Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

genero81

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I have also found some of the language used to describe the sexual acts and body parts off putting. I can imagine that these may have been titillatingly naughty in the historical period being discussed and amongst the class of people in the stories. These days I associate the terms with derogatory vulgarity that I find difficult to reconcile with something that is supposed to be unifyingly beautiful and a fundamentally creative force - not quite to the degree of the kind of puratinism that judges others where the parties are consenting adults, just more that I personally I would be put off by the language. I realise that while doable, classical conditioning can be a biatch to unravel. At this stage of my life, I'm not sure that working on that particular element is necessary.

I kind of agree and feel similar. It's still far less of a turn off than the often rushed sex scenes almost inevitably thrown into a show or movie, but still it seems unnecessarily explicit at times. I'm back to reading Balogh and she doesn't really do that. I just really like the emotional drama, especially the desire it creates for connection, for a true romantic, heart felt, all in connection with a special other. The heated sexual encounters play into that but some of the authors seem like they are trying to rev up the spiciness level to sell books.

Or maybe I'm really just a prude. (quite possibly)
 

John G

The Living Force
OK I guess I could do this since my local library does do the e-book option and my wife would agree I'm sure that I need something in this area though this might not be what she would have in mind exactly. We do watch Hallmark and Hallmark-like romantic movies together and the one we saw recently was based on a Harlequin novel but there's zero sex in these things. The only time I've read something with a sex scene was actually an excerpt from a novel in the process of being written sent to me by the author (a college professor); it was the Mabinogion being placed in a futuristic setting. I wrote her back describing the experience of reading the excerpt and she wrote back something along the lines of may your self combine back together in a better way (it was actually much more poetic than that but I don't remember the exact words).

One problem I have relates to not being able to get things to work on my wedding night. I eventually figured out I had to fantasize just like when doing it solo and it's just always seemed wrong doing that (and it was very wrong on one particular day). Another problem probably relates to me being way too shy in general (bad for job interviews too). I spent every day for two and a half years in high school expecting to talk to the girl I liked but much like Charlie Brown and the red-headed girl, it didn't happen. In college, I decided to write to the girl I liked since I couldn't talk and I still couldn't talk when her friends pushed her into me (apparently they must have liked the letter though!). I was finally saved by the internet where letter writing was more real time. I dated three girls via the internet, the third being my wife.
 

Mariama

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
It's still far less of a turn off than the often rushed sex scenes almost inevitably thrown into a show or movie, but still it seems unnecessarily explicit at times. I'm back to reading Balogh and she doesn't really do that. I just really like the emotional drama, especially the desire it creates for connection, for a true romantic, heart felt, all in connection with a special other. The heated sexual encounters play into that but some of the authors seem like they are trying to rev up the spiciness level to sell books.
I agree. That's why I think Mary Balogh's "The Huxtable Quintet" is even better than Anne Gracie's "Marriage of Convenience" series. As you say the sexual encounters are still heated, but put on the back burner, which leaves room for the imagination. The story is more focused on two people getting over themselves for the sake of others, not just for their partner, but for their families too.
Also, there is a focus on romance, one of the male main characters comes up with romantic evenings, no sex allowed, which I thought was so nice! And in another Huxtable book the male character abstains from sex, because it feels wrong (after paying for her services, he discovers there is a small child in the house) and focuses on friendship with the lady instead, while still making sure she can take care of herself and her loved ones.
I really love these scenes in all of these romantic novels where the main characters just talk, get to know each other, laugh together, dare to be silly and overcome their misguided ideas of the (prospective) romantic partner and themselves (like not being good-looking enough, feeling too responsible at the expense of one's own happiness etc.) with the help of others. It is very uplifting and encouraging, even though I was at first resisting the lessons of "The Huxtable Quintet".

That said, all these sex scenes are becoming less loaded for me, I am becoming more 'immune' to them while I am beginning to understand why that strong sexual attraction helps the characters form a bond and develop the incentive to work out the issues at hand as Laura said. So, in that sense I don't mind them, because they serve a purpose, although they are spicy, even graphic at times.

Jordan Peterson said that one is lucky if one is sexually attracted to his/her partner and that it needs work to keep the attraction going. He knows what he is talking about, because after a 30 year marriage he is still 'extremely' attracted to his wife!

P.S. Perhaps this article explains (partly) what we are doing here:
So reading is not merely a diversion or distraction from present pain; it is also an enlarging of our universe, our sympathies, wisdom and experience. The act of entering into the consciousness of another being, another sex, or sexual preference, social group, political outlook or religious persuasion, allows a respite from private and parochial preoccupations. That widening of our concerns may entail entering another location, or period in history - or an arena of which we would otherwise be ignorant. Education, as people are never tired of repeating, is a process of leading out, which suggests another benefit: that in being led by reading into previously unknown territory, we learn.

Edit: clarity I hope
 

Arwenn

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I’m reading The Wave Ch 28 Part 2, and came across this part which puts into perspective the notion of romantic love between spiritually inclined men and women (& why it’s so important). I think I now better understand why it is imperative to normalise relations between men and women, and hence the importance of this project to shape a new reality (emphases mine):

In reading Women Who Love Psychopaths, I realized that the things that a psychopath does, the things that work in baiting, capturing, and bonding women are obviously caricatures of things that ought to be manifested in positive ways. For example: a psychopath may use his eyes and words to entrance and bait a woman to his bed where he “bonds” with her via “super sex.” He uses tender, romantic words, gestures, promises, etc.

On the other hand, normal guys (and I’ll talk about guys here since most psychopaths are male) generally do not feel comfortable gazing into the eyes of their beloved, speaking romantic words, performing wildly romantic gestures and certainly, most men are sexually inhibited or downright juvenile in their sexual behavior. They also do not see sex as it ought to be seen, as one of the best opportunities for giving they have in their daily lives.

But a psychopath observes his prey, does all the things that he has learned will capture her, and then he bends her to his evil will.

Why don’t normal men observe their intended — not as prey, but as the object of devotion and giving? Why don’t they learn everything about her, what she is, what she wants, what she needs, and then give it to her as an act of love?

Well, that’s one thing that occurs to me. And the reason I bring it up is, as I said, because the interaction between the psychopath and his prey is a caricature of what seems to be an STO practice of great antiquity that we have completely lost. I think that what psychopaths do is a caricature of what normal love between spiritual people might be like, how we evolved to interact with one another emotionally. Why do I think this? Because it seems to be similar to what happens in the process of neurochemical binding.

In short, it seems to me that what psychopaths do works because they have observed women and know what to do to lure and capture them. And this works because these women have a certain “something” inside them that is looking for a real love and they mistake the caricature for the real because they are ignorant of the facts of psychopathy. They don’t realize that they have “spiritual love binding sites” that can be bound by a “drug” (i.e., the psychopath) which does not act in the way the real neurochemical would act (i.e., the true spiritual love from a man who can give and receive true love).

This idea raises a lot of issues, not the least of which is what genuinely spiritual men need to do to get over their hang-ups and learn to give on all levels: mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually; and women who need to learn how to distinguish the true from the false.

Returning now to the benefits of having this knowledge and acting on it, by acting based on the subtle clues in her environment, including her own body, the shaman’s ability to see grows as well. And when her ability to see increases, she is better able to make choices, based on seeing the unseen, that act in a beneficial way for the entire STO polarity. The more the shaman exercises free will and ensures the freedom of will of others, the more available the energy of free will becomes to the entire planet. And this has a huge implication: the more free will is available, the more the STS domination will naturally decrease. The fewer people who are available for feeding, the less the STS orientation can grow.
 

987baz

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I've just finished the SOS series by Anna Campbell. I didn't have any major reactions to the books, they were enjoyable enough to read, and took me to a nice place away from this crazy world. There may also be some subconscious stuff going on that I am not aware of too, something I find likely actually, as I have been having more dreams and It feels like this yearning for love as it were, has grown stronger in me since beginning the readings.

I guess the main reaction I did have to the characters was that of frustration, sounds a bit weird I know, but I think it was because, being the reader, you can tell that the various couples love each other and all the drama they go through could be avoided if they would just be honest with each other and admit their feelings. Having said that I understand that without this, there would be no book as that is what the books are about.

I think this might relate to, as I have posted earlier in the thread, that I am maybe too open and honest with my feelings and prefer to skip the drama and just be open. Maybe (as I am learning atm) this "drama" needs to happen so both parties can learn to trust each other, it's part of the building process, and you can't just skip ahead, trust must be earned through experience and action.



On the other hand, normal guys (and I'll talk about guys here since most psychopaths are male) generally do not feel comfortable gazing into the eyes of their beloved, speaking romantic words, performing wildly romantic gestures and certainly, most men are sexually inhibited or downright juvenile in their sexual behavior. They also do not see sex as it ought to be seen, as one of the best opportunities for GIVING they have in their daily lives.

Interestingly, I have the opposite reaction to this. I don't have any dramas with these things, in fact, it feels natural for me to look deeply into my gf's eyes and be romantic, as I enjoy this, I value love and after previous experience made a vow to myself to always show the ther person how much they mean to me. And as far as my experience goes, woman don't seem to respond too well to it. From my experience, they do like it, but prefer to be physically wanted. To be fair, maybe this is because the way they have been treated in previous relationships, and they expect that from men. Again, I think it's about balance, there needs to be both!!
Speaking of the physical act itself, I have realized that I have been too focused on her needs rather than my own when it comes to it, where as if I were more focused on myself, she would feel more wanted/desired?! it's a fine line, and for me it's also about being able to let go and be in the moment physically, without being too much in my own head trying to please.

Why don't they learn everything about her, what she is, what she wants, what she needs, and then give it to her as an act of love?
and this is what I was just talking about, learning to give her what she wants, not what I think she wants!! BIG DIFFERENCE!! Giving and receiving are equally important! Losing control and being in total desire makes the other feel that they are desired! well that's what I am thinking at the moment?

anyway, just some thoughts that have surfaced while reading this thread, the books, and just contemplating complimentarity.

I've started the Courting Julia book and intend to read this series and then try another author.

I want to share it here because it is a very romantic one where you can feel: love, desire, respect, and friendship between this couple. The title of this painting is "The meeting of the Turret Stairs" by Frederick William Burton. The story of this painting is

Thanks Loreta! I've been looking for art that has these qualities for a while now! Nice to have a reminder on your walls (I am planning on getting them printed and framed). If you or anyone else have anymore suggestions please let me know :)
 

Anthony

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I took a break from reading the Mackenzie series, I don't think I can read 16 books by the same author without something in between, and since the Mackenzie series deal with brothers (mostly) and their relationships, I've picked up Merridew series by Anne Gracie to bring some balance, since this one is about young sisters and not tall muscular Scotsmen in kilts :-).

The first book in Merridew series, The Perfect Rake was ok. The refreshing thing that Gracie brings is a lot of humor, I've had a few laughing fits and had to put the book down, it's much better than modern sitcoms of comedies in that regard. So there's humor, but then there's also a dark undertone running through the book. As one of the characters says in the book, life isn't all humor, but then it also isn't all darkness either.

A few spoilers ahead:

The hero is like a modern day pickup artists who changes his ways after falling for the heroine, and reveals that there's more to him than being just a seducer, he's also protective, caring, thoughtful, patient and brave. He's also the only person who doesn't make fun of the heroin for her looks, whereas others see her as plain looking or worse, he thinks the opposite. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as the saying goes.

All in all, it's a sweet story, interspersed with tragedy. So far I don't think it's as insightful and hard-hitting as books by Mary Balogh or Jennifer Ashley, but that might change as I read more of the series.
 

Color

Jedi Council Member
This touches on one resistance I am feeling towards the reading project even though I'm continuing for the other reasons that this thread has highlighted. I have engaged in sex first based on mutual attraction on a number of occasions and tried to build relationship from there which were grand failures. That could have much to do with the kind of relationship that I find attracting, or it could be more about a pathological idealism and self calming developed to counter experiences of violence, catastrophism, toxic control and jealousy to the degree that I could be either totally blind to red flags in those area's, or sweep them under the rug where attraction was involved. In any case, I'd pretty much decided that sex first was going to be a no-no for me.

I did many mistakes in my life, but one thing I did properly, I had my first sexual experience with my boyfriend after six months of the relationship. After him, I learned instantly how sex is not a tool for healing the broken heart. Then I learned how sexual energy is the powerful, creative, neutral force and it is up to a person what they will do with it; if they will use it as a way of getting some relief from the anger and frustrations boiling inside of them, as a way of manipulation and achieving other agendas, or as a way to show the loved one how he/she is desired with all of our heart, body & mind and accepted fully.

I believe many people here on the forum (including me) share your type of experiences and have come to similar conclusions, at some point in their lives. I put pauses on my sexual life a few times: 3y, 4y, and the last one of 7y, but for a different reason, I loved my partners with all of my heart (as messed up as it was) and went ahead full strength, completely invested in the relationship and when it didn't work out - it took a lot of time for me to 'recover'. I had so much to analyze, within me, and to work on it that years just passed by, unnoticed. Until a new 'right one' came along. :-D

For me, it was the right way, I was never cynical or shy in the matters of the heart, I wanted to feel it all and I was not afraid of the risks. Except for two guys who turned out to be seriously messed up (I wrote about them in a pizzagate thread) all of my partners were really good guys and I cherish each one of those experiences, no matter how they ended. Also, some of them were badly hurt by 'bad girls' before we met and my love helped them to heal, my current partner made a joke how I was preparing them for a family life cause most of them got married right after me and are still with their wives, in good marriages. They contact me, from time to time, and tell me they are grateful for the way I loved them. It changed them, showed them a different way of being. That is the power of Love.

Still, as a nature and animal lover, I find it hard to be as cynical about sex as I'm perceiving Neil to be because everywhere you look, everything is doing it in it's own way and time and very little of beauty would be here without it. And nature makes no attempt to hide it - spend any time on a farm at all and sex right there in the open along with new life and death.



I had pretty much decided that for the rest of this life, sex is out for me.

I made that firm decision 7y ago and was at peace with it. I had enough experiences and decided how if I can't find a man who can give back what I'm ready to give, then it was not worth it. Of course, that decision was also provoked by my inability to find a man who would be a better fit than my previous partners. As you get older you learn more about what truly matters to you and those things are not to be compromised upon.

So the decision may not be permanent.

When this whole Corona charade started I realized we are finally on the fast-moving train and how things will never be the same. The more I was thinking about it, the state of this world, and the Wave and what is next to come, the more I became aware of one last desire of my heart. I was at peace with everything else, no regrets, but suddenly I felt sad how I will not get to experience sharing my 3D life with the 'One'. I tried to brush it away, to rationalize it, but the longing was still there, stronger than ever. So, I finally said to God, the Universe - 'Listen, I know it may be delusional but I will ask for it anyway: Please, please, if there is a man who is perfect for me, living on this planet right now, please send him to me! I want to love him!!! Thank you!'

A couple of months later he showed up, in the most unexpected way. We were both quite skeptical about each other, but one thing led to another and soon we just put all of our guards down and started a relationship. Now, after 7 weeks of it, I am as happy as a puppy, I am waking up each day wondering how is it even possible, to feel this overwhelming joy and beauty he brought into my world? How is it possible to love someone so much and, finally, to feel fully loved? Sure, we are facing many challenges, old wounds are popping up and we have to deal with them but this time - we do it together, being completely honest about it. It's scary and it gets 'too real' sometimes but so far we overcame all the obstacles. I was, in a way, living through what some of these novels are describing and still am, transferred into this messed up 2020 life on Earth. It didn't start for us with sex but sex IS an important part of it, together with everything else, it ALL matters.

So, I guess miracles do happen, after all... 🥰
 

thorbiorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I guess the main reaction I did have to the characters was that of frustration, sounds a bit weird I know, but I think it was because, being the reader, you can tell that the various couples love each other and all the drama they go through could be avoided if they would just be honest with each other and admit their feelings. Having said that I understand that without this, there would be no book as that is what the books are about.
Not only no book, but also in several cases the surrounding blockages and trauma would not have a chance to be worked out. Besides, there are also other characters that need their due for balance to be achieved.

Thinking about different types of literary characters, I decided to look it up and On Novel Writing Help there was:
In order of importance, there are four main types of character…
  1. The Protagonist
  2. Other Major Characters
  3. Minor Characters
  4. Extras
Skipping the protagonist, this is what they write about "Other Major Characters" and "Minor Characters":
Like I said, major characters can be virtually indistinguishable from the protagonist…
  • They will receive a large amount of “screen time”.
  • They will possibly be the Viewpoint Character for significant chunks of the story. That is, they will have chapters of their own to be the narrator.
  • And they will most likely have their own subplot.
The overall story will be “about” the protagonist. But the subplots, each of which should have a bearing on the main plot, will be “about” one or other of the major characters.

What do I mean by a story or a plot being “about” a character?

If a plot consists of a character struggling against some form of opposition to achieve a specific goal, the character with the goal is the one the plot is “about”…
  • The novel’s central plot will be about the protagonist.
  • The subplots – which should be closely related to the main plot, weaving their way in and out of it – will be about the major characters.
Needless to say, each of your major characters should receive virtually as much care and attention during the planning process as your protagonist.
And minor characters?
Minors are the exact opposite of major characters…
  • They will receive very little “screen time” and are unlikely to be a viewpoint character.
  • They won’t have their own subplots. At least not a subplot of any great length or significance.
  • Their appearances in the novel will be brief and infrequent. Although that doesn’t mean that they can’t shine whenever they are in the spotlight.
Minors are essentially two-dimensional stereotypes, or flat characters. So there’s no need to spend much time fleshing them out on paper before you begin to write.

A few broad brushstrokes will be all you need.
I've started the Courting Julia book and intend to read this series and then try another author.
I enjoyed paying attention to the major and minor characters in this trilogy, where some change from having minor and major roles to become protagonists. In Courting Julia, Freddie may be a major character, but in Dancing with Clara, Freddie is a protagonist, while we are introduced to Harriet and Lord Archibald Vinney, who later become protagonists in Tempting Harriet.

If some of the protagonists of these stories are out of league compared to what we encounter in everyday life, then what about the lesser characters? A few are unsung heroes and heroines, others show simple everyday acts of good deeds we often can find around us if we dare to appreciate good efforts. In Tempting Harriet, there are characters that through the tension between Harriet and Archibald find a resolution of their own issues. Without giving spoilers, what development takes place for Lady Phyllis Reeder or the grandmother of Lord Archibald? What is the importance of the qualities and life experience of Lady Sophia Davenport? On a different note, I wondered if Mary Balogh, who was born in Wales in the UK would have been able to draw up Lady Sophia as she has, had she not possessed a generous dose of British humor. I'm not British, but I honestly doubt it would be possible.
 

genero81

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
In all seriousness, I don't think I have the emotional warmth that a potential partner would need. I could be wrong, but I can't really picture myself in a relationship when it comes to day to day living. The primary hurdle that even blocks the attempt is trying to discern someone with the correct receivership capacity to even try. So yes, I've given up on any possibility of romance for the foreseeable future, but I can still visualize it in a more generalized way.

I think it's good you're participating in this project. It seems to me you've retreated into your head and the 'safety' of your intellectual prowess a long time ago. When we consider what the C's qualified for 'graduation' (i.e. karmic and simple understandings) I would not be too confident in leading from the head. I would suggest that trying to pre-screen potential partners is only going to succeed in depriving you of success in that area. You know how to live through your head, try learning to live through your heart or at least make a conscious effort to connect the two.

Yes, keep reading and try different authors. I'm not even going to suggest you stop trying to intellectualize the experience. I'm not sure that's an option just yet.
 

Gandalf

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
I have read 2 series so far.

Although these may seem like quite superficial things, I thought that they weren't necessarily a waste of time, since it seems to be a way for me to outwardly align with the values and ideals laid out in the books.

Not only align but I would also say cure some old stuff inside.

And I have to say that a couple of books have brought tears to my eyes too.
 

ryu

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
In all seriousness, I don't think I have the emotional warmth that a potential partner would need. I could be wrong, but I can't really picture myself in a relationship when it comes to day to day living. The primary hurdle that even blocks the attempt is trying to discern someone with the correct receivership capacity to even try. So yes, I've given up on any possibility of romance for the foreseeable future, but I can still visualize it in a more generalized way.
I don't think emotional warmth would be a problem. Even if you're the ice king type of man, people like you tend to respond very positively to being loved for who they are, at least from my experience.

Try to be more gentle with yourself. I am not telling you to give way to your base instincts and go rampaging thanks to Tinder, grinder and cie., but to try to connect more emotionaly to people, without expecting anything, just for the joy of meeting someone. You may make a few new friends, learn new things, and who know? Maybe you'll stumble on Miss or M. Right. People show rarely their true self upon first meeting, and it's a great privilege to have someone who trust you enough to be their true selves in your company. Try to be that person.

Our society is filled with contradictory demands to men and women. Whatever you do, whoever you are it's not okay, it's not enough. It's normal that within such a context, many young and less young people decide to opt out of the dating business. But other people lifes and experiences are theirs, that doesn't have to be yours. Love is the rarest thing in this realm, yes, but we are still able to connect to it. What I mean is, give yourself a chance.

PS: If I may: As for you not being spicy and "initiated".... Let me tell you: if half of what men brag about was true, and if women were so satisfied with what's going on in the bedroom ( awesome sex, 7th Heaven kind of stuff... These books we are reading, they wouldn't sell so well !!!!
 
Last edited:

jess

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I have read 2 series so far.



Not only align but I would also say cure some old stuff inside.

And I have to say that a couple of books have brought tears to my eyes too.

I have only read a quarter of one of the books (“The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie”) and although I could honestly say that I had hardly ever read romance novels. I had a strong feeling, in that first part of the book that relates the circumstances when two people meet and feel a strong bond in a natural way

This brought to my memory when I was in my 20s, most of the casual relationships with which I was linked to men to whom there was some chemical spark of attraction, it was very strong I felt very strange, because I began to feel very hot in many senses, a very subtle pain in the head and lungs, I could not sleep in the following hours and ended up feeling that tingling sensation in the lower area of the body again, meditating on those relationships with men that left a memory in me body, shortly before going to sleep some questions arose that even made me wonder if it is really possible to find a man with whom a person can have that strong connection without any predetermination of thought, (or if it is too innocent to think that there is a soul with a strong bond or soul mate for all people)
I also wondered exactly if that fluid body heat could in some sense heal.

really thanks,
 

thorbiorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
[...] thought this was an interesting opinion!

[...]

As the poem excerpt;

She sat in her bower, with eyes of flame,
(My sorrow is known to God alone.)
Bending over the broidery frame,
(And oh there liveth none to whom my sorrow may be told.)..
A comment on the story behind the painting of the knight and the lady in the stairs turret tower
I enjoyed the comments and the article you referred to. As I read them, I thought about the efforts to find the oldest available story, because some of the modern interpretations I have difficulties finding in the original, but then again, while some newer reduced versions seem too limited, the "original" does not necessarily contain all there is to be said about the archetypical content of the story. Perhaps one could compare it to visual art as a tool of divination, as seen most famously in the cards of Tarot that can inspire a sensitive mind familiar with their overall significance to access information specific to a situation in question. Did William Burton go through a similar process before deciding on the choice and interpretation of the motive in his painting?
Had immediately brought to mind a favourite 'C's statement;
That was a nice find and the continuation actually is relevant too.
More from the C's on the knight and the lady
Q: (Mr. Scott) What's a bower? (L) I don't know. A bower is... (Ark) German? The builder, yes? (L) Well, what I always heard of as a bower was a place in a garden where you had like a structure that flowers grew on and you had like little chairs and tables and you'd sit there and it was nice and pretty and pleasant. (Perceval points to tapestry behind on wall) (L) Well yeah that's like a bower. Is that the right idea for a bower on the picture behind me?

A: Yes. And the warrior on his knees aiming to please is also a part of the dynamic. After all, it is honorable to bow before the author of the force for good. You don't need the ruffles though. (laughter) Study fairy tales to discover.
Looking for the knight and the lady in fairy tales
In the original thread for this session I added a post that explores the link between fairy tales, knights and ladies. It mainly focuses is on The Faerie Queene by Edmound Spenser, published in Britain in the last decade of the 16th century, probably was not intended as reading for children. However, more than three hundred years later Olive Beaupre Miller, retold Una and the Red Cross Knight for children in her collection From the Tower Window of my Bookhouse p. 12-48 see archive link. On page 17 in this story, one finds an interesting passage, that in story form explains possible roles of the knight and the lady when they cooperate in union, and guided by wisdom.

"In this simple, rustic retreat Una and the Knight found no great entertainment, but rest was their feast and the evening passed in fair discourse, for that old man had store of pleasing words as smooth as glass. But when the drooping night came creeping on them fast, and weariness weighed down their lids, the Hermit led his guests each unto his several lodging and bestowed them there to sleep. Then to his study and magic books he went and sudden threw aside the holy Hermit's guise. For this old man, enwrapped in false hypocrisy and well appearing words, was none other than Ar-chi-ma'go, a magician foul, enemy to Gloriana, Queen of Faeryland, and foe of all things good. He knew full well upon what worthy quest the Red Cross Knight was bound, and hating above all things else to see good accomplished in the world, was well resolved to bring that quest to naught by means of wicked spells and foul enchantments that he knew. So long as all true holiness within the heart of that good knight in closest union stood with that sage wisdom and straightforward truth that shone from Una, none could withstand these two. Together they were invincible; apart, each could but wander uselessly without the other, and so Archimago was resolved first in his wicked plan to separate the two."

I think the last part in bold resonates nicely with the quote from the C's that @gnosisxsophia recalled. Here it is again:
A: A man draws his energy for battle from his "lady fair." When he has this energy, he is supposed to utilize it not only for battle, but also for "building the castle”. When there is any break in the chain, he not only loses his "battle energy" but also his castle. Why do you think the legends of the "grail" speak of these things? And also fairy stories? A true warrior cannot be strong against the enemy without the lady. The lady cannot provide the energy without the castle and the "bower" of love.
I looked up bower to understand the word still better:
Definition of bower [
(Entry 1 of 3) 1: an attractive dwelling or retreat 2: a lady's private apartment in a medieval hall or castle 3: a shelter (as in a garden) made with tree boughs or vines twined together : ARBOR
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Bower. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved September 25, 2020, from Definition of BOWER

The lady and the knight in The Faerie Queene in relation to Romantic fiction, Regency style.
The present selection of regency style romantic fiction that explore the relations between men and women as well as the healing of the souls of the characters involved is possibly a therapeutic approach to achieve some of the same ends, as certain people around 1600, at the end of the English renaissance, could get from reading, listening to and contemplating the meanings of The Faerie Queene. At least this is a hypothesis, because I can't imagine many people living today being engrossed in the tales of The Faerie Queene, just as the Regency style novels we read at the moment would not have passed the bar if someone would have attempted to publish them four hundred or even two hundred years ago. Different times have different styles.
 
Last edited:

Adaryn

The Living Force
Thanks Loreta! I've been looking for art that has these qualities for a while now! Nice to have a reminder on your walls (I am planning on getting them printed and framed). If you or anyone else have anymore suggestions please let me know :)

I have another one: "The Kiss" (1859), by Francesco Hayez, a French-Italian romantic painter. Absolutely gorgeous.

The Kiss.jpg

The background story of this painting is interesting:

After the defeat of Napoleonic France in the 19th century, the Congress of Vienna was held in 1815 to redraw the map of Europe. Italy had a very marginal role compared to other European countries and was slated to be divided into several states. Every state was either ruled directly by or strongly influenced by the Habsburgs of the Austrian Empire. This fragmentation went against the growing nationalist sentiment for Italy's unification and caused the creation of secret societies with democratic-radical orientations, like the Carboneria and Young Italy. Although these associations were unsuccessful, their role was fundamental in shaping public opinion.

The first war of Italian independence (1848) was a failure, but by 1859 the secret agreement between Napoleon III and Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour stipulated the formation of an anti-Austrian alliance. The contribution of France was considered crucial, as the Austrian armies were defeated by the alliance in the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia. This victory initiated the unification process: the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed a few years later, in 1861.

It was during this period that Francesco Hayez painted his Kiss. Mindful of the bloody repression of the nationalist movement, the artist decided to disguise the ideals of conspiracy and the struggle against the invaders under a representation of past events. Through the adoption of ambiguous, opaque communication schemes, the artist succeeded in effectively escaping the censorship measures implemented by the authorities.

(…)

The painting represents a couple from the Middle Ages, embracing while they kiss each other. It is among the most passionate and intense representations of a kiss in the history of Western art. The girl leans backwards, while the man bends his left leg so as to support her, simultaneously placing a foot on the step next to him as though poised to go at any moment. The couple, though at the center of the painting, are not recognizable, as Hayez wanted the action of the kissing to be at the center of the composition. In the left part of the canvas shadowy forms lurk in the corner to give an impression of conspiracy and danger.

This painting has been regarded as a symbol of Italian Romanticism, of which it encompasses many features. On a more superficial level, the painting is the representation of a passionate kiss, which puts itself in accordance with the principles of Romanticism. Therefore, it emphasizes deep feelings rather than rational thought, and presents a reinterpretation and reevaluation of the Middle Ages in a patriotic and nostalgic tone.[4]

On a deeper level, the painting symbolizes the romantic, nationalist and patriotic ideals of the Risorgimento; this interpretation is endorsed by several iconographic elements.

The imminent farewell between the lovers is suggested by the man’s foot temporarily resting on the step and the tight grasp with which his beloved is holding him. This represents both the necessity that he must leave whilst showing the danger of being a patriot. Other elements are the dagger hidden in the mantle, a sign of the imminent rebellion against the Habsburg invader, and the date of the painting (1859), the year of the second war of independence. However the most obvious allegory in the painting is its chromatic range, which summarizes the political changes that involved Italy in the 19th century. In the Brera version, the blue of the woman's dress and the bright red of the young man's tights allude to the colors in the French flag.

Hayez intended to pay tribute to the French nation, now allied with Italy. In the three subsequent versions the allegorical-patriotic connotations became even more obvious: in the 1861 version, the dress of the girl assumed a neutral white tone, as a tribute to the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy. In the fourth version, Italy manifests itself instead in the clothes of the man, who now wears a green cloak, symbolizing the Italian national banner.
 

SMM

The Living Force
I knocked off Sons of Sin Vol 3: What a Duke Dares. It became my new favorite. I don't want to spoil anything, but it seems the characters become more interesting and their problems become a bit deeper as the series goes on.

I'm reading the Sons of Sin series - a slow read. The 3rd and 4th are next for me, and I'm looking forward to it all the more after your post, @Scottie.

Yes, I experienced the 'Couldn't sleep until I finished it' with Volume 1, which is why I decided not to read Volume 2 before bed.

I've been so moved by 1 and 2, I'm finding it hard to believe you. I have to verify this for myself. :read:

Thank you for the heads up :-)
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom