Girls aren’t the only ones who appropriate shit, y’know.
forever upset that this was not in the movie
Goddamn these books are gold mines
new york city
shoutout to mozzarella sticks
This week’s fantastic being is the mermaid.
Image is public domain: A Mermaid by John William Waterhouse, 1901.
The legends and lore for mermaids are too many for a brief discussion; I shall have to attempt some economy, but even so this entry will be long. You know what mermaids look like: above the waist they are beautiful women, beautiful beyond mortal ken, but below the waist they are fish. The earliest mermaids seem to come from Assyria, where they indicate divine shame: the goddess Atargatis became a mermaid when she killed her human lover and hid beneath the waves, which could only hide part of her godly splendour. So mermaids are both amorous and violent in their very beginnings, I suppose, and have been sexy-lady-monsters since. Mermaids can be omens of shipwrecks or signs of good fortune. Sometimes they are confused with sirens and, for that matter, sirenia: the story goes that mermaids were misidentified manatees or dugongs. They have been sighted globally, and many tales feature them. It has been asked whether they have souls, like humans do: generally, the answer is that they do not, but from time to time they are converted to Christianity and baptized, though this seems to be rare. Much more often they fall in love with a man and come to shore—contrary to Hans Christian Anderson and Disney, they can get legs perfectly well on their own—and marry the smitten fellow. These marriages are often disastrous, since mermaids are flighty, impetuous, vain, and terrible at housework (or maybe their husbands are projecting). Eventually they return to the sea; it is sad, but for the best. The stories I prefer, however, are about the mermaids eldritch and fey, the ones whose loves are all tangled up with murder, the ones who do not know whether they want to kiss the sailor or drown him; indeed, they likely want to do both. Kate Beaton portrays these ones well, and I suppose they are emblems for the sea itself. (Or the Hudson river, in some versions.)
As with other sexy-lady-monsters (we have met the huldra already and in time I’ll introduce you to sirens and melusine, lamia and kitsune) they remind me of the loathly ladies. A loathly lady is sometimes beautiful and sometimes hideous; the occasion for switching depends on her curse’s particulars. In The Book of Imaginary Beings, Borges describes a shape-shifter as “a monster in time,” since its hybridity occurs sequentially rather than all at once; by the same token, I suggest a mermaid is a loathly lady in anatomy rather than in succession: a beautiful women bobs above the water, and a cold fish swishes beneath. All at once they are beauty and charm and a watery death at sea.
Posted by Christian H.
galaxies inside your head.
Stop letting people
you cannot shine.
|—||"For all those self doubters, take note" (via recklous)|
no but imagine
Rocket Raccoon and Groot wearing matching shirts
'If lost return to Groot' and 'I am Groot'