In the first chapter of “Memoirs of Vanitas” Jun managed to introduce us to the universe of her new work. In this article I want to focus on vampires and their connection with the Moon.
It is worth noting that vampires were associated with the Moon even by the Greeks and Romans. This association is well established and developed with the passage of time. In the Middle Ages they believed that vampires gain
their greatest power with the full moon. Only the full moon vampires can turn other people into vampires. John Polidori in his story “Vampire”, published in 1919, admitted that if the sun’s rays are harmful to the vampire, the moon has to be life-giving. When the vampire Lord Ruthven was killed, his body exposed to the first cold beam of the moon, which revived him.
From the very first chapter we see that Jun also picked up the idea of the vampire connection with the Moon. We learn that vampires are born on the full moon. And on the night of the
crimson full moon. In turn, a vampire Vanitas was born on the night of a blue moon, and this day is a symbol of misfortune. Since I’m fond of the Moon and the phenomenas associated with it, I want to make something clear. Firstly, the title “blue moon” itself is not because of the optical effect, so it is not due to the change of the color of the moon, but because of the English idiom «Once in a Blue Moon». That is why the phenomenon of the second full moon in a calendar month
became known as
“blue moon”. This is really rare event which can be observed on average every 2.7154 year. By the way, it could be seen 07.31.2015.
But even more interesting is that there is a “blood moon”. And it is even more rare than the “blue moon”. This phenomenon is connected with a rare coincidence supermoon and a total lunar eclipse. Earth’s shadow has a reddish hue, so the Moon gives the reflected red light. This phenomenon has been called “blood moon”. It could be seen 09.28.2015, and the next will only happen in 2033.
Well, we can only wait for the next chapter to understand what meaning was invested by Jun in vampires connection with
“I hate the way you talk to me, and the way you cut your hair. I hate the way you drive my car. I hate it when you stare. I hate your big dumb combat boots, and the way you read my mind. I hate you so much it makes me sick; it even makes me rhyme. I hate it, I hate the way you’re always right. I hate it when you lie. I hate it when you make me laugh, even worse when you make me cry. I hate it when you’re not around, and the fact that you didn’t call. But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.”
the ending of merchant is horribly sad but the part that always gets me is portia’s “love speech” to bassanio
first: “you see me, lord bassanio, where i stand, such as i am” feels like a response to bassanio’s “so may the outward shows be least themselves” (the “indian beauty” line–is he talking about the casket or the woman?) she’s reassuring him, almost, of her truth, her trustworthiness, her honesty: there will be no lies between us
the pronoun switch in the middle, from first to third person. it’s a form of self-objectification
the use of exact numbers, “account,” “cost,” “gross”–speaking of herself in terms of money & economy
“unlesson’d girl, unschool’d, unpractised” P L E A S E
“once i was master o’er myself” she knows, or senses, exactly what bassanio’s really here for–her language reflects that. she’s melting and remolding herself, no longer portia but bassanio’s wife, a lady richly left
and the scary thing about it is that it’s hard to tell if she’s genuine or not–she has the same bland, submissive servility w/ morocco & arragon. the only difference is that with bassanio there’s no sly cruel daggers hidden behind her words, nothing whispered to nerissa behind his back, nothing left at all of the portia we have grown to know and love. and that’s terrifying, to see a woman of portia’s brilliance annihilating herself
to me it’s a speech of resignation. she may not love bassanio but she wants to, she wants it desperately, because if this is a comedy it’s out of her control, this is a story about a girl who meets the love of her life because he picks the lead casket and she gives him a ring
this is portia saying, i am going to become the person you want me to be. if this is going to be a comedy, then i have to be your heroine. it’s self-preservation