Saturday, December 30, 2006

Cynosure, Cool Art Links, and Thoughts on Stories I've Been Reading

Cynosure. I had no clue what this word meant. Maybe you do, but if you don't, here's the definition:
1. Something that strongly attracts attention by its brilliance, interest, etc.: the cynosure of all eyes.
2. Something serving for guidance or direction.

I think it's a cool word, I've come across it before, but only now have I finally looked it up. Maybe now that I blog about this word I will really remember it.

Art Stuff
Mariana has a couple of great art posts over at her blog. One post is about Rossetti, a Preraphaelite painter, she makes some fun observations... Another post is a collection of images, all beautiful still lifes.

Stories I've Been Reading
So I've been reading a lot more lately. I can't remember if I've already mentioned this. It's nice, but I'm so greedy, I just wish I could be running around doing stuff. I should be thankful I feel well enough to concentrate on reading, several months ago I would've given anything to be able to read consistently.

Now, I've always loved reading, but there's something a little too passive about it, I'd rather be experiencing life myself than having someone observe it for me. Well, not all writing can be reduced to that... but I'm sure you know what I mean. Especially given the context that I've experienced almost nothing beyond the confines of my room this past year, it's easier to understand why literature doesn't suffice. That said, it still does me good, it allows my mind to go to far away places and experience lots of random adventures (who'm I kidding, I don't need books for that, I have a bunch of peyote in my kitchen cupboard, always does the trick! not to mention all the hallucinations I experience that aren't even drug induced! What can I say, I'm blessed).

So, I've been reading lots of short stories. Been reading a lot of Edgar Allan Poe, and also lots of the French writer, Maupassant. I've really dug a lot of Poe's stories, some of my favorites include The Black Cat, Ligeia, Death Blow, A Mouse Killed My Ourang- Outang, The Pit and the Pendulum, Crack Smoking for Novices, and a range of other fascinating stories. Really cool stuff.

Maupassant is just as morbid as Poe, and really quite insane too. Let's see, the last story of Maupassant's that I read was pretty crazy. It was in the form of a diary. The diary is written by a prosecutor, he is a guy who spends his days sending murderers and rapists to prison or the gallows. But this prosecutor gets infatuated with the idea of what it must be like to kill someone, so he ends up killing a bunch of people to see what it's like. Uh, helloooooo, can you say psycho!? Unfortunately, the prosecutor's diary (in which he has meticulously detailed his crimes) is found only once he is dead, so he escapes earthly punishment for his psychotic deeds. Moral of the story: there's a lot of crazy bastards out there.

Hmmm, I wonder if my recent bouts of night terrors has anything to do with the fact that I'm reading stories like this right before going to bed... I need to start reading happy stuff.


Anonymous said...

You know, the worst period in my life for nightmares was while I was abroad. I got them constantly, but they weren't like creepy-crawly nightmares. Most of them involved people in my family dying. Others too, but those were the worst. I think for me a lot of it had to do less with the things I read and my general state of mind. I was unhappy at not being able to live a full life because I knew I was going to be uprooted and I was very lonely a lot of the time. I find I no longer have those nightmares.

I liked the Pit and the Pendulum a lot. As a kid, we had to read a lot of Poe since he was also from Baltimore.

Mariana said...

Thanks for the plug, buddy! Cynosure sounds like a port manteau of cyanide and closure. My favorite Allan Poe was Murder in Rue Morgue and Mask of the Red Death. *must look up Crack Smoking for Novices* Do you have the strength to go out at all, I don't mean going for a brisk walk or anything, but just standing outside for a few minutes, catching some sun rays?

Anonymous said...

Thoughts become things, kiddo, and junk in/junk out. Reading is an excellent discipline, howeva......


Sebastien Millon said...

Mr. Fabulous: Haha, my sister has some of those!

Lindenksv: Wow, those are seriously scary nightmares. I'm glad they've passed, I'm sure the difficult part was not only waking up from those dreams, but trying to fall asleep afterwards... I didn't know you grew up in Baltimore.

Mariana: Of course! Oh yeah, those stories are great, specially the Mask of the Red Death! Well, I can sometimes leave the house and go somewhere, but it tends to really tire me. Fortunately since it's been cooler I've been able to go outside a lot lately, and just read! So, sorry, didn't mean to make it sound so bad, but it's close to the truth, not as much now, but before I was very very very sick.

Saboma: Hey Saboma! I think most of the stories just interest from a psychological point of view, I don't particularly like the idea of murder or going crazy. I just feel that my illness pushed me very far mentally, and illness and death are things both those writers explore a lot. Those are two things I've had to face this past year, not death so much, but for a long time we didn't know what I had, thought it might've been a brain tumor or something...

Anonymous said...


People use this word in relation to me and my writing all the time.

It is my calling in life to inspire. At least that's what the fortune cookie said.

Cassandra said...

Since I quit smoking crack, I use reading as an escape. I loved to read as a kid, mainly mysteries back then.
Ok, I never quit smoking crack because I never started. Though I used to make some great special brownies. @^$%W^$%@&@$&%$# word verification!!!!

Happy New Year!!!

Anonymous said...

Only 358 Shopping days till xmas

Sebastien Millon said...

Bice: Haha, I bet they do! Fortune cookies never lie!

Babs: Smoking crack is the coolest! reading is totally the best, I just wish I could be doing more stuff... Well, I need to be patient and not go crazy.

Shaymus: I'm already starting my shopping!

MrManuel said...

Yeah, no wonder you have night terrors! Cool material though.

Anonymous said...

My favorite deMaupassant story is where the the lady with the long hair cuts it and sells it for a watch fob for her honey. Meanwhile he sells the watch to buy her beautiful combs for her hair. Oh, the irony!!

Sebastien Millon said...

Mrmanuel: Hehe, yeah it's great stuff. I'm really digging all these crazy stories, the psychological aspects are my favorite, specially stuff having to do with the invisible, specially dealing with illness.

Sonja: Ohhh, I haven't read that one! Haha, sounds great, I gotta couple books of his, working through em so hopefully it's in those, if not I'll have to find it on the net.