Monday, July 20, 2009

A coincidence, really

Hans Memling (Memlinc), Netherlandish, c. 1430 – 1494
Oil on wood, 31,6 x 24,4 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington
[Image discovered here]

Early in the current tale a very wicked prince ("very wicked" = sadistic torturer) meets his end at the hands of a lone assassin, the brother of a prior victim. This creates the power vacuum leading to the civil war that is the context and primary story line of the current volume in the chronicles.

As the story has progressed, a very virtuous princess (the aforementioned prince's sister who takes after their beloved mother and not their reviled father) is nearing both her rivals for the throne. Tonight I thought it was time for an attempt on her life and came up with the scene in which it happens (not written yet, still in my imagination). And then it hit me: this happens in the same town where her brother was killed, though her would-be assassin has no link with the previous assassin. Both are lone wolves. I am assuming my subconscious knew it was the same town.

This coincidence also provided the solution to how a prop to this event came to be in place.

This also involves family ties in three groups: the princess and her late brother; the poisoner who is close to a son of the baronial house that is married to the sister of another claimant to the throne; and a daughter-in-law of the baronial house whose brother has been a hostage of the princess' husband for the past four years. Aside from the invention this evening of a poisoner, all the rest is there in the maps and genealogies, established long before I got to this scene.

I find things like this fascinating.

Oh, and yes: there will be a chalice, poison, and a serpent. Holy John the Evangelist, pray for us all! **

And now to bed. I am tired. (Plotting death can take the starch out of one, don't you know?)

Sweet dreams, my wiggly worms!

--the BB

** Early Christian art usually represents St. John with an eagle, symbolizing the heights to which he rises in the first chapter of his Gospel. The chalice as symbolic of St. John, which, according to some authorities, was not adopted until the thirteenth century, is sometimes interpreted with reference to the Last Supper, again as connected with the legend according to which St. John was handed a cup of poisoned wine, from which, at his blessing, the poison rose in the shape of a serpent. Perhaps the most natural explanation is to be found in the words of Christ to John and James "My chalice indeed you shall drink" (Matthew 20:23). [New Advent: Catholic Encyclopedia]

1 comment:

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Startling picture indeed!