October 2017: Mac

“ROSS
And Duncan's horses--a thing most strange and certain--
Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,
Turn'd wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,
Contending 'gainst obedience, as they would make
War with mankind.

OLD MAN
'Tis said they eat each other.

ROSS
They did so, to the amazement of mine eyes
That look'd upon't. Here comes the good Macduff.”

William Shakespeare, Macbeth - ~1606

This is the only one this month that isn't the opening paragraph...this is from a few scenes in, but I'm using it because I don't think people talk enough about this scene from Macbeth...this is pretty big, though. Duncan, a good and just king, was murdered, and his death was such a crime that his horses ate each other.

October 2017: Drac'

“3 May. Bistritz.—Left Munich at 8:35 p. m. on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late. Buda-Pesth seems a wonderful place, from the glimpse which I got of it from the train and the little I could walk through the streets. I feared to go very far from the station, as we arrived late and would start as near the correct time as possible. The impression I had was that we were leaving the West and entering the East; the most western of splendid bridges over the Danube, which is here of noble width and depth, took us among the traditions of Turkish rule.”

Bram Stoker, Dracula - 1897

One of my favorite pop culture whatsits is to refer to any vampire as a dracula. As in, "I was bit by a dracula," "My boyfriend is a dracula," or "We elected a dracula president, but she's still an improvement over the hair-orange."

October 2017: Chamber (2)

“Along the shore the cloud waves break,
The twin suns sink beneath the lake,
The shadows lengthen
   In Carcosa.

Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies
But stranger still is
   Lost Carcosa.

Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King,

Must die unheard in
   Dim Carcosa.

Song of my soul, my voice is dead;
Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
Shall dry and die in
   Lost Carcosa.

Cassilda's Song in "The King in Yellow," Act i, Scene 2.”

Robert Chambers, Cassilda’s Song - 1895

This is neither the first nor last time Mr. Chambers will appear this month....

October 2017: Poe, Doyle

Missed yesterday's update, so enjoy a double tap (in Zombieland parlance):

 

“During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was—but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit.”

Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher - 1839


“Holmes had read carefully a note which the last post had brought him. Then, with the dry chuckle which was his nearest approach to a laugh, he tossed it over to me. "For a mixture of the modern and the mediaeval, of the practical and of the wildly fanciful, I think this is surely the limit," said he. 'What do you make of it, Watson?'"

Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire - 1924

 

October 2017: Signs

“There are so many things which are impossible to explain! Why should certain chords in music make me think of the brown and golden tints of autumn foliage? Why should the Mass of Sainte Cécile bend my thoughts wandering among caverns whose walls blaze with ragged masses of virgin silver? What was it in the roar and turmoil of Broadway at six o'clock that flashed before my eyes the picture of a still Breton forest where sunlight filtered through spring foliage and Sylvia bent, half curiously, half tenderly, over a small green lizard, murmuring: 'To think that this also is a little ward of God!'”

Robert Chambers, The Yellow Sign - 1895

Trivia: the first edition of The King in Yellow, Chambers' collection of stories which gave us the character of that name, bore a lizard insignia. Many people assumed this was the Yellow Sign of this story's title, but it was, in fact, the publisher's mark and was found in all of their books in that era.