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Flesh and Bone is a contemporary twist on these familiar tropes. Paul, creative director of the fictional American Ballet Company, is one of the most domineering characters on the show. The company also hires the bleach-blonde punk choreographer Toni Cannava to create its comeback ballet.
He reads books and writes stories of heroism and danger. We come to understand that Claire and Bryan were raised by an angry and emotionally abusive father. But she is now something else, something more like a vampire, with blood dripping over her lip backstage. His spell is broken. Could there be anything more theatrical? But the structure gives it moral weight: In gothic horror, desire is not a failing to be quashed but a force to be directed, something that can kill a person or conquer abuse and domination. In choosing ballet as both the story and structure, Walley-Beckett focuses her attention particularly on the complicated relationships that stem from abuse and obsession.
The conspicuous austerity of the early Christians caught the eye of early observers, including the Greek doctor Galen. In the competitive marketplace of Roman imperial religion, the way in which Paul loaded questions of sexual morality with dramatic salvific significance gave the moral teaching of this small but vocal movement a particular flavor. The proclamation of the gospel and this strange, spiritualized rigorism were inseparable. T he Christian movement did not come, in the first place, to overthrow the Stoic sages, but rather the folk and civic polytheism that ruled in the hearths and streets of the ancient Mediterranean.
Despite the importance of the philosophical schools in shaping literate morality, traditional paganism prevailed.
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The Roman Empire was not an age of spiritual decadence, as once believed. Christianity did not triumph over a tired or limping polytheism. The old gods confidently ruled. The cities thrummed with their sounds, and the streets were fogged with altar smoke. Later Roman Alexandria, we happen to know, had some 2, temples.
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So it is no accident that the Roman Empire gave birth to the genre of deeply religious literature we call the Greek romance. The romances may be as close as we can get to the warm, earthy spirit of mature paganism in the centuries when Christianity rose to prominence. These long, prose stories of love—of eros, erotic love—start to appear in the first century.
They celebrate the idea that two young people, a boy and a girl of high station and uncommon beauty, can fall in love with each other and overcome the obstacles thrown in their way. In the end, all tensions are resolved, as reliably as the stars move across the heavens.
The lovers wed and are physically united. Sex is a blessing, the source of all generation and renewal. These romances proclaim that we belong to the world; we are ordered toward its endless pattern of sexual consummation and new life. The presiding god is Eros, the son of Aphrodite, a god of this world if ever there was one.
In Daphnis and Chloe , a second-century pastoral romance that Goethe advised rereading every year, the innocent, natural desire of the two protagonists is likened to the same lush power of nature that impelled the herds of rams and ewes in their season of love.
The springs of desire well up from deep inside us and sweep us through life on their raging currents. Sex is an immanent, divine force running through the cycles of time. In these narratives, the whole course of vegetable life—desire, love, marriage, sex, childbirth—constitute who we truly are.
We belong here, to the earth, to the benevolent gods, and to the dancing cosmos. Despite its charms, the romance told Christians exactly what they were not. They did not belong in this world. It is telling that early Christians shaped their imaginations with the diffuse body of legends known as the apocryphal acts of the apostles whence come such integral stories as the quo vadis and upside-down crucifixion of Peter. These stories are, despite their low literary register, clever anti-romances. In these stories, the Christian apostle often rends a convert away from sex and marriage.
Usually, the apostle convinces the beautiful wife of a powerful Roman to believe in Christ, and even to renounce conjugal relations. The Christians in these narratives are ruthlessly hunted by a ruling order that is not benevolent. The assault on physical eros throws ice water in the face of those who walk through life oblivious to the false promises of this world. The stories end not in marriage and the renewal of life but in abstinence and spectacular, sanguinary acts of dying.
The renunciation of sex is integral to the apocryphal acts, not as a discrete moral commandment, but as a way of orienting the self in the world. In the early Christian imagination, sexual renunciation turns humanity away from the transient cosmos and toward the eternal reality of divine truth. For the early Christians, a rigorous sexual morality was integral to its spiritual project, which was to move through a world that was always ebbing away and toward the immaterial and transcendent God.
I t was not the austere sexual morality itself that set Christians apart from the world so much as its central place within an effort to redefine how humanity ought to live in a created but fallen order. This transforming vision was something new and altogether estranging—in antiquity and ever since. Michel Foucault was neither the first nor the last to look at the rigors of Stoic virtue and see antecedents for Christian austerity.
But appearances of continuity are deceptive. However close they were in time, place, and occasionally idiom, what seem like subtle differences between Epictetus and Paul in fact point toward an impassable chasm. The Christian revolution in sexual morality was a departure from, not an acceleration of, Stoic asceticism. And it was a radical break from the warm and earthy pagan eroticism of the kind we find in romance. Christianity put forward a new cosmology, a new ethics, and a new vision of human solidarity, in short, a new view of human destiny that makes sex far more important.
Sexual morality is integral to the Christian vision of redemption. The experience of the early Church might suggest that there have always been, and will always be, uneasy fault lines between the Church and the culture around it. These fault lines have become more visible and dramatic in recent decades. Instead, it is a change in the background conditions of all beliefs.
The self is no longer imagined as journeying toward final redemption. Human existence is pictured within an indifferent and infinite universe made up of what T. In this model, sex was, and is, the crux of secularization. According to Taylor, the s saw the sensibility of romanticism broadened into a mass phenomenon.
By romanticism he does not mean the dynamic of the ancient Greek romances, a fusion of erotic desire with a fecund, living cosmos. Modern romanticism is more anthropocentric. Romanticism in this sense means an ethic of individual expressivism in accord with codes of authenticity and freedom. Unable to recover eros as worldly god—and unmoored from a shared, public culture whose picture of the universe has a measure of enchantment and meaning—we are left with eros as a private prerogative. She gets her eyes opened in more ways than one.
Mazie 4 stars -Once again this one was not as great as the other stories.
I was not as engaged with this one. It probably was because Tame Cat was so good and I wished that one had gone on a bit longer. Nothing Hurts for Long 5 stars -A woman's awakening to what state her marriage is really in after witnessing the implosion of her friend's marriage. Once again there was a sly dark humor running through this one.
You knew that the main character was going to get a pie in her face by the end, and du Maurier did not disappoint. Week-End 5 stars -Funny which makes me kind of messed up by the way from beginning to end. Watch young love die. Seriously though, it did make me laugh. And notice how the title of this story is labeled. The Happy Valley 5 stars -I dithered about this one a bit, but honestly it was kind of all over the place until the very end. But, it needed to be since you could feel the confusion of the main character until the final reveal which I thought was brilliantly done.
I actually got a shiver up my spine when I got to a certain part and the ending. It was wonderful to read from beginning to end. It reminded me of Sex and the City when spoilers Carrie and Big begin their affair and you see how hot and passionate it was and how it went to indifference over time in a 1 minute montage. The Limpet 4. It was still great though. Reading about a woman's constant complaints about her life though without her even realizing what a schemer she really is and also how she is at turns naive.
I think one story though really got to me. I loved them all for their tragic, gothic-like settings, stories and people.. View 1 comment. Dec 26, Elaine rated it it was ok Shelves: , audio. Some things should stay lost! The narrator had a somewhat sharp grating voice that added to the general feeling that these very short stories were somehow too long. This is my firs encounter with Du Maurier and I must say it will not be my last.
Like any volume of short fiction, the stories are of varying quality, but they are all extremely well-crafted and written. Not all of them hit the mark for me in the emotions evoked a couple seem shallow , but Du Maurier captures the dark comedy and light tragedy of life in scintillating fashion. It is melancholic and This is my firs encounter with Du Maurier and I must say it will not be my last.
It is melancholic and gothic and just down-right creepy. This is one doll I'll never forget. If you are Du Maurier fan, this collection is a must; if, like me, you've never read Du Maurier, give it a try, it might make you one. The women discovered themselves, were tempted by things unknown to them, consumed by passion. But this comes at a cost, in this case with an axe to the head.
Underneath all the jubilation, there was an approaching darkness, and undercurrent of evil that was brought in with the tide. The east wind changed everything for the islanders, and then sooner had it come, it was gone. The visitors not unlike the wind itself, leaving destruction in its wake. The female is able to have sexual desire without the need of a man, which at the time it was written would have been unheard of.
No wonder it was never published after she wrote it. The style was also interesting, with the narrative being from a notebook, which was found on a beach by another man who felt the writings were too important to be ignored. They tell the story of a man who falls in love with a musician by the name of Rebecca, but she toys with him, plays with his affection to the point that he is almost driven to insanity.
Rebecca one night introduces her to Julio, a man sized doll who she seems to have a strange affinity with, and immediately the man knows there is something wrong and that Rebecca is out of his reach. I cannot help but think what became of the man and why he left his notebook to find. Meanwhile Rebecca seems to carry on, alone, but not needing anyone else to sustain her, to love her.
Chapter Eight: Transforming Gender: Passion, Desire and Consciousness
There are likenesses between this Rebecca and the character by the same name in her later novel Rebecca , to the point where you can almost see the idea start to bud. And Now to God the Father — 3 Stars The story of Reverend James Hollaway did not strike me as much as the other stories in this collection so far, but that is not to say that it was not enjoyable.
It seems the good Reverend is only interested in his looks and his status in society, to the point where he ignores the plight of a young and vulnerable girl taken advantage of by a high society boy. Not very Christian at all. Maybe that was the point of the story. When the girl turns up dead after speaking to the Reverend, he appears unconcerned, instead feeling perhaps relief that a situation he was tasked to deal with has been resolved.
He returns to his sermons, his social life, and his high status, without one care for this loss of life, completely undervaluing the girl and her feelings and even her position in society. Powerful men make the rules, and God seems to bend to their will, with religion nothing more than a tool used to control by those tasked to wield it. A Difference in Temperament — 4 Stars I absolutely loved this. Funny, it reminded me of my husband and myself in a way. The thoughts of both the man and the woman seemed so real, and I swear I have had something akin to that argument before.
It was so fantastically written that the narrative switched from the husband to the wife so easily and almost without detection, yet each had their own voice. Your thoughts play tricks as you try to justify yourself, and in the end you end up concocting the most extreme situation where you lose everything as if your subconscious is trying to teach you a lesson for being so selfish. This story was so human, so real and relatable. Frustration — 3. A couple finally decide to get married, and after seven long years can finally be alone together.
But after their wedding a comedy of errors ensues where their camping honeymoon is a disaster, their car and belongings get stolen, the wife loses her wedding ring down a drain, they are not allowed to stay in the same room together and when the husband does try and get to his locks himself in his own room , and then ultimately get jobs where one works during the day and the other at night. There was a definite change in tone with the story, with no dark undercurrent that ultimately signalled doom, although perhaps this couple were just not meant to be.
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She recalls the man who turned her to a life of crime, time she spent in prison, and then trying to find her way after she is released. She is a whimsical girl, taking her decisions from the signs around her, and her narrative is written so strongly. The end passage, when she is going down into the train tunnels and sees her boyfriend heading up the stairs the other way with another girl, was really symbolic and troubling, a sign of the lost girl and the man she protected who now has everything. But it was the last line that did to for me, it was so striking that I ended up reading it about three or four times.
I really felt for this protagonist, even though I could tell exactly where the story was going. Alas, as soon as the mother sees her beautiful daughter she is different towards her, cold and distant. Baby just wants to go and have some fun, which she finds with her Uncle John, who same call the tame cat. It is a story about growing up, realising that things are changing and the real world is different to what she had imagined it. While Baby was so innocent and young spirited, there was around her a dark presence that seemed to haunt her despite her trying to deny its presence.
Even at the end there was no relief for Baby, and her statement: 'So being grown up was this: a sordid tissue of intimate relationships, complicated and vile. Mazie seemed to be going through her life, relishing in her dreams when she could, but with no real mind towards the future and what she could become as she ages and her dreams become further and further away. Nothing Hurts for Long — 4 Stars This was a lovely detailed little piece about a woman waiting for her husband to return after three months in Berlin.
MY REVOLUTION - One Billion Rising Revolution
She plans every part of the evening down to the food, flowers, and fire, and she sings as she dresses and positions everything just right. But things do not work out as she planned, and everything that was once beautiful has turned to ash in her eyes. Her friend May calls distressed, stating that her husband has left her after he returned from America and he was different. But yet, this could not happen to her, not when the love her and the husband have are so strong. That at such a young age Daphne could write such a tale that would likely ring true to a number of women, is truly amazing.
She seems to get right to the crux of what it feels like, how everything turns so suddenly, how the need to please and love can be dashed and you try in vain to get some semblance of that back.
It is also a testament to the changing nature of people, that our experiences change us. In some ways the woman is as trapped as the canary in a cage, singing alone in her house, soaking in the sun, never changing. Week-End — 3. It spoke to the never ending changes that love brings, but also to the naivety of youth. The fact that the couple ended up giving each other cute little nicknames and ended up sick and blaming each other for their predicament was so sudden but seemed to natural.
You could see the narrative slowly start to change, as even little things seemed to be given the spotlight. Daphne has such an eye for detail, and knows the smallest thing can change the feel of the story, and this one was done quite well. This was the first story in this collection that gave the impression of something paranormal occurring, as the woman seemingly saw into her own future.
This whole story was so well written, from the beauty of the Valley, to the harshness of the city. And His Letters Grew Colder — 3 Stars Written in the form of letters from a man, known as X, to his love, referred to as A, and how over the passage of time they grew different, more detached, colder. The transition was quite well done, as I was waiting for a slow deterioration, but yet it came on quite suddenly.
So many times X would apologise for hurting A or treating her poorly, and she would forgive him, but then it seemed that once the novelty wore out he was on to bigger and better things, and then just to leave as suddenly as he did. Daphne has explore love in most of her stories, and focused on the changing nature of relationships, speaking to an experience that she could not have had at such as young age when she wrote the majority of these stories.
But yet, she seems to grasp these feelings so well and explore them in an adult and sophisticated way which I guess was a sign of her time. The Limpet — 4 Stars This was the longest story in the whole collection, and focused around Dilly reflecting on her past and the people that have come and gone from her life. Or is it that I want to be rid of them? Everyone in her life leaves her, and it is kind of easy to see why.
Then at the end she has the audacity to claim that she was never given everything; she was, but she just squandered it. Dilly is such a well-built character though, and this story needed this length in order to really explore the person that she is. The story flowed so well and was so easy to read, and even the base characters were so well developed.
Daphne can work so well both in short-short story as well as the longer short story, and she can shape her writing seemingly however she wants. She had such a skill with the written word. Jan 12, Ryan rated it it was amazing. I adore a well written short story more than I do the same writing in novel form. The skill needed to tell a finely honed story in such a small amount of space, when down well, never fails to impress me.
This collection of thirteen stories blew me away, every single one of them made me laugh, shudder, and stare in amazement once I was done. I don't know what to type next or even what to say if someone were to ask me about this one. I think I would just stand there, tongue-tied, unable to fully ex I adore a well written short story more than I do the same writing in novel form.
I think I would just stand there, tongue-tied, unable to fully express the way these stories made me feel. I would find myself being both fascinated and horrified at the same time. I don't even know which story to start with, because for me there wasn't one of them that failed to impress me. The title story, "The Doll", is one that because of the subject matter will never leave my brain. Rebecca and her doll will wander the corridors of my brain, doing things that I never even dreamed of, let alone want to do.
The young lady in "The Tame Cat" who comes home after years at school, only to be caught up in a web of jealousy involving her mother and her mother's lover, will find a a few brain cells to move into and set up permanent residency. The manipulative harridan of "The Limpet" who just can't seem to understand why nobody loves her, made me pity and hate her at the same time. She has now whispers in my ear anytime she needs to whine about how unfair life is. I had only just read Rebecca for the first time a month or so ago, and Daphne du Maurier blew me away with her lushness of style.
With these thirteen short stories, she is cemented in my brain as someone who I need to read more of, and I don't think I'll ever be disappointed. View 2 comments. Oct 27, Jessica rated it liked it Shelves: found-in-the-swapshop , great-short-story-collections. Not as multi-textured as her later stories, but still And not a happy ending among them ;- Lovers who are misaligned, married couples uneven in their love for one another, mother-daughter pairs where the daughter dotes, the mother competes There is humor here too, but not as much as in the later works.
If there is a fault it is that you can often tell to what ending the story is headed, which is not so much true of her later work. Still, the journey there is not to be misse Not as multi-textured as her later stories, but still Still, the journey there is not to be missed. And her settings, as always--whether city streets, a beach on holiday, or a marital home--are memorable.
At least two stories deserve mention: "The Happy Valley," an eerie haunting story that blends dream, premonition and reality, as a young woman dreams and then finds the valley and house she will live in as a married woman, while also being alerted by a child not to step on a grave--her own, one presumes, as we see the house will be inhabited by her husband without her. In "And His Letter Grew Colder," we see one side of a correspondence and romance, a feminist tale in which we see how much of a cad a man can be once his sought-for love is attained.
The Doll is a collection of du Maurier's early short stories. The introduction by someone I'm not otherwise aware of seems to suggest that the main interest here is in the beginnings of themes that later haunted her work, and the glimpses of the things that haunted her personally. I'm not that interested in that, though, but I still found the stories well-crafted and interesting. Daphne du Maurier certainly had a way with her narration; 'The Limpet' made me smile in recognition Not as fine a The Doll is a collection of du Maurier's early short stories.
Not as fine as her later work, but worth a look if you're interested in du Maurier and the kind of stories she wrote. Dec 25, Simona rated it it was amazing. Thirteen short stories, some are excellent, some slightly awkward, but I like them all, mainly due to the excellent dynamic tension between the characters, and I can easily qualify this collection among my favorite books I've read this year. Oct 19, Audra Unabridged Chick rated it really liked it Shelves: heroine-unlikable , place-uk , short-stories , mood-dark-and-twisted , skeletons-in-the-closet , tres-amusing.
Daphne du Maurier is one of my patron saints, one of the handful of writers who indelibly shaped me and my tastes in literature, so I expected I'd love this collection of 'lost' short stories. I wasn't disappointed: the pieces here are wry and a little dark and deliciously British. These stories span her career, from her start to her post- Rebecca and post- The Birds days, and it's really exciting to see her entire career captured here. While du Maurier is known for her deliciously Gothic novels, Daphne du Maurier is one of my patron saints, one of the handful of writers who indelibly shaped me and my tastes in literature, so I expected I'd love this collection of 'lost' short stories.
While du Maurier is known for her deliciously Gothic novels, these short stories show her skill at seeing the darker side of romance. Her snappy portraits of marriages, affairs, and couples in love were delightful -- spot on, familiar, droll, and pointed. One of the earliest stories, 'And Now to God the Father' was written when she was 22, and it is a wicked portrayal of an Anglican priest who cares more for society than souls. I howled. A few of the stories were duds for me, including the opening piece, 'East Wind', which is sort of 'eh' so if you're cold on it too, just keep going, I promise it gets better!
If you haven't read Rebecca yet and that's okay, I still love you, but please for the love of everything that's good, read it immediately! But as an example of scathing British humor, this is a delight. Halloween shouldn't be the only time for indulging in darker themes, and these stories are twisted without being scary. Trust me: when it's all happy holiday time, you'll love having this collection to escape in to! Apr 07, Stacey rated it really liked it. I'm not typically a fan of short story collections, however I really enjoyed this collection.
Daphne du Maurier is an outstanding author and she really understands the nuances of human nature. This is exhibited time and again in this short story collection. Most of these were written early on in Daphne du Maurier 's career, with one being written later on. I seemed to get the impression that she prefers certain names for her characters or no name at all. I believe she went on to explore some of t I'm not typically a fan of short story collections, however I really enjoyed this collection.
I believe she went on to explore some of the themes within these stories more fully in her novels. I would definitely recommend this short story collection. Nov 04, Randee rated it really liked it Shelves: short-stories , wom-challenge. These short stories were written by du Maurier between and , so this is some of her earliest work. I liked most of them a great deal and if I had to pick a favorite, I would choose the chilling, "The Happy Valley.
What I have come to think of as almost her trademark powers of description so vivid that it makes me feel I am inside the story are already present. It's not hard to see that even in These short stories were written by du Maurier between and , so this is some of her earliest work. It's not hard to see that even in her earlier writing, she was gearing up for the masterpieces 'My Cousin Rachel' and 'Rebecca. This completes the three for du Maurier I had read a bio of her a month or so ago but couldn't count it towards my goal as it wasn't written by her, so I did not want to cheat.