". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fashion Discovers *Discovery of Witches* & *The Shadow of Night*

As in the forthcoming film* starring Angelina Jolie as the witch Malificent. Though, as it's based on the fairy tale of "Sleeping Beauty," wasn't Malificent just a bad fairy, not a witch?

As this information arrives via the New York Times Style section, we may wish to judge it in that light.

“The witch is the ultimate bad girl,” said Carly Cushnie of the design team Cushnie et Ochs, who riffed on the Salem witch trials in the fall collection she unveiled last month. “You want to be her.”
 It’s a concept, all right. Witchcraft and its moody expressions — long weedy hair, peaked hats and pointy boots — have attained a strange cachet of late. No longer the hideous wart-covered crone of folklore and fairy tale, the witch of current films, like “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” and “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” and recent youth-oriented novels like “Released Souls” and “A Discovery of Witches,” has swept aside the vampire as a symbol of power, glamour and style.
Would you want to model yourself on a "Salem witch, " the girls whose hysteria were responsible for the destruction and deaths of innocent people?
The best witches,** it seems to me, are the ones who have come out of Deborah Harkness's series.  The second volume had a lot of problems as a novel, all them around characterization and pacing. It's as though Harkness hadn't yet learned what makes a novel. Through her characters she's so busy chasing time, that in terms of fiction effect, she's lost sight of timing. 
Still,  The Shadow of Night offers much of wonder and originality: the investigations into where the double helix of life extends from the moebius band of time:  perhaps ... eternal life ... or eternal species extinction. I am so looking forward to the third volume in Harkness's series, the conclusion of the All Souls Trilogy

There supposedly is going to be The Discovery of Witches movie, but there seems to have been no more movement on that project in more than a year ago, when it was announced to be in development.

** Though for charm alone, Tanya Huff's witches of her two Enchantment Emporium novels are equal to Harkness's.  But Harkness's fictional world is founded upon on themes and questions that at one time might have been called natural philosophy and alchemy, and now are the matters of the 'hard sciences'  such as chemistry, physics and micro-biology.

1 comment:

Foxessa said...

The witch as sartorial fashion and style, however, beats by far this hideous development of how limelight women present themselves, and then others attempt to imitate.

This is something that shouldn't be done even by limelight bold-faced name women.

This isn't cane-shaking, btw. It's -- just -- hideous.

Love, C.