I came across my Moleskine journal from last summer, and this took me back to that day—my first day back in Edinburgh, Scotland. I’d slept part of the night and awoken on New York time. So I went for a walk very early in the morning, and I wrote:
Friday, August 11. 2015
At eight in the morning, the Princes Street Gardens smell sweet—a vague scent of flowers and grasses I can’t name. The rubbish collectors are out picking up trash left on the grass and walkways. I’ve never been here before at this time to see it. I tip the solid wooden bench aright and sit down as a workman calls up to his friend at street level. The accent, as always, charms me as he answers the other with that Scottish upturned inflection, “Fuck yourself off!”
Only one other person (non-worker) is here—an artistic sort in Doc Martens, holding a notebook and writing. (Another writer.) The Waverley speakers announce arrivals and departures in an unintelligible blur as a train pulls away, and I wish I were on it. I should come here again in the morning, while the city is only beginning to waken.
After encouraging Charlotte’s talents, Constantin Heger, who has been teaching her French literature, has grown more formal, signaling that he “will never see her in a romantic light.” Ultimately, Harman writes, he will “cost her two years of intense heartache, humiliation and futile hope.”
As she recounts in a letter to her sister Emily and, later, in the novel “Villette,” Charlotte wanders forlornly into a cathedral, an unfamiliar haunt for the daughter of a Church of England minister with Methodist inclinations. There she confesses, in French, to a priest. The experience “solaced” her and “gave her an idea not just of how to survive or override her most powerful feelings, but of how to transmute them into art,” Harman writes.
Jack may have been climbing that beanstalk for more than 5,000 years
A few hundred years ago, fairy tale auteurs like the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and Charles Perrault helped bring magical tales of princesses, evil ogres, dark forests, weird spells and thwarted love into the storybooks—and to the bedsides—of children, everywhere. But how old are the tales they transcribed? A new study suggests that their origins go all the way back to prehistory.
In a new study published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, a folklorist and anthropologist say that stories like Rumpelstiltskin and Jack and the Beanstalk are much older than originally thought. Instead of dating from the 1500s, the researchers say that some of these classic stories are 4,000 and 5,000 years old, respectively. This contradicts previous speculation that story collectors like the Brothers Grimm were relaying tales that were only a few hundred years old.
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonianmag/fairy-tales-could-be-older-ever-imagined-180957882/#1C52PJEYphMEgXHd.99
You can find Jax Turyna on the cover of my book, Highland Soldiers 3, The Return