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Thus by now the entire family has come to join the game of dream- making. The gardener too is there; only a small information is added that he is a Maori. But that is soon over. M ; W ; once again the two texts overlap and embrace each other.
Celia meets the same person, yet with what a difference of feeling! Her face was all puffed up and red, with swollen eyes and swollen lips. But she looked so—so—awful. W ] This is the difference between looking from outside and feeling from inside. Again, in both the stories the child is the focus, but without the mutuality of figural relationship. The narrative focus in both is the innocent eye of a child, a technique which is commonly employed by Mansfield in her New Zealand stories.
Finally, the title of the story suggests a paratext with an ore of meaning hidden in its grains. Thus the stories seem to complement one another; and while the latter draws on ideas and expressions of the former, the mould remains the same. It is within the same frame that the second story is layered upon the first. Studying this process of continuous conglomeration and rupture, fusion and fission, coalescence and departure by which the two stories continuously converge with and get layered upon one another is interesting and rewarding.
After reading Ihimaera one has a feeling that the original itself contained the seed of the later story which Ihimaera brought out from its hibernation and nurtured to blossoming! As for the roses… hundreds, yes, literally hundreds, had come out in a single night… as though they had been visited by archangels. What Mansfield describes as the particular morning on the day of the party is used by Ihimaera as a constant.
They could not have a more perfect garden party if they had ordered it. Windless, warm, the sky without a cloud. Emphases within the excerpts from both the texts have been added by the present author. Cited by Dentith.
Borges writes about one Pierre Menard who had not altered a single word of Cervantes, and yet written his own Don Quixote! Chapter 3. Published, as you no doubt know, in the year that Darwin published his Origin of Species. But the latter, as you doubtless also know, was only a wistful cloak for a study of the perils of sexual freedom. The example was enough. French, and then Italian and German, as well as English novelists, turned from the present to the past, and historical novels, historical plays, and historical poems became the order of the day.
As Clare A. White Simmons clarifies the role Ivanhoe played in providing a model for theoretical speculations regarding the conquest of The conclusions to which use of this narrative model led, however, were not inherent in the novel itself. Under the double influence of Scott and Digby Benjamin Disraeli wrote his romance novels Sybil and Tancred in the chivalric tradition, against a similar background, and focused on Saxon-Norman disparities.
John W. And akin to this, but earlier, was A Legend of the Rhine…. Thackeray had openly acknowledged his preference for sequels as a writing practice. The genesis of Rebecca and Rowena is, at least partially, in keeping with this opinion. Gordon W. Ray gives a detailed account of the genesis of the book. And what he produced was not just continuation but an intertextual re-writing that combined the practices of imitation, critiquing and subversion of the source.
He pronouncedly establishes the connection between the two texts — his own and the source-- at the outset by the very title. Thackeray accepts this challenge and takes his narrative forward, beyond the boundaries of its ur-text. The book rests on this understanding, and its reader finds himself urged towards a reconsideration of a hitherto commonly held opinion about the source book.
Subtitles were a common feature of the Victorian novel. Thackeray uses the device and chooses a phrase that would define at the onset the generic identity of his sequel. Furthermore he deliberately invokes the genre in order to subvert its conventions and assumptions.
An afterpiece is a kind of intertextual practice in which the posterior text comes as a supplement to or continuation of the anterior text. For example we can mention Ibsenland and Ghosts. The former starts after the earlier story has closed down,-- assuming there is no closure.
But it is a continuation which actually involves a disruption, since the afterpiece is in a quite different vein than the previous narrative. Scott adds to the charm of his story by giving one important realistic twist to the plot by means of introducing another female character in addition to the high-born heroine of the romance, and here Scott himself strikes a departure from the norm of sentimental romance; he shows the kind of suffering the Jews had to undergo in the Middle Ages.
The very title shows a shift in focus — from the male hero to the female protagonists. I have quite too great a love for the disinherited knight, whose blood has been fired by the suns of Palestine, and whose heart has been warmed in the company of the tender and beautiful Rebecca, to suppose that he could sit down contented for life by the side of such a frigid piece of propriety as that icy, faultless, prim, niminy-piminy Rowena.
Thus Rowena remains pious, rigid, and jealous. Ivanhoe leads a life of boredom, to shake off which he again sets out on the roads. On a mistaken report of his death Rowena marries Athelstane, the dullest person around. Robin Hood turns a law-abiding man of piety. The author carefully brings out the hypocrisy, cruelty and shallowness operating behind the so-called romance ways. The relationship between Rebecca and Ivanhoe carries the potential of a most successful romantic affair, which Scott left unexplored for more than one reason; particularly because his contemporary society, in the form of racial —religious prejudice, provided a realistic and apparently insurmountable obstacle to any satisfactory, conventional, romantic resolution.
Thackeray, however, batters down the wall of obstacles by means of the strange combination of his irrepressible serio-comic vision and romantic dream. Perhaps Thackeray proves himself more romantic than Scott in this regard. Thackerary layers elements of the romance mode with sarcastic realism, achieving thereby a pungent travesty of the very same.
However, the romance elements are there, in their own right, and they lend the colour and tone even as Thackeray goes on laughing and frowning at his own fantastic bubbles of romantic imagination simulated so exuberantly. Thackeray begins his own story precisely at this point, where the earlier one ends after drawing curtains over the newly married couple. However, the author would claim authenticity for his narrative details, and also stress that his sequence and personae are but logical continuations of the source book.
As a result of the disappointing marriage Ivanhoe becomes depressed, alcohol addict, hunting-obsessed. Cedric too has been driven out of the castle in no time by his aristocratic daughter-in-law. He is surprised at his wife so readily agreeing to his proposal to join the king in Normandy. Eventually he joins Richard who is at the moment encamped at Chalus to punish a rebel count, and is infuriated like anything at having repeatedly failed to storm the castle. Thanks to these sycophants Richard remains impervious to the great service rendered by Ivanhoe during the following days of the war.
Wamba takes him for dead and comes back to Rotherwood to report the sad news. At home too, the widow ceases to be a widow before long. But she was a lady of such fine principles, that she did not allow her grief to overmaster her; and an opportunity speedily arising for uniting the two best Saxon families in England, by an alliance between herself and the gentleman who offered himself to her, Rowena sacrificed her inclination to remain single, to her sense of duty; and contracted a second matrimonial engagement 3;5.
The author finds it perfectly logical that Rowena should be far happier with the stupid and boozy Thane than she ever had been with the gentle and melancholy Wilfrid. Ivanhoe is saved by his hermit friend and his priest brother who are perfectly knowledgeable about miracle medicines. Ivanhoe takes long six years to be restored to consciousness; in the meantime he has become so reduced that his old coat-of-arms hangs absurdly loose on him, so much so that the fathers have to give him one of their old gowns—an instance of the combination of absurd sequence with realistic details, -- the unbelievable return from death to life followed by believable physical emaciation.
Wamba is the only person to recognize him. Richard has been succeeded to the throne by his mean-minded brother who has murdered his royal nephew, Prince Arthur; in protest Rowena has given up her place at court, and her open criticism maligns the king who takes his vow for revenge.
Athelstane, who is not normally concerned about politics, is annoyed at the embargo on hunting and finally declares rebellion. As a result the king orders an attack on Rotherwood. Initially Ivanhoe holds aloof considering it no affair of his own. But when he comes to learn on the fourth day of the siege that Athelstane has been killed and the castle is being fearlessly defended by the lady, he rushes for Rotherwood, and indeed he does so in such a great hurry that his men fall far behind and he arrives alone at the castle gate to meet a scene of complete destruction.
The author describes the sequence by mimicking the romance convention to perfection. As Ivanhoe approaches Rotherwood he meets Gurth, wounded and about to die, in his shattered lodge amidst his mangled children, and the western tower of the castle already in flames. Ivanhoe knew it. Arriving at York he comes to learn that everybody in the castle had been killed except Rowena and her child who had been taken away to some unknown place. Ivanhoe resumes his disguise, and though he has no feelings left for Rowena, and yet he is prepared to do his duty by her.
But he gets no clue regarding her whereabouts until eventually after the lapse of one year his attorney brings a note to him from Rowena asking from her prison for one last meeting before her death. Ivanhoe reaches the prison cell in the guise of a barrister.
Rowena dies in his presence but prior to death she squeezes one promise from her first love. Thackeray handles this scene with mastery. There is a scene! I feel as if I had made it up, as it were, with this lady, and that we part in peace, in consequence of providing her with so sublime a death- bed. Waltheof… one boon!
Thackeray does away with epitomizing the romance of the highland life, what with its scenic beauty, or picturesque life and joy of simple rustic folk. But his Ivanhoe and Rowena, et al, have their roots or rather feet! Thus Ivanhoe changes from a sober man to a habitual drinker.
But that is understandable in view of his fretful discontent in his postmarital situation at Rotherwood. Thackeray does not romanticize the plight of his hero, but rather examines it under the disillusioning light of realistic psychological insight. Thus the author rescues his hero from the typical fixated predicament of the romance hero. About Richard Thackeray barely minces the matter.
Robin Hood, another popular icon, has been drawn comically. He who questions it would be a blasphemer were he not a fool. Again, it is a very realistic picture that Thackeray gives of the sycophants, and petty conspirers like Roger de Backbite who play their role in bringing down the king and Ivanhoe. But why harrow your feelings? He had been gathering pansies in the fields but yesterday …!
What could his puny sword do against the most redoubled blade in Christendom? Do not look at that ill-fated poor boy! His blade is crushed into splinters under the axe of the conqueror, and the poor child is beaten to his knee!.. At this point Thackeray inserts a frontal attack on the conventions of romance narrative: I just throw this off by way of description, and to show what might be done if I chose to indulge in this style of composition; but as in the battles which are described by the kindly chronicler, of one of whose works this present masterpiece is professedly a continuation, everything passes off agreeably — the people are slain, but without any unpleasant sensation to the reader; nay, some of the most savage and bloodstained characters of history, such is the indomitable good-humour of the great novelist, become amiable, jovial companions, for whom one has a hearty sympathy… 3;3 emphasis added.
Thackeray does not allow that comfort to the reader. Thus Ivanhoe arrives at Rotherwood to witness a scene of total destruction at the lodge-gate of the park. Far be it from me to excuse the disobedience of Athelstane and Rowena to their sovereign; but surely, surely this cruelty might have been spared 5;3. In this context the author places him firmly, with a mild note of satire though, against the romance backdrop: But there was always in those days a home and occupation for a brave and pious knight.
The narrative employs a continued game exploiting the author-reader relationship, and this is evident in the authorial addresses interspersed through the text. Some there be who have been married, and found that they have still something to see and to do, and to suffer mayhap; and that adventures, and pains, and pleasures, and taxes, and sunrises and settings, and the business and joys and griefs of life go on after, as before the nuptial ceremony… Therefore, I say, it is an unfair advantage which the novelist takes of hero and heroine, as of his inexperienced reader, to say good-bye to the two former, as soon as ever they are made husband and wife; and I have often wished that addition should be made to all works of fiction which have been brought to abrupt terminations in the manner described;… Ch.
My dear readers, you may settle the matter among yourselves as you like. The hero must take it long in order to accommodate the requirements of the plot. I am not writing in ten volumes like Monsieur Alexandre Dumas, or even in three like other great authors. In this text Thackeray seems to be playing another Sterne on occasions, happily conscious and never-oblivious of the fictionality of fiction and textuality of the text.
Margaret Rose emphasizes this metafictional dimension of a parodic text. Parody is one common form of intertext in this ongoing process of fresh evaluation and re-interpretation of the fictionality of texts.
In the penultimate paragraphs of the brisk narrative Thackeray attains the peak of the game. This is when Ivanhoe is about to enter Valencia to rescue the captive beauty along with other besieged Christians. It is a huge guffaw at the theatricality, i.
Yes, the fairy in the pretty pink tights and spangled muslin is getting into the brilliant revolving chariot of the realms of bliss. Therefore, he clinches the narrative with a quick theatrical touch of the romance tradition delightfully layered upon by the burlesque.
Who is the first on the wall, and who hurls down the green standard of the Prophet? Who chops off the head of the Emir…? Who, attracted to the Jewish quarter by the shrieks … finds Isaac of York… clasping a large kitchen key? Who but Ivanhoe—who but Wilfrid? The very next instant he tries to retrieve the detachment, but instead of resuming the burlesque laughter he lapses into the solemn melancholy mood of a serene conclusion to what could otherwise be a tale of absurd thrills and hilarious laughter.
There are many gloomy reflections interspersed through the narrative, although these are immediately dismissed by the author himself to pass on to some gayer mood. Ah, my dear friends and intelligent British public, are there not others who are melancholy under a mask of gaiety, and who, in the midst of crowds, are lonely?
Life is such, ah, well-a-day! It is only hope which is real, and reality is a bitterness and a deceit. Thackeray had been, in fact, showing but the seamy side of the chivalric world about which Scott too was perfectly aware. Duncan gives an interesting interpretation to the relationship of the young pair. In the meeting of Ivanhoe with Rebecca there is an encounter of the highest ideals of the chivalric tradition with those of the Hebrais-Christian tradition.
It is also Rebecca who later recalls the English to their own ideals. What Scott , in spite of his romance world, did not attempt was dared by Thackeray through his very posture of parodying the romance. Yet the marriage bell is not the last note of the novel. The author adds one more paragraph by means of which the seemingly romantic conclusion has been swathed in the light of realistic wisdom.
Of some sort of happiness melancholy is a characteristic, and I think these were a solemn pair, and died rather early. Dodds comments with insight: Here again, amid the genial digs at Scott and at heroic romance in general, is burlesque written by one as fond of the old romance of knighthood as he is eager to right the injustice done to Rebecca. As Thackeray burlesques the battles and the aspirations of the age of chivalry and points out its dullness and its cruelties, revealing as it were the reverse side of romance, he shows at the same time his love for old unhappy far-off things.
He is automatically drawn to the attractions of the bygone world, and is also continuously pulled back from the same by the realistic reminders sent from his consciously rational mindset. This is at the root of the great fun as well as much of the ambivalence in which his sequel is embedded. Evidently, in spite of all his mistrust of the romance trappings Thackeray also had a strange attachment for the same world. He would write: They are passed away those old knights and ladies: their golden hair first changed to silver, and then the silver dropped off and disappeared for ever; their elegant legs, so slim and active in the dance, became swollen and gouty, and then, from being swollen and gouty, dwindled down to bare bone-shanks; the roses left their cheeks, and then their cheeks disappeared, and left their skulls, and then their skulls powdered into dust, and all sign of them was gone.
And as it was with them, so shall it be with us. Ho, seneschal! Fill me a cup with liquor! Put sugar in it, good fellow — yea, and a little hot water; a very little, for my soul is sad, as I think of those days and knights of old. The opening lines of The Legend of the Rhine bear evidence to this nostalgic fondness for the romance world of textbooks, though as usual expressed in the mildly parodic-ironic tone: It was in the good old days of chivalry, when every mountain that bathes its shadow in the Rhine had its castle; not inhabited as now by a few rats and owls, nor covered with moss and wallflowers and funguses and creeping ivy.
No, no; where the ivy now clusters there grew strong portcullis and bars of steel; where the wallflowers now quiver in the ramparts there were silken banners embroidered with wonderful heraldry; men-at-arms marched where now you shall only see a bank of moss or a hideous black champignon; and in place of rats and owlets, I warrant me there were ladies and knights to revel in the great halls, and to feast and dance, and to make love there.
It is also interesting to note that Thackeray had seriously planned to write a novel about the times of Henry V, though the fragment he wrote was stiff and unsuccessful like anything. Perhaps, ironically enough, Thackeray could handle the subject he was so fond of only in the burlesque form. Just as Thackeray was always a little afraid of the sublime lest it turn suddenly into the sham- sublime, so he mistrusted the heroic lest it prove to be mock-heroic.
Driven by a desire to see life steadily, he was suspicious of any appeal which might distort that level realism, and his effort is always to reach beyond the peripheries of romance to whatever appearance of truth might be there. This impatience with romantic trappings carries him at times into a studied realism. But to him had been present at the same time all that is ludicrous in our ideas of middle-age chivalry; the absurdity of its recorded deeds, the blood-thirstiness of its recreations, the selfishness, the falseness of its honour, the cringing of its loyalty, the tyranny of its princes.
And so there came forth Rebecca and Rowena, all broad fun from beginning to end, but never without a purpose,-- the best burlesque, as I think, in our language. He can be instead placed in another illustrious tradition. Gillian Beer identifies two watersheds in the history of the genre of romance in England, both reflecting an increasing self-consciousness about the use of the form 6. Dodds Indeed Thackeray enjoyed the reputation of remarkable mastery over the form.
There is not a word in it having an intention to belittle Scott. Both romance and rationalist modes have been harnessed here in order to present some essential truth about life and the ways of the world. True, the book, although appreciated by perceptive scholars, did not enjoy any remarkable response from the common reader. But it has been generally appreciated by critics. However, it had never been very popular. This mature response involved an ambience and sophistication of mind which has never been too common, not even in these postmodern days.
There was, however, at least one eminent contemporary who appreciated the geniality and enjoyed the exquisite flavour of the book. Thackeray in his Rowena and Rebecca certainly had no such purpose. Nothing of Ivanhoe is injured, nothing made less valuable than it was before, yet, of all prose parodies in the language , it is perhaps the most perfect. Every character is maintained, every incident has a taste of Scott.
Wikipedia 3. This freedom in the outlines of romance encourages its boundary-crossing into the neighbouring generic domains of the ballad and the epic. The ending of the original novel may also carry the seeds of devious further explorations. The relationship between them is complex, and is traced through a series of tightly interconnected scenes of masking and unmasking. As boy readers like Thackeray understood immediately, this has not really been a novel about men….
Baker 7. His work is polished, anachronistic, somewhat defeatist. The class with which he allied himself was being elbowed out of the way by the vulgar, vigorous, vital, petty bourgeois class; and its defeatism is reinforced by the unreality of its technique. The author casts his shadow between reader and mock-world, as if all this was something that had ceased to be, as if only the mind and will of the author were sustaining it.
Shaw inserts this scenario by taking a short cut through time, and thus a scrap of 17th century is flipped into a late 19th century realistic drama complete with its temporal aspirations and dissipations, automobiles and race. But the switch-over is so deftly handled that the audience can only sit up in amazed delight of surprised recognition. Four characters, who had already appeared in the first two acts, now re-enter the stage in a dream scene.
The audience is lured into the game of identifying the Mozartian figures, and simultaneously relating them to their Shavian counterparts; they are also rewarded by the pleasure of recognition of the points of merger and departures between the two sets. The persons, presently in hell, also show a good awareness of the minute details of their former lives in the previous text.
They recognize each other too in terms of their roles in the opera. They look back to their mortal days with varying degrees of criticism and preferred correction regarding their respective images as inscribed in the popular perception. Thus the commander now refuses to accept the idea that Juan was the murderer.
Juan asks Ana in flippant tone about the latest position of the statue of her father, just like casually inquiring about some common acquaintance in a social meet. Don Juan: How is that very flattering statue, by the way? Does it still come to supper with naughty people and cast them into this bottomless pit? Anna: It has been a great expense to me. The boys in the monastery school would not let it alone; the mischievous ones broke it.
Three new noses in two years, and fingers without end. I had to leave it to its fate at last; and now I fear it is shockingly mutilated. My Poor father! As if the old story is not quite a matter of dead past, but is still continuing at another plane of reality—even if comically-- in its original textual locale, where life involves eventual dethroning of all icons, however terrible or venerable. True, the ghost of the Commander still uses the form of the statue in this infernal afterpiece as we had seen him in the opera, but he does so for a quite different reason; the fine statue gratifies his vanity.
Don Juan: Audacious ribald: your laughter will finish in hideous boredom before morning. Do you remember how I frightened you when I said something like that to you from my pedestal in Seville? It sounds rather flat without my trombones. Juan too responds adequately: They tell me it generally sounds flat with them, Commander Thus the most dramatic moment in the opera is hilariously trivialized in the new context.
The pair—formerly antagonists, now friends-- would even wish for some alterations in the hypotext. The Statue, who is bored by heaven and pays an occasional visit to hell under the excuse of arguing Juan into repentance, would have preferred another kind of twist to his mortal life and death.
But as the prior text is fixed, and the past remains unalterable, they decide to mend it in the present text by exchanging places through mutual consent. The play is smoothly and instantly lifted up to another plane as the characters become doubly referential; thus acquiring double lives, as it were, -- simultaneously on the planes of present and past, the real and the legendary, the Shavian and the Mozartian. It is interesting to note how in this dream sequence, which is actually a play or fantasy!
Eventually the action too will be shown as an inverted paradigm in which the positional roles in the old pursuit motif are reversed: it is the woman who now chases, and the man seeks in vain, of course to flee. His sentiments were in the best taste of our best people. You remember how he sang?
It seems the Devil is the abandoned self of Giovanni from which Juan has slithered out over his years in hell. Indeed, Shaw has repeatedly expressed his opinion that Don Giovanni, which he praised as the best opera of the world, should be approached in a different way than what convention demands. He wrote in …Now, Don Juan is a tragic hero or nothing: his destiny is announced by Mozart from the very first chord of the overture.
Before Shakespear touched Hamlet there was a zany Hamlet who mopped and mowed, … going through all the pitiable antics with which the village idiot amused heartless visitors… Well, Mozart abolished the drunken Don Juan as completely and finally as Shakespear[sic] abolished the zany hamlet. I ran away from it. I ran away from it very often: in fact I became famous for running away from it.
As Juan puts up his defence in fine Shavian oratory one begins to see the link between the operatic libertine and his philosophical Shavian ghost. This so-called libertine seems to have had a foretaste one century ago of the Shavian Life Force. As he seeks to explain to the Statue in a long speech his amorous adventures during his earthly incarnation though the statue would have certainly preferred some entertaining anecdotes : I had come to believe I was a purely rational creature: a thinker!
When I stood face to face with Woman, every fibre in my critical brain warned me to spare her and save myself. My morals said No. My conscience said No. My chivalry and pity for her said No. My prudent regard for myself said No.
My ear, practiced on a thousand songs and symphonies; my eye, exercised on a thousand paintings; tore her voice, her features, her color to shreds… And whilst I was in the act of framing my excuse to the lady, Life seized me and threw me into her arms as a sailor throws a scrap of fish into the mouth of a seabird.
An interesting ambivalence seems to have been operative here. On the other hand , Shaw would also bend back to emphasize the element of a logical continuity behind the evolution of the mortal profligate into the saintly ghost. Shaw, on the other hand, is more attracted to the philosophical implications of the Don Juan story. Thus the traditionally condemned man is now made the future father of the superman!
However, the result has not been too enviable. Could it be an overreaction to his earlier carrier of profligacy with three thousand-odd triumphs! Did he sense a dearth! On the other hand the Statue seems to have considerably improved from its previous incarnation. With this final act of vengeance, disrupted class structures and social order are reestablished, and the individuals who remain alive become fixed in terms of their prescribed social roles.
Thus it is the Statue who provides a counterpoint to Juan both in the source and the hypertext , though from reversed angles. But she is also scanned under the philosophic lens of Shaw. She cannot, like the male Devil, use love as mere sentiment and pleasure; nor can she, like the male saint, put love aside when it has once done its work as a developing and enlightening experience.
Love is neither her pleasure nor her study; it is her business. So she, in the end, neither goes with Don Juan to heaven nor with the Devil and her father to the palace of pleasure, but declares that her work is not yet finished. For though by her death she is done with the bearing of men to mortal fathers, she may yet, as Woman Immortal, bear the superman to the Eternal Father. The music too has been harnessed in towards securing intertextual effect.
Characters are indeed the commonest device used for annexing intertextual space. What Brian McHale writes in another context is equally applicable in the present case: Is this retour de personage? Transworld identity? In a sense, yes, of course, but parodied in such a way as to spectacularly violate, and thereby foreground, the ontological boundaries between fictional worlds.
World-boundaries having been overrun in this way, the result is a kind of between-worlds space—a zone 58 -- thus leading to a continuous text. Besides this major source text Shaw also draws upon a large spectrum of intertextual echoes in order to design his textual mosaic. Mournful, with drooping breasts and robes unsewn The shapes of women swayed in ebon skies, Trailing behind him with a restless moan Like cattle herded for a sacrifice. Here, grinning for his wage, stood Sagnarelle, And here Don Luis pointed, bent and dim, To show the dead who lined the holes of Hell, This was that impious son who mocked at him.
The hollow-eyed, the chaste Elvira came, Trembling and veiled, to view her traitor spouse. Was it one last bright smile she thought to claim, Such as made sweet the morning of his vows? A great stone man rose like a tower on board , Stood at the helm and cleft flood profound: But the calm hero, leaning on his sword, Gazed back, and would not offer one look round.
Ann Whitfield, into whose trap Tanner falls, is the knave — in skirts Bentley: Similarly the Devil too has his cultural ancestors. Echoes behind the Devil include, according to Crompton, as eminent writers as Swinburne, Symonds, and Wilde in England and Gautier and Anatole France on the continent,--committed only to the pleasures of art and the delights of cultivated personal relationships Crompton Crompton would place him in a line of writers such as Shakespeare, Swift, Thackeray, and Hemingway, all of whom have been overwhelmed by their sense of the futility and senselessness of the human condition Crompton It has often been remarked that most of his dramatic villains make a strong case for themselves.
Ana is the Everywoman figure manifesting unreflecting piety. Let your hope say: May I bear the Superman! Even its proselytizers have neglected it, abandoning the … human allusion… : a temporal torment, of course, but one that was not unworthy, within its terrestrial limitations, of being a metaphor for the immortal, for the perfect pain without destruction that the objects of divine wrath will forever endure.
Dante himself… did not know such enthusiasm. The decline of Hell is in their works, as it is in Baudelaire, who was so skeptical about the perpetual torments that he pretended to adore them… …Whether Hell is a fact of natural religion, or only of revealed religion, I find no other theological assumption as fascinating or as powerful. Turmoil, hurry, incessant movement, fire, roaring wind, and utter discomfort are there; but so they are also in a London house when the kitchen chimney is on fire.
Convey these by music, and the music will be just as appropriate to the one situation as to the other. They find the Purgatorio duller than the Inferno, and the Paradiso duller than either. He makes fun of Dante for having described hell as a place of mud, frost, filth, fire, and venomous serpents. He is equally contemptuous of Milton for having introduced canon and gunpowder as a means of expelling the Devil from heaven.
No sky, no peaks, no light, no sound, no time nor space, utter void. He makes his hell a void which he can fill it with ideas. It is not so much a place but an elaborate image for the plight of Man, his foolishness and his potentialities. The Shavian Hell thus inverts the paradigms of Dante, Milton. Theatrical Companion to Shaw London: Rockliff, , p. The difference between the Devil and Don Juan rests mainly in their divergent interpretations of the universe.
It is open only to those who have become masters of reality. London: Edward Arnold Publishers Ltd, ; p For an excellent scholarly interpretation of the connections between the characters and themes of the play and those of the dialogue, see Frederick P.
Louis Crompton: Shaw the Dramatist. Grabbe, et al. They were Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Wagner. His claim was that Don Giovanni had taught him how to write seriously without being dull. G: Give up the women! The Nation. Lubomir Dolozel. Poetics 2 April , Chapter 4. The Name of the Rose ; emphasis added].
They need to serve as part of a shared community of knowledge, both for the interrelationships and interplay to be identifiable and for these in turn to have the required impact on the readership. That is why … adaptation and appropriation tend on the whole to operate within the parameters of an established canon, serving indeed at times to reinforce that canon by ensuring a continued interest in the original source text, albeit in revised circumstances of understanding.
He writes a novel which is unmistakably new, of its own time and setting, i. In this sense, all literature could be considered repetition to some extent. Greene has not been normally recognized — at least until recently, and that too by few — as a consciously experimental writer. To follow Greene in this act of creation and re-creation, of weaving the intertwined threads into the structure and texture of an intertext, can be an exciting experience.
There are also many references to other ancient and modern writings including moral theology and Marx , and they are never ornamental; rather essentially organic. The process is indeed so interesting and so meticulously elaborate that it is not within the scope of a single paper to cover its entirety or profundity.
Father Quixote rushes into the midst of an alien crowd of an unknown city to tear away the vulgar garland of currency notes pinned on the icon of Mother Mary. At the same time, the basic structure of events in Monsignor Quixote, as well as its use of details show that the writer has carefully maintained two distinct levels of reality, -- his own story and that of Cervantes--, and has subtly got them connected at points, and on occasions has brought them to merge into each other.
By some weird stroke of fantasy a rural priest emerges to be the descendant of a fictional character, and the question of plausibility becomes irrelevant to the writer as well as to the reader. Here the borderline between fiction and reality seems to melt into unsubstantiality and fiction seems to assume as much validity as the living moment itself. The two bishops appear to represent the two ends of the spectrum of romantic to postmodern notions regarding the issue of the closure of texts — whether texts were autonomous and self-contained or spilling over beyond the frontiers, bursting the jackets.
It is, as it were, an endless story contained within an infinite circle that has no end. The bishop is seen smiling over a page where Cervantes had insisted on unflattering honesty in a servant. Father Quixote, in spite of all his innocence, knows the irony hidden in the message. So he does not tell the bishop that the problem with his car was that it had simply run out of petrol.
But the bishop appears to consider the event from another, and a serious, angle. Both express their simultaneous incomprehension of the phrase and fascination at its beauty. Zancas too joins the game of evoking ancestors with adequate mirth and persistence. The father does not need any further persuasions after this authentication from the ancestral tale. Don Quixote could not have put it better than St. He proves uncannily correct, indeed. After going some miles Rocinante needs rest.
The shadows of the ancestors never really desert the descendants. At the same time Greene also takes care to give his personae their own unique identities. Every big or small detail seems to quiver with the delightful burden of accumulated memories. Sancho complains that they are being passed by every car on the road MQ He remained almost in hailing distance of La Mancha but his mind traveled very far.
The ancestor does not only control the pace but also the track, the road-map of the journey. On reaching Madrid, Father Quixote, quite innocently though, brings his friend to an ignominious place; the obvious allusion to the other Quixote halting at the brothel. We might go there. The mirror is sought not only in mirth but also in critical moments of apprehension, and later, of sadness.
Our task is easier. The analogy of the windmill is stretched further. Quixote and Sancho take a little time for starting again. In the meantime the two Guardia come back in a jeep and pass them. They were there with the Generalissimo. They are there now. After the Guardia leave the friends resume their talk about life, love and faith.
As the evening draws on the talks become more intimate. Thus the two texts continue to coalesce, thereby underscoring , on occasions, some universal wisdom; that real life is not heroism, adventure, glory, but often involves inglorious torture, and small but intense anguishes.
The slowness of Rocinante made a nonsense of distance MQ The pair have been, as it were, following in the footsteps of the ancestral pair. The sight of the poster starts off the conversation that Spain seems to change very little with time, and continuing to be the same old Spain as in the days of Don Quixote. We have already battled with the windmills and we have only missed by a week or two an adventure with the Tiger.
In response to this the modest father points out the difference between himself and the original Don. MQ However, his friend knows him better. Your faith is your spear. There are certain occasions when the focus is slightly readjusted so as to include not only the other Quixote but its author too. In the meantime other books figure in their road-side siesta, which again are perceived in connection with Cervantes.
During this trip Father Quixote has gone through the Communist Manifesto which he had borrowed from Sancho. And he notes striking similarities between the two dreamers, i. An interesting angle indeed! Marx has produced hosts of admiring followers and no lesser number of hostile detractors, but this kind of affectionate-amused response to Marx, equating the sombre idol to the delightful adventurism of Quixote is at least unusual.
Here Greene underscores the element of innate Quixotism in all brands of serious idealism. Don Quixote with all his chivalry and courage would never have governed so well. For explaining the motivation and justification of every act the ancestor must represent the referral point.
When the escapee folded up in the luggage boot of Rocinante, complains about their delay Father Quixote rebukes him in much the same words as his ancestor had used. The new Father and the bishop together have almost decided to put Quixote up in the madhouse.
They halt on the roadside and take glasses of wine in quick succession. At this point we get glimpse of an exceptional moment when Father Quixote angrily stresses his difference from Don Quixote, by asserting his own distinct identity. He further elaborates his point by mischievously citing how Don Quixote frequently stopped at an inn but never drank a glass, although like them he had many meals of cheese in the open air.
I tell you, I exist. My adventures are my own adventures, not his. I go my way — my way — not his. I have free will. Soon afterwards, when Father Quixote, like his ancestor, is forcibly brought back home by Father Herrera and Dr. And I prefer Dr. The accusation of madness is a handy device anticipating Foucault! While Cervantes represents an early anticipation of the Foucauldian concept, Greene deliberately reworks on the same from his late twentieth century vantage point, and the two texts again converge on this discourse of madness, censor and imprisoning.
But he is informed that the bishop has already ordered his study to be kept locked. The exclamation equates Father with both Quixote and his author Cervantes. As the father remains blissfully unaware of the grave danger his act of sheltering the criminal has landed him in, Sancho gets apprehensive, and he sounds his warning in referential terms.
Thus, the different activities of the two protagonists again and again get layered upon some common paradigmatic action in which times, histories and texts get conflated. How often the Don knew failure. Once out on the road the second time --this time it is going to be an indefinite journey along an unplanned route-- the two take the countryside road, and stopping by an unknown stream, chill their bottles. Here also the father seeks a support from his ancestor.
The melancholy shadow of an impending doom hangs low over their resumed trip. Sancho broaches a proposal that the father could stay at the Trappist monastery while he would cross over to Portugal. Not before death, Sancho. My ancestor died in his bed. Perhaps he would have lived longer if he had stayed on the road. Here is one last, though brief and eventually ineffective, struggle to disentangle himself from the shadow of the ancestor. Apparently Senor Diego is one of those imaginative minds for whom the fictional is no less real than reality.
I need my armour. As the father is on the point of confronting the vulgar procession Sancho implores him to come away. But like the ancestor he dismisses the warnings of his Sancho; indeed their mind-sets have become so attuned to this intertextual way of thinking that even at this moment of crisis they think, speak and act referentially, as if their very existence derives legitimacy from its textuality or referentiality.
A descendant of the great Don Quixote himself. How could he? So difficult to distinguish MQ Monsignor Quixote is not just automatically intertextual14, but rather deliberately, self-consciously, self-reflexively, nostalgically, ironically, parodically, delightedly and delightfully interinvolved. It is essentially an intrerdependent, interinvolved text which is built upon a continuous chain of cross-referencing and interplay.
It is also a double- voiced text, continuously offering and inviting points of comparison between the overt text and the covert one[s]. In the process the two texts are continuously criss-crossed. The endlessly referential hypertext never really allows the reader to be oblivious about the dominating overshadowing hypotext which hangs over the pages like some exquisite, mellowed and beautifying evening light.
Again, the book would also automatically remind a reader of another very delightful book — The World of Don Camillo by Giovanni Guareschi-- in which a village priest, named Don Camillo, and the local mayor Peppone are engaged in endless interaction of ideological opposition and mutual affectionate admiration.
Father Duran claims that the book sums up the many trips he and Greene had taken together across Spain over a decade preceding the book. Greene has apparently taken cognizance of the complexities that exist within the novel-writing universe of Cervantes. It is an instance of an intertextual rewrite which aims at optimum convergence with , rather than divergence from, the original. Yet it is not at all an exact replication of the previous text, although it so closely follows in the heels of the same.
For in the beginning of literature is the myth, and in the end as well. Influence, the flowing of the old into the new, is one part of the answer. On the one hand there is the specific historical experience available to a given writer, which will always be ideologically informed, directly or indirectly relevant to the processes of political, cultural and sexual power. On the other hand there are previous writings, equally ideologically formed, which the writer, in that practice known as intertextuality, may also transform.
Examples are indeed countless. Martin, Stratford. The Open University Press, , pp. Jean Baudrillard. Sage Publications Ltd, Harold Bloom in his book The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry emphasizes the desire to evade earlier writings as a central motivation in literary production.
Foucault, M. Kristeva challenges traditional notions of literary influence, saying that intertextuality denotes a transposition of one or several sign systems into another or others. Father Duran gives account of the genesis of this chapter at the dinner table of a roadside Spanish hotel where Greene himself jokingly used a similar device towards explaining the Holy Trinity. Duran Here the author attempts to write a metafiction through an elaborate intertext that is made to foreground the feminist issue from a fresh perspective.
Indeed, the author seems to have set herself a challenging task. Whether she succeeds or not in achieving the goal may be debated; but to follow the way she grapples with the challenge can itself be an exciting experience. Githa Hariharan uses the old story of the Arabian Nights as theme and intertext. Barth also expresses the suspicion that Borges had probably dreamt the whole thing since Barth himself has seen nothing like this in any edition of The Nights. The Nights had used the familiar device of stories within stories.
Hariharan finds this useful for her metafictional schemata. Apart from raising these aesthetic issues the author further interrogates the patriarchal assumptions of the original tale and of the culture in which the tale is embedded, through a subversive use of the devices of metafiction, intertext and magic realism in order to foreground her feminist discourse in the postmodern context. Over years, centuries, millennia Shahrzad, the frame narrator of The Nights, had emerged to be the archetype for a story teller, who could feed the curiosity of the listener, keep him in suspense, and thus hold him a thrall under the charm of her magic.
Her act of spinning out stories, which were but a string of self-contained tales within the frame of another story 2 has been perceived as a superb model for any narrator. Shahrzade has fascinated not only her tyrant husband but also held readers under her spell of story-telling across lands and ages.
They were but incidental. She only survived because she managed to keep the king wondering what would happen next. Each time she saw the sun rising she stopped in the middle of a sentence, and left him gaping. While reminiscing his undergraduate days when he worked at the Classics Library, containing the stacks of the Oriental Seminary Barth writes with exuberant warmth: I became enamoured of the great tale-cycles… Most of those spell-binding liars I have forgotten, but never Scheherazade.
Though the tales she tells are not my favorites, she remains my favorite teller. Dunyazad perceives Shahrzad as an individual in her own right. But, yeah. His father was a cop and so in I went. I had had ten other run- ins, but I'd never gotten any time for it, but this time, even though I'd say it was just a streetfight, his father coached him through two or three story changes and so I was gone. Six months. Tank's eyes narrow as he takes full measure of my smirking face.
They don't want to fight in county. Huntington Beach has changed from the ballpeen hammer days in all but spirit. We're sitting ensconced in the red-tile, adobe-ized interior of a kind of place you imagine having dollar-drink nights on Jimmy Buffet's birthday. Good food, music and vibe. Marines from the 3rd Battalion. Call themselves the Thundering Herd.
And waving down his second vodka. Tank's involvement in said tribute to those who both manage to fight AND live is going to be more than worth the price of admission. At six feet, pounds with a pound-plus bench press, the similarities perhaps end there. But he makes it easy for people to forget. The idea's just that there's a lack of respect, and then respect. Because between the two, something's happened.
They learned something. Much better. I mean, in a bar fight you always have that element. Every single time. And it's either because they don't notice, don't care to notice, or notice the wrong thing. I used to stalk these guys. The steroid-bodybuilder types," and on cue one walks in: pounds, 5 percent body fat, sleeveless T-shirt, tribal tattoos, goatee, and stunner shades.
He's a movie star without the movie and his girl doesn't know any better, either. Olympia, "would pull into a spot with a lot of fanfare and I'd spot them and I'd start making my move. Edging closer. Until I'd be back-to-back with him And it wouldn't take long. A comment. A noise. And then they're Or shy. And I'd be egging him on with a comment here and there and then they'd cross that line and it'd be over.
Name a few. Easy and effective. Tank smiled. Call it respect if you want to. I mean they learned that I wasn't whatever they had thought I was that got them where they were when they figured it out. The floor? Built well for chosen endeavor: smallish ears lying tight to his head, narrow eyes, a whole upper row of false teeth from the second in a small spate of drunken driving accidents, false teeth that he takes out when he fights, looking like, with his Snuffy Smith beard, all of the SoCal kind of hillbilly he sort of is.
And so there is method to his madness, it seems. Like a Batman or something. But there was this other thing that I was looking for, and that was the animal anger that drove one to fight. It was a calling that became a job, but well before that, it started out as an emotional need. I felt it. I have felt it and in the middle of an early s interview with Anton LaVey from the Church of Satan I tried to get him to touch on it, back when I thought it had something to do with evil.
I asked him about three times in the guise of discussing evil and he said, "Okay. Evil is what doesn't feel good. And he finally begged off, "Look, I'm an atheist. I got it. So it was with Tank. A father that bounced basketballs off of his head? A castrating mother? All of the familiar Freudian tropes. A tough guy. I started fighting when I was nine.
But what about the rising rage that bites when you fight, do you feel it anymore? Did you ever? Not ever. Because that's business. And it's strategy. And technique. I mean if anybody I was fighting in the ring managed to get some sort of emotion out of me, it'd be a tough day at work for them.
But, no, I never felt any sort of emotion there. In the streets, though? Well, that was totally different. Anger is an emotion but it wasn't always THE emotion, but it had to do with the gray ghost thing. Showing them that things ain't always like they seem.
I was that punk rock kid. I remember being at fourteen years old. And I remember being surrounded by the whole school. And I fought then That I know. I've felt that. And so what about now If you've already shown them what is it that gets you to the fucking party anymore? Out of bed? In the ring, cash. And outside the ring? I mean, the occasional guy who doesn't know who I am and wants to start something is usually wised up by some of his friends before it gets to where it's going.
The guy who wants to tell me 'fuck you,' well, that won't even get me to put my drink down. I mean I really don't have anything to show them anymore since I've showed them all. I mean, what do you do if this has defined your personality for so long? I'm not asking him for him. I'm asking him for me. And then points to a Henny Youngman look-alike sitting behind us.
Eighty-six years old. And drinking. And I say, "Let's. Thin and drawn high and tight, she occupies that space of former-ex-something or other. New York party girl. She nods in my direction, not as a hello but as a question to Tank: Who the hell is that?!? He's writing a book on fighting and fighters and wants to interview me. And he tries to mollify, cajole, cheer to no avail as the hours tick by and the drinks chug on through, and it's clear as clear can be that when she says, "OH!
And their fighting continues at the Hyatt Regency amidst the Balls of the Corp, and I've started drinking too at this point and am drawing hard looks from the Thundering Herd until some of them start to recognize Tank while his girl is whining about having been a model and how she's not just one of "TANK'S GIRLS" and how she deserves to have doors held open for her and Tank is neither angered nor exasperated, and when I ask how long they've been together he says, "Ten months.
Tank, waving, weaves back to his table, to his girlfriend, who turns her back to him, and to the fight, any fight, that will most clearly mark his place in space. They raise their hands in what appears to be surrender while circling each other. Surrender until they open their hands.
No weapons. No weights. No edge. They're surrounded by a cage. Chain link. And touts around the periphery scream and wave dollars. Hard times, indeed. But we've seen shadings of this in every cheap chopsuey flick up to and including Bruce Lee's bows and Rambo, but back in this was dangerous, and no less so with Walter Hill at the helm.
He who would also direct The Warriors, and quasi- action flick fare in 48 Hours and so on. But before he had become a director he'd been pulling duty on oil rigs, construction, and other places where a man might learn his way around the business end of a fist. And in his gritty-in-a-way-that-nothing's-been-gritty-since-the-'70s flick, a potboiler of a story of Depression-era fisticuffs starring Charles Bronson, James Coburn, and a raft of characters that looked like they had actually spent some time cage-side, we saw some, albeit fake, no-holds-barred fighting — hooks, knees, elbows, and leg sweeps — shadows of which would only later emerge later in the very real mixed martial arts MM A in America of the s.
It approached the damn-near mythical, this perception that as Heavyweight Champion of the World he was the undisputed baddest of the badasses around. And despite the oft-asserted riposte, "Well, for that kind of money I'd fight him," from both armchair athletes and journeymen alike, there was no money where those mouths were and this unspoken half-truth went relatively uncontested.
What started as a scheme cooked up by the many-numbered boys from Brazil known as the Grades — a long-revered clan of jiu-jitsu fighters who had for years offered large sums of money to ANYone who could beat them — ended up making good on the male instinct to quantify quality and figure out once and for all, for those who cared, who were the best baddest men alive.
Like some crazy Wild West deal, fighters, tough guys, boxers, and bouncers from all over the globe convened in an eight-sided ring to settle the world's longest running bar bet. No rules, no time limits. The understanding was pure Mad Max: two men enter, one man leaves. While neither Tyson, nor indeed ANY boxer of significant stature, put it on the line by showing up, there was one representing the sweet science, a ranked heavyweight who outweighed the Gracie he faced by some sixty-five pounds.
Said heavyweight glowered at the smaller man from across the Octagon. Later, some twenty-eight seconds later to be exact, the fight was over. The stunned boxer barely limped out of the Octagon and it seemed like, for fans of mano-a-mano, the world had changed just a little bit. You see, mixed martial arts MMA — a Frankenstein monster of wrestling, jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, boxing, and karate had been born, and the Heavyweight Champion of the World now seemed like a quaint misnomer.
What tough used to be and what it was now were very different things. I mean, sure, there had been those P. Barnum attempts to mix the martial arts before. Ali fought Inoki back in the s on network TV, with Ali trying vainly to put together combinations that worked, and Inoki rolling on the floor trying some sort of karate that most Americans had heretofore only seen in badly dubbed Saturday-matinee showings of Fists of Fury or Five Fingers of Death But this was clearly not the ticket, especially when you witnessed how quickly the big money walked.
Even Don "Only in America" King wasn't interested. What a difference twenty years makes. The first UFC was an unqualified success when it hit in the mids. All were drawn by the promise of full-contact fighting without the shadiness of boxing or the sham of pro wrestling.
And America responded similarly — whether it was because it offered white men the briefest of opportunities to see a combat sport where white fighters still had a chance, or whether it was because it REALLY answered the king-of-the-hill question, pay-per-view went nuts. Blood on the screen was like blood in the water. And out came the sharks. Lobbyists of various stripes at the behest of, some would say, Don King and Vince McMahon, the current market-cornerers on sports violence and entertainment, were tugging on the coats of their congressfolk, who were officially "appalled" at what was sound-bitingly referred to as "human cockfighting.
A West Coast ad rep for TCI cable who asked to not be identified stated that they were getting pressure from "back East on the grounds that the UFC was not suitable for family viewing and we were not to accept advertising from them. But despite all of the backroom dealing, something amazing happened. Its rabid collection of fans and fighters prospered. On a circuit that includes Brazil's UFC cognates. Vale Tudo and Luta Livre, Saudi Arabia's Abu Dhabi Submission Fighting Tournament sponsored by a sheik and recalling nothing if not Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon , and Japan's Shooto and Pride fights where winners swing some serious celebrity in Tokyo not to mention a raft of imitators from the Extreme Fighting Championships and a whole amateur network of men whose desire is to measure their skill, their mettle, their MANhood — a new testing ground sprang up.
Noting that more people get hurt playing football, boxing, or skiing, MMA fighters ply their trade while smirking at the highly paid glory-boy boxers they claim are owned by HBO and the moneyed Vegas set, smirking because the bragging rights to toughitude clearly belong to them. With boxing's red-light-district status worsened by questionable rulings, underwhelming fights and more courtroom feinting than ringside slugging, and WWF and WCW seemingly the unrestricted province of people for whom sports entertainment is not an oxymoron.
Mixed Martial Arts Is the Shit. And its fighters are, hands down, some of the toughest men alive. Fast, furious, and too legit to quit, two of MMA's early shining stars and bona fide Hall of Famers were profiled: the estimable Kevin Randleman, who is still fighting out of Ohio's Hammer House where the motto is "Ground and pound 'em , and Maurice Smith, a Seattle kickboxer whose easiness belies the fact that he's absolutely destroyed some of the sport's toughest before semi-retiring a few years ago.
Are you ready? Then let's get it on. His mercurial post-fight pronouncements would do The Worm some justice. One week he's quitting, the next week he's fighting, the next he's getting busted for using performance-enhancing substances. All Hes. Randleman, father of two and family man, was unfailingly cordial, and this stood in stark relief to the images that flooded through my brain pan of him riding astride a competitor that he was beating into the "loss" side of the equation.
Wrestling from the age of ten and going on to fight in the Golden Gloves, win the Big ten championships three times and the NCAA championships twice, Randleman was maxing in the twihght that eventually claims most of our top wrestlers. Teaching, training, coaching and waiting, until one day the phones rings and it's Mark "The Hammer" Coleman, president of Hammer House, former Olympian and once Randleman's Ohio State Coach, and he's asking the question to which the answer is almost always.
Do you want to make some money? Randleman laughed. And then said, "Yeah. And so it did — flights and fights in Brazil, a string of victories over the Brazilians, his UFC debut and a bloodline that goes like this: Mark Coleman beat the slop out of a bevy of brawn to take the title; Maurice Smith beat the slop out of him; and Randleman was set to go head-to-head with Smith. Randleman played giantkiller killer that day, beating the slop out of Smith and pronouncing, as no empty boast, "I'm afraid of no man.
But in a just world he'd be starring opposite Van Damme, Schwarzenegger, and Stallone in some Hollywood musclecapade. He'd be training Madonna. He'd be Tae Bo fer chrissakes. Nobody ever left the Octagon in a wheelchair, and the only concussion I've ever gotten was from high school football. But I'll tell you something sad.
I met Jack Dempsey's great-grandson, and the man cannot speak. It's terrible. And that's from boxing. The usual suspect. Also under fire in what even Joyce Carol Oates thinks is a conspiracy against masculinity and race, is understood by Randleman as simply being the handmaiden of dueling business interests. In the seesaw of history, power — that volatile mixture of might and money — resolves itself around its truest measure, cash, while the gladiators soldier on.
I fight to get paid," concludes Randleman. It's that simple. Blue's shop up in New Rochelle, name of Maurice Smith. Nice gentleman, always smelled of Chanel No. Wore angora. But, strangely, I don't think this is him, so I check his vita. My guess? T'aint the same fella.
And when we speak, I know for sure that we're talking birds of a different feather since words keep coming up in conversation that are remarkably unlike other conversations you might have with a hairdresser. Words like "brutal," "violent," and "deadly. Kevin Randleman left and Maurice Smith right.
Decent guys. Much nicer-seeming than the boxers, who have these violent pasts. And they DO call what we do submission fighting, which sort of means to me that the guy at least has an out, before he's permanently damaged. He can quit. In boxing the way out is usually when the lights go out. In mixed martial arts it's not about killing the guy or whatever, it's about winning the game. After picking his way through a variety of martial arts between the ages of thirteen and eighteen after having been inspired by Bruce Lee's The Chinese Connection , the forty-four-year-old Smith began a competitive career that he ended in grand style when he hit the big life marker of forty.
That's twenty-two years of stepping into a ring and kicking ass like ass- kicking was going out of style. I mean, I like ass kicking as much as, well, almost as much as Smith, but, I wonder if it's any wonder that the general public can't quite slip behind the veil of why he does what he does. It all comes down to competition," Smith riffs, "regardless of whether it's ping-pong or volleyball or anything.
It's what you're good at. What you may be the best at. And it's human nature. It's animal nature. To dominate. And we have a choice: to fight or not fight. I want to fight. Smith bristles at the suggestion that this was a classic case of the lion in winter, an older fighter staying in beyond his appointed time, and chalks the loss up to illness.
But then he steps outside of the pro-wrestling volume range by praising Randleman as "a young man of exceptional talent. When asked about the mystery of life beyond the fight. Smith, completely in sync with how his whole career has flowed, doesn't miss a beat. Teaching younger fighters. Because I love the fight and the competition and there is just no substitution. Not on the other side of the oak desk but on the same side.
Striking distance away. He's about Maybe about pounds. You'd never notice him, and that's the key: you'd never notice him. His name is Nirmalya Bhowmick, and it probably doesn't mean anything to you. If it does, you aheady know what's going to be said here, and you're probably shocked he let me say it. If it doesn't, you need to know that this is where we go from sports story to truer-tales-have-never-been-told type of story.
Translation: from prototype to archetype, because Bhowmick trades in fighting dare it be said for keeps. The public face? Former founder of a storied but distinctly and suspiciously non-ambitious academy for the hyperaggressive art of muay thai, the deadly Southeast Asian kickboxing discipline that brings arcing knees and slashing elbows into a picture remarkably bereft of any defense. The private face? That's harder to see, and as we wander the halls of his San Jose, California, based institute of higher learning, all marbled floors, past doors with brass plaques that read Admissions, Registrar, Dean of Students, and well-turned-out white guys who'd be at home in any insurance office, Bhowmick makes intros to the faculty.
Business cards are brandished, and the military prefixes affixed to the names start to make things a little clearer. As do the firm grips, steady gazes, and the whole Sgt. Rock schmear. One's just gotten back from Baghdad. Was he serving? Then, eventually a slow, sure nod. We'll get back to that. At forty-four years old, Bhowmick looks at least ten years younger.
Good clean living, I offer — and this is important — without a single hint of a smirk. He smiles, and in a nondescript back-room office the bookshelf is lined with course study and books that range from How to Read a Newspaper to dark-science shit on terrorism, counterterrorism, close-quarter combat, interrogation, insurgency, and protection.
The best defense is a good offense, I suddenly remember. But he was mid-stream in explaining to me what his cage was for. Not the cagefighters kind of cage, the kind with rubber-coated chain-link topped with cushioning foam and turnbucklesque stanchions every few feet. No, this is a steel cage. Like a prison-cell cage. About eight feet across, ten feet high, with an enclosed top and a door opening that is low to the ground.
Like they were expecting a dog to be going in there. Or an unconscious man to be pulled out. This is not rocket science," says Bhowmick. He tells the first man that the other two are going to be hitting him for three minutes. He's to defend and counter. The good part is that they will only be attacking with one strike.
The bad news is that they will strike him for the entire three minutes. Whether or not he's defending himself. The second minute gets tougher, and then about two minutes and ten seconds in, his conscious thinking just stops and he either starts to use what we've taught him or Instead of doing it. Sometimes you have to do things one hundred times. Is it possible that although this is the way he's teaching, this is not the way that he learned? Which is to say: We'll do what you say, but what did YOU do?
Which is when it comes. No matter where you're going with it. Knife-fighting in the streets of Calcutta, indeed. Bhowmick's family life in Calcutta was as far from the Black Hole as far could be. We had servants. James, in Calcutta. It was a Christian school. My correction. And I used to go over there and help out, and while being there I tried to understand why we had so much while these others had so little. No one could give me any answers that made sense to me.
And this followed me my whole life. So I got into lots of fights just because Those who walk by problems, and the other kind. I was the other kind. The occasion was a seminar. The seminar was an invite-only affair. Except the invites were not written, nor mailed, but spoken in a gentle aside, full of the sort of underworld understatement that makes one man mistake an "Okay, now you're dead" for an "Okay.
You should come," Nirmalya Bhowmick said in fadeaway, as he busied himself with some stuff behind his desk. I heard it — the strategic use of the word "should. The subject at hand: knife fighting. How to, what to use. No mention of the WHY, except it was sort of silently assumed: you had no other choice. And because you have no other choice, there you are looking at a knife. While any knife can be used for fighting, sort of like any rock you can hold in your hand is a rock you can throw, there are better knives and worse knives to use if you want to use it and live to use it again.
KNIFE: A blade with a nice ricasso — the unsharpened portion of the blade right above the handle — is a good place to start to get a grip on an edged weapon you do not want to lose. A finger twisted around the knife's ricasso I sported mine all white-tap ed-up slows the movement of the knife out of your hand, or out of position in your hand. If the handle is slightly rubberized stay away from woods, ceramics, and other things, like stone, or plastic, that slide too easily all the better.
And while silver and stainless-steel handles and blades are good for the movies, with a darker blade and the right kind of light, people might even think you were just dancing, instead of what it is you may really be doing: fighting for your life in a battle you want to see finishing.
Keywords: YOU Oh, and only use a four-inch blade or shorter if you just want to play. It takes something longer than four inches to get through all the fascia, chest muscles, and rib cage, and into the heart. STYLE: Filipinos have a kick-ass stick fighting art, escrima, which can easily be modified to include knives. Except, according to Bhowmick, "knives are used differently than you use a stick.
But the mechanics are similar. Let's view the body like an X — two arms in the air, two legs on the ground. IF you want to play, this is all that matters. If you want to bleed someone out sllUoooowwwww. Arm attacks and leg attacks are good. Upward slashing maneuvers with the knife tucked underneath toward your little finger are good when the person you're fighting has no knife we ain't going to ask.
But if the person you're fighting HAS a knife? Yeah, you wanna go West Side Story and hold the knife forward, finger twisted around the ricasso, and think about counting to four, since the fourth button on a button -down shirt is where you need to go to stop a heart. Which is our thoroughly genteel way of saying, ice the motherfucker, whether he's wearing a button-down, a T-shirt, or no shirt at all.
Not slashing play time but stabbing work time. There's a big difference. And a lot of times, that has everything to do with what you're going to say when it's over if you're alive to say anything at all. In short: if you had to kill him, make sure that's a HAD to kill him. Or you're likely to have many more occasions, on the shower- room side of your local penitentiary, to practice your fine new art.
Much more like a Clint Eastwood. And not so willing to be ID'd for quotes like this: "We're used to our hands stopping when they come to a chest, especially fighters, striking-arts guys. But when you stab someone your hand just moves right through them, it feels like.
Right on through. The road that led to studying with Dentharonee Muang Surin and Sensak Muag Surin the names probably won't matter to you but know that these are just some more men who could kill you as quickly as they could look at you. And probably the selfsame road that rewarded his scholarship in the blood arts with a call from a family friend in the Indian Ministry of Defense, and a subsequent involvement with intelligence work.
And this is where he leans toward me and asks me to turn off the tape recorder and in total life-and-death fashion asks me to be circumspect about what I say from here on out. He could get in trouble. But more importantly, I could get in trouble. Like the kind of trouble you got into in Burma? You remember that? My association with Bhowmick goes back fifteen years, to when he was operating as an occasional gem dealer and full-time muay thai instructor.
The gem thing seemed a curious conceit. But what I called a conceit he called a cover, and that, combined with the martial arts, allowed him to travel and train fighters in the art of fighting and other, um, "stuff," you know? And as luck would have it, there he was in Burma. Training students. And that's the way he says it, students. No quotes around that word; in fact, no quotes around almost everything I think should have quotes around it, which is almost everything he's said since he started hinting around the whole "CIA operative" trip.
But I must assume that they were real card-carrying students and that we haven't slipped into the intelligence-community rabbit hole where everyone's a "freedom fighter" and words never seem to mean what they say. Freedom fighters. Just beating it out of Dodge. And, of course, that last-minute twist that makes movies so movie-like: a forgotten, much-needed address book.
Without it. And have actually never been back. Later trips to Dubai. And even more than that. The stuff between the ellipses from the secured server part of the CUPIM website: "Dozens of clandestine intelligence operations, counter-terrorism assignments and high risk protection operations spread over 20 plus countries throughout his career. The trick was to get those who fought not for fun but for keeps to talk about fighting for keeps without drawing undue and distinctly unhealthy associations with the nature of interpersonal struggle and those who professionally engage in such and without getting them arrested.
The hare is thinking about his life. And with these come different sets of motivations and methods. Part of your arm. So if someone can touch you in a fight, if they have a knife they can cut you. In fact, I'd rather face a man with a gun than a man with a knife any day. Because a man with a gun might miss. A man with a knife will always cut you. But you'll do okay if you: 1. Accept that you will bleed. Maintain a mission-oriented commitment.
Have a philosophical idealism, or, some would say, faith; and 4. Use aggressive approaches with better technique to win the day. Dale Carnegie couldn't have said it better. But even this was a loaded thicket. David Grossman in his sensitively titled tome On KiMng: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society states that in any given population a certain percentage of pre-existing psychotics will be capable of carrying fighting well beyond the parameters of sport into killing.
And do so while suffering nary a negative side effect — hence the psychotic part. This subgroup, less than 5 percent, he rules out of serious consideration, averaged out with the pacifists. Bhowmick smiles. But if you give me ten men I can turn fifty percent into killers. For instance, the public face of his university is Michael Corcoran, former Secret Service man, purportedly on presidential detail the day that Reagan got shot. These guys are taking shots, not giving them.
But then I am reminded of the wildly seesawing angle of attack on both of these. After Larry Flynt got shot and paralyzed, security in his Wilshire Boulevard redoubt was muscular and structured the way good security is usually structured: present but not too present. Then-executive editor Allan MacDonell was escorting me through the offices, where I was meeting him to discuss my first article for Hustler: a potboiler about collections thugs.
I asked about Larry's security and MacDonell said significantly, "They do a real good job of protecting Larry from bad things. Sometimes they protect him from bad things before they even happen. So it goes with Bhowmick's career arc: a Hindu in a Christian school who was attracted to Buddhism, muay thai, the righting of wrongs, the wronging of rights But when I paraphrase that line from the Nicholas Cage flick Lord of War, that every thug with a gun and a dream calls himself a "freedom fighter," he just smiles.
He smiles and tells me to come back if I have any further questions, and so I do. I call back several times and he's out of country, and busy, or in the country and busy. I get a hold of him one more time and he's cordial as cordial can be, but when I make a move to ask my follow-up questions he's like quicksilver until I realize that I, in actual fact, already have my answer: a lot.
Mr Murray, who is beUeved to have been under surveillance for several weeks, was detained in the capital Rabat yesterday on suspicion of kidnap and robbery. Kent police also revealed that two men had been arrested on Friday in connection with money laundering. Moroccan police swooped on the suspect, who is known as Lee "Lightning" Murray, while he was with other men near the Mega Mall in the Souisi district.
Mr Murray, 26, is a well-known cage fighter, who has appeared on television. Cage fighting is a mixture of kick boxing and wrestling in which contestants fight in a cage. Mr Murray, who is from the South London area, nearly died last year when he was stabbed outside a London nightclub. Britain has no formal extradition treaty with Morocco, so would have to make a special, one-off request. The last extradition from Morocco to Britain was in The man is in custody in Rabat and the United Kingdom is now seeking extradition.
A significant amount of cash was recovered. The money is now being counted and forensically examined. Most of the cash is still missing. He, being specifically Eddie Williams. Back to him later. Right now I'm more amazed that there's no mention of Oz anywhere in there. Possibly because, you see, Oz was a TV show about a place where men go to get drilled in the ass for crimes against society.
Those others mentioned are NGN-fictional, the Ivy League of West Coast penitentiaries, just places where men go to get drilled in the ass for one reason and one reason only: they didn't fight long enough, hard enough, and, ultimately, GOOD enough to keep FROM getting ass-drilled. But this middle-class preoccupation with man-on-man titillation is about more than underclass class lust, though.
It's about a lot more. For men. For women it might be just the joy of a little televised rough trade with well-muscled men doing what well-muscled men do when there are no women around to do it to. But for men, for modem men separated from rites and rituals that set off the boyhood years from the horrible sameness of everything that everybody else is doing, unspoken prison fantasies have much more to do with figuring exactly what kind of a man you are.
Where exactly you fit on the predator-prey scale of jungle politics. Where with very little else other than your hands balled into fists, and maybe an occasional shank, you will be called on to fight like you mean it. This is as far from sports fighting as you might ever want to get, and an order of magnitude away from shady CIA operatives fired up into insane action by the good fight. This is the inferno end of the fight spectrum, where losses are measured in a kind of despoiling only dreamed about in A prison fight boils down to this: your right and ability to self-define as a man.
Or, more specifically, to self-define as a man who doesn't have to bend over when he's told to. His biggest claim to fame was a darkly comic and mobbed-up version of The Crying Game called Mob Queen that starred a lot of the guys who later appeared in The Sopranos, as well as Mike's question, "Have you ever heard of jailhouse rock? It's supposed to be, no pun intended, killer. How come Bernard Hopkins in his much-ballyhooed tales of toasting bread with flashlight batteries prison-side never gave a shout-out to the "dreaded and deadly" jailhouse rock?
Wrestling at both and in junior high school, high school, junior college, and at San Jose State, Williams got into the gig during a rough time. Post-Vietnam, pre-post-traumatic-stress- disorder-diagnosis, and a coked-up disco'd-out style of life had him living La Vida Edgy "I was stuck in there, working, with some highly volatile cats," says Williams whose presentation has all the lasting earmarks of prison paranoia: standing at your side when he talks, eyes scanning the McDonald's parking lot where we're meeting.
People used to want to get busted in San Francisco since San Francisco had the reputation as being lenient. They'd commit a crime in Oakland and drive like crazy to get busted in San Francisco. Like I can almost see smoke coming out of his head.
Yeah, incongruities abound. But I put it to him: Jailhouse rock — stunningly effective fighting style or just stunningly effective fiction? I want to hear 'Motherfucker this and that. They'll wear everything they own, pack in some newspapers, maybe a phone book.
I mean, hand-to-hand in here will much more likely than not involve shanks. If you get stuck, by the time we get shit locked down you could very well bleed out. And they'd use the kicks to set up something else. Usually a takedown. But yard fights are a different animal since your time-to-stoppage is much shorter, so it's all about causing as much damage as possible as quickly as possible. I remember this little Latino dude.
He was in there for three inside contract hits. He was in there for life, and there had been all of this anticipation before he got there. Well, he shows up and he looked like a gardener. So I wondered what the deal was. Read his file a bit more closely and from the looks of it and as far as I could tell he had hands like lightning. Very fast hands. He had stabbed one guy thirteen times in the yard before anybody knew what had happened. Is that what they're caUing 'jailhouse rock'?
Probably not. Hard to sell videos of capital crimes. But we'll let that slide. Fight fast: "Five feet across and seven feet deep is a pretty fast ring. What I've seen and, keep in mind if I'm seeing it, and if I'm doing my job, I should be doing something to stop it.
But what I've seen has guys moving in with straight punches to back someone up on their heels and then usually into a double-leg take-down that'll end with punches to the loser's face. Years on gang detail and doing undercover work has Williams vibing "con" significantly enough that he still gets stopped and routinely rousted before they find his badge. What is it? Probably the same thing that makes a man want to work with those for whom stabbing is a good career move. The game has changed," he says ruefully.
It's all about the poking. So it's not like you really get to see any good fights anymore. And like I said, when I show up, the dancing usually stops. But I got an AB you might want to talk to You know, a peckerwood. Aryan Brotherhood. Now, HE liked to bang. And if anybody's heard of 'jailhouse rock' it's him. Williams looks at me, just a flash, a flash that says, yes, you ARE stupid. Because as strange as that might seem to us on the outside — Aryan Brotherhood hanging with black cop — inside the walls, where the uneasy alliance between La Mesa, the Black Guerilla Family, the tongs.
Or necessity. Or convenience. He knows I am black. For him. Jesus H. If I don't get info on the fight game, at least I might very well get a fight out of it. Just what I need. The disembodied voices on the phone trying to feel their way around a shape, or form, off in the ether.
Sort of a semi-non-accented California brogue: equal parts beach boy and thin strains of Okie. This could have been a prison affectation; this could be the popularity of Jeff Foxworthy; but if I'm listening for signs of a raving Aryan ideologue, and I'm not sure I am, I'm not hearing it. I AM listening, fundamentally the way all men listen to other men, for the telltales of their place in space and that unspoken answer to the question we're all always asking, even if we're not admitting it to ourselves, or each other: Can I take him?
Do I need to? The badinage is easy and I'm hearing about his recent gig bodyguarding for traveling strippers and paranoiac Persians with pressing business in Phoenix, San Diego, and Tijuana hey Will he talk about life in the joint? And you can feel his eyes narrow. Despite his apparent openness, after four years on an eight-year bid for a wide variety of malfeasances, from firearms, to brandishing aforementioned firearms in public, to, finally, drug selling, buying, and possession, he wants to be sure exactly what it is that I am asking.
Do you have any interest in discussing this possible red herring of a fight style, jail-house rock? Or fighting in prison in general? Yeah, it's the House That Pete Built. Pete Grymkowski is the man widely credited with franchising it and turning it into sort of the prototypical fern bar that it is today.
But appearances can be deceiving, and as I wend my way between the exercise enthusiasts, squeezing in a fast set of abs, I note that it is and that guys who have spent any time at all in the joint seem rarely to be late and so I work my way to the glass doors because I like to be early, if not on time, and I like seeing them before they see me. And when I do, I make Tommy Kellas right away. Not because he vibes penitentiary, because he doesn't.
Well, maybe just a little. But because he's built for it. I mean central casting built for it. To my eye, he's much shorter than the previously claimed G'S". He's probably about an even 6", but he's also a lot heavier than the claimed Maybe pounds of reddened, bald-headed, tattooed muscle, about thirty -seven years old. As he moves to step past me I try to block his path until we're standing face-to-face. How are you? He's got to be the most affable Aryan I have yet to meet.
When I ask him where he wants to do the interview — in amongst the potted ferns or outside — he says, "I gotta do some cardio first. I'm now. Down from Gimme about forty minutes. And again: So is jailhouse rock bullshit or what? And I had a few fights when I was in there. I was with all of that fucking meth. But I blew up pretty quickly and then I got approached by a guy, um, that they called a 'secretary' He's usually a guy that's been there a long time.
Longer than almost everybody else, and he comes up to you early on and he asks to see your papers. Now, when you're in prison you have all of these papers, papers that talk about your case. I still have mine. And this guy will ask you for it and though he himself is nothing to inspire fear in anybody you need to know that you GOTTA show them your papers because everybody needs to know, and they're going to find out anyway, what you did to get in there.
They're like Black Muslims. Or Jehovah's Witnesses or something. If you ain't riding with the Angels before getting there, then you ain't getting in. The NLRs are not so big. So it was down to the ABs and the Woods. Which was short for Peckerwoods. Or country boys. I didn't.
These guys were no fucking joke. Besides which they're getting phased out of major institutions because they've figured out that when you have more than a few of them together the pattern is the same: they start organizing, then they start prospecting, and then people start getting killed.
So they're breaking them up and spreading them out. But I really just wanted to do my bid and get the fuck out. But even being a Wood, there was a shitload of rules. While I'm talking to you? That was a no-no. If I was inside I'd be grabbing on to my pants just to keep my hands from moving. Pretty much everything that other groups did we did not do. We didn't talk loud, we didn't wave our hands when we talked.
In fact once we had this kid in there who we started calling Eminem. He had blond dyed hair, the whole bit. Well, once we caught him watching BET, cuz he was into rap and shit and someone said, 'Hey Tell that motherfucker no go. But he kept doing it so we had to move on him.
Put him in the hospital. We just couldn't have it. And my job was to, well my first job was to go to see this guy. Now, the secretary had asked this guy for his papers and instead of showing them, the guy said, 'Oh,' and then came over to me with this 'Are you the head white man in charge here? Some guy's asking me for my papers! The biggest deal for me while I was there, was the fact that they were only feeding me about 1, to 1, calories a day. You're a big guy too, so you gotta know that that's going to be tough.
So I was irritable a lot of the time. But they sent me and two other guys with me because this guy was himself like pounds, and when we hit his cell we hit his fucking cell. We beat him good. And we found out what the secretary had just suspected.
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