host. When considering food, the host is expected to share; it would be viewed negatively if the host were to selfishly withhold food from a guest in need. Yet, even though this is fairly similar to gluttony, it still alludes us; it cannot fit nicely into our box. Nonetheless, here are the stanzas:

“ ‘Blessed by the givers!’ A guest has come in,
where is he going to sit?
He’s in great hast, the one who by the log-stack
is going to try his luck.

“Fire is needed for someone who’s come in
and who’s chilled to the knee;
food and clothing are necessary for the man
who’s journeyed over the mountains.

“Water is needful for someone who comes to meal,
a towel and a warm welcome,
a friendly disposition, if he could get it,
speech and silence in return.” (13.)

A guest ought to be brought in, warmed up with fire, given towels and clothes, provided with water and a meal, and given a friendly welcome and stay. When considering the theme of gluttony in the Prose Edda, these were the many of the other expectations that were intermixed with the importance of sharing in food. The Æsir had to be proper hosts for Hrungnir, after all, despite his poor behavior. Considering this list, though, food actually plays a far less significant role in this custom; gluttony, on the other hand, is solely fixated on food. The theme of food is present within this guest-host norm, but it is not central.

So what made Hrungnir a poor guest in terms of consumption? We know that he was insulting and unkind to his gracious hosts, but there was still the concern of his excessive consumption. His consumption habits also had far more to do with alcohol than with food. The Hávamál has much to say about consuming too much alcohol:

“No better burden a man bears on the road
than a store of common sense;
no worse journey-provision could he carry over the plain
than over-much drinking of ale.”

“It isn’t as good as it’s said to be,
ale, for the sons of men;
for the more a man drinks, the less he knows
about his own mind.”

“The forgetfulness-heron it’s called
who hovers over ale-drinking;
he steal’s a man’s mind;
with the bird’s feathers I was fettered
in the court of Gunnlod.”

“Drunk I was, I was more than drunk
at wise Fialar’s;
that’s the best about ale-drinking that afterwards
every man gets his mind back again.” (14.)

It is important to mention that these stanzas do not morally condemn those who drink too excessively. Rather, these lines carry the tone of guidance for a wise man to avoid being a foolish one; the emphasis is always on the mind. It is about what is ‘logical’ behavior and what will bring a man greater struggle and hardship. This is quite different from the Christianized theme of gluttony that western society holds today, which is generally rooted in morality and religious failure. Yet, this does not mean that a Christian author (or reader) would not have drawn a parallel between these stanzas and the theme of gluttony.

There is something to be said about food in particular as well, which is rather peculiar since drinking is often the focus, not food; there is much less concern about food, for there are many more stanzas about excessive drinking than there are about the excessive consumption of food. The Hávamál, however, does have something to say about food, although nothing very concrete. Here are the examples:

“The greedy man, unless he guards against this tendency,
will eat himself into lifelong trouble;
often when he comes among the wise,
the foolish man’s stomach is laughed at.”

“Cattle know when they ought to go home,
and then they leave the pasture;
but the foolish man never figures
the measure of his own stomach.” (15.)

These are, perhaps, the most convincing bits of ‘lore’ regarding actual gluttony in Norse mythology (at least out of those examined in this response). Here, Odin (although not actually Odin, but a poet using his ‘image’ to make a point) explicitly says that a man who consumes food to an excessive degree is “greedy.” Furthermore, there is a much more Christian-like tone to the words following that, saying that the man is greedy “unless he guards against this tendency.” That is, the tendency to eat too much. To say that this tendency is gluttony, though, is difficult. Is the poet condemning gluttony specifically here, or is the criticism still fixated on this man’s mind? Although the term ‘greedy’ alludes much more strongly to gluttony, the poem reverts back to ‘unwise’ and ‘foolish’. It is as if the poem briefly scraps the surface of gluttony, but then recedes back into the motif of Odin and his wisdom — from morality to sensibility. More context would be needed to make a definite conclusion (or another long discussion focusing on this specifically).


BRINGING EVERYTHING TOGETHER

Having looked at the Hávamál, then, we are forced to take a step back and bring all of this information together, especially since a lot of material and intricacies have been discussed. Overall, the traces of ‘gluttony’ in Norse mythology have a much stronger basis in social practices than Christian gluttony, which seems to be far more individualistic and self-reflective. In the examples above, themes of gluttony, or gluttony-like scenarios, are interwoven with social norms that relate to food consumption within society. The giant eagle’s ‘gluttony’ was more about an unfair and unbalanced deal; he was to be given a portion, but not to selfishly take whatever he pleased. Hrungnir was ‘gluttonous’ (although mostly in terms of drink), but it was truly his poor behavior after his excessive consumption that led to strife. In all of these tales from the lore, food was never quite the only problem.

In the end, it seems that Norse mythology does not contain the same notion of gluttony that we do today. Some of our medieval authors may have noticed some opportunities to insert the concept into the myths, but they have done surprisingly well at avoiding this. Snorri Sturluson, for example, did his best to remain neutral about the material he was presenting (with the exception, perhaps, being the Prologue). He also had a very specific purpose behind his work. Although we cannot say the same about the Poetic Edda, having an anonymous author and an unclear date of origin (for the poems themselves), that work still shows a similar theme of gluttony that is entangled within social practices and behavior.

To conclude, Norse mythology has a similar theme, but it is skillfully blended with related social norms; we cannot extract a wholly gluttonous scenario or tale. There are a few reasons for this, but it is most important to note that, when approaching material with a ‘non-native’ concept, we must take care not to impose this concept onto the material. The same applies for forcefully removing ‘foreign’ concepts from something that time has permitted to enter it. It is surprising to see that Christian authors like Snorri Sturluson had not imposed this view onto the material when committing it to pen, but less so when considering his motivation behind doing so. In perhaps an unsatisfying response, gluttony is not present within Norse mythology, at least not to the form that it exists within our minds today. Elements of gluttony, though, are present, but they are combined with rather specific social norms. To truly understand the mythology that has been presented to us, and the various concepts that dwell within it, we must carefully consider who wrote them and when they were written. Then, we must be carefully not to alter the lore to serve our own bias or tendencies (at least when speaking in terms of historical practice).

Thank you kindly for asking. I do apologize for the long-winded response, but there are many intricacies and complexities to address. Still, I hope you find something beneficial from reading this response, although it may not be exactly the answer you were looking for.

Með vinsemd og virðingu,
(With friendliness and respect,)
Fjörn


FOOTNOTES:
1. Snorri Sturluson, Edda, translated by Anthony Faulkes. (repr., 1987; London: J.M. Dent, 1995), xii. [Free online version
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid., xiii.
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid., xvii. “…take this book as scholarly inquiry and entertainment. But these stories are not to be consigned to oblivion or demonstrated to be false, so as to disprove poetry of ancient kennings which major poets have been happy to use. Yet Christian people must not believe in heathen gods, nor in the truth of this account in any other way than that in which it is presented at the beginning of this book, where it is told what happened when mankind went astray from the true faith…” (64-65).
6. Ibid., xviii.
7. Ibid., 32.
8. Ibid., 33.
9. Ibid., 37-38.
10. Ibid., 59-60.
11. Ibid., 77.
12. Carolyne Larrington trans., The Poetic Edda. (repr., 1996; Oxfrod: Oxford University Press, 2014), xii.
13. Ibid., 13. (Stanzas 2-4).
14. Ibid., 14-15. (Stanzas 11-14).
15. Ibid., 15. (Stanzas 20 and 21).


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anonymous asked:

Hi! c: thank you for existing. I was just wondering if you guys know any "holy grail" bts fics. For example EXO has; Absolute Chanyeol, Anterograde Tomorrow, 10800 etc. I was wondering if there were any not "must read" but a more deeper, heavier approach (could be depressing af, knowing anterograde) but just something of high quality, after reading ur left wondering the point in life. anyways i love you all and thank you for working so hard recommending <3 have a wonderful day :)

i think this compilation should have what you need. i know they’re must reads but they’re also plot heavy. you can also check out the tagpage for angst.

since im not 100% sure of what ur looking for when u say ‘holy grail’ fics here are some memorable psychological/angsty/deep fics that really stuck w me: 
- firework by markerlimes ; sugakookie
- the kickstart series by error401; yoonmin hitman au
- trying to behave (but you know that we never learned how) by christmasyoongi ; yoonmin, youtuber/prostitution au
- reprise by minverse; vmin reincarnation au
- a wonderful institution by bazooka; namjin wedding planner au
- loverboy by gangbay ; vminkook ; emotional manipulation au
- purple constellations by lili95276 ; taekook college au
- i’ll give you the sun by inkingbrushes ; break up make up au
- scentless flower by resonae ; yoonjin 
- all the king’s men by annafeu ; vmin and jikook ; historical au
- a procession of seasons by shikae ; yoonseok high school au
- wonder by wordcouture ; jikook apocalypse au; warning for char death

- admin nissi 

In thinking about colonialism as a form of structured dispossession, I have found it useful to return to a cluster of insights developed by Karl Marx in chapters 26 through 32 of his first volume of Capital. This section of Capital is crucial because it is there that Marx most thoroughly links the totalizing power of capital with that of colonialism by way of his theory of “primitive accumulation.” Challenging the idyllic portrayal of capitalism’s origins by economists like Adam Smith, Marx’s chapters on primitive accumulation highlight the gruesomely violent nature of the transition from feudal to capitalist social relations in western Europe (with an emphasis placed on England). Marx’s historical excavation of the birth of the capitalist mode of production identifies a host of colonial-like state practices that served to violently strip–through “conquest, enslavement, robbery, murder”–noncapitalist producers, communities, and societies from their means of production and subsistence. In Capital these formative acts of violent dispossession set the stage for the emergence of capitalist accumulation and the reproduction of capitalist relations of production by tearing Indigenous societies, peasants, and other small-scale, self-sufficient agricultural producers from the source of their livelihood–the land. It was this horrific process that established the two necessary preconditions underwriting the capital relation itself: it forcefully opened up what were once collectively held territories and resources to privatization (dispossession and enclosure), which, over time, came to produce a “class” of workers compelled to enter the exploitative realm of the labor market for their survival (proletarianization). The historical process of primitive accumulation thus refers to the violent transformation of noncapitalist forms of life into capitalist ones.
—  Glen Sean Coulthard, “Introduction,” Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition
6

Happy birthday to Buckminster Fuller! The writer and designer who advocated for “the total use of total technology for total population” was born July 12, 1895, in Milton, Massachusetts.

Fuller had a long relationship with Time Inc. that officially began in 1938 with his joining the staff of Fortune, although a 1932 letter to R.M. Ingersoll shows that he’d been in conversation with the magazine several years earlier as well. In 1968, Fuller was planning the premiere of his World Game. The “game” was to be a large scale simulation in which participants would cooperate to solve global problems. 

In a letter to Time Inc. editor in chief Hedley Donovan, Fuller explained his offer for the publishing company to report on the inception and eventually on the playing of the World Game. One of the reasons why he felt Time Inc. should take him up on the offer shows his characteristic zeal:

“I am confident that the computerized world game playing will become an ever more effective instrument in bringing about all humanity’s educational reorientations and thoughtful dispositions.”



Time. R. Buckminster Fuller. January 10, 1964. Time Inc. Records. New-York Historical Society.

Buckminster Fuller. Letter to R. M. Ingersoll. August 29, 1932. Time Inc. Records: Bio files. New-York Historical Society.

Buckminster Fuller. Letter to Hedley Donovan. June 10, 1968. Time Inc. Records: Donovan: Subject Files. New-York Historical Society.

Life. “The View from the Year 2000″ February 26, 1971. Time Inc. Records: Bio files. New-York Historical Society.

Processing of the Time Inc. Archive is made possible through the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation.