A place wherein this Dwarven Cleric can share his love of maps, dice, miniatures, and all things involving gaming and general geekery--not to mention the occasional witty non-gaming observations--whilst escaping from the humdrum existence of his routine Terran existence.

Hail and Well Met, fellow traveler! May my Stronghold provide a place for enlightenment and amusement, and somewhere to keep your dice dry. Enter and rest awhile.

28 October 2011

Literary References -- OSR Challenge, Sept. 2011

Now that the dust from the September OSR Challenge has settled, I'm sure there are a few out there who have wondered about the source of some of my OSR Challenge post titles. As an English major, book-worshipping, pun-lover my inspirations are varied. Some of the posts' titles are obvious, but some may be a bit more obscure. I apologize in advance: I realize that this post is a bit of ego-stroking, a "Look at how clever I am" kind of post. However, a friend suggested that maybe I should share the origin of some of these titles, in part so that I can share that "Aha" moment with you, as well as to give you a bit of a laugh (not to mention a peek into my crazed psyche. She claimed that knowing the source added to the humor and depth of the individual posts. So, if I miss one that you want explained, let me know.... Otherwise, look below the fold.

  • Stony Limits: Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare, Act II, Scene ii:
    With Love's light wings did I o'erperch these walls;
    For stony limits cannot hold love out,
    And what love can do that dares love attempt;
    Therefore thy kinsmen are no stop to me.

  • Flour in the Attic: a play on words based on the 1979 novel Flower in the Attic, by V.C. Andrews. (A book that I have never read, by the way.)

  • A Mote It Is To Trouble The Mind's Eye: Hamlet, William Shakespeare, Act I, Scene i:
    A mote it is to trouble the mind’s eye. (Referring to the ghost of the late King Hamlet.)

  • The Hoofs Of The Goaded Steed: Man of the Forest, by Zane Grey, Chapter XXV:
    "Las Vegas ran his horse from Widow Cass's cottage to Turner's saloon, and the hoofs of the goaded steed crashed in the door."

  • Out, Out, Brief Candle: Macbeth, William Shakespeare, Act V, Scene v:
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more.

  • To Dim the Glowing Battle-Forge Once More: Agamemnon, by Aeschylus (525-456 B.C.), l.165:
    But O beware! lest wrath in heaven abide,
    To dim the glowing battle-forge once more,
    And mar the mighty curb of Trojan pride,
    The steel of vengeance, welded as for war!

  • Mount The Terrace...And Hearken What The Frightful Sounds Convey: ├ćneid. The Second Book of the ├ćneis, by Vergil (70 B.C.–19 B.C.), l.404:
    But mount the terrace, thence the town survey, And hearken what the frightful sounds convey.

  • Walk Into My Parlor: The Spider and the Fly, by Mary Howitt:
    "'Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you may spy.
    The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
    And I have many curious things to show when you are there."
    "Oh no, no," said the little fly; "to ask me is in vain,
    For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."
    . . . .
    "Sweet creature!" said the spider, "you're witty and you're wise;
    How handsome are your gauzy wings; how brilliant are your eyes!
    . . . .
    "Come hither, hither, pretty fly, with pearl and silver wing;
    Your robes are green and purple; there's a crest upon your head;
    Your eyes are like diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!"

  • Dank As A Ditch: Root Cellar, by Theodore Roethke:
    "Nothing would sleep in that cellar, dank as a ditch,
    Bulbs broke out of boxes hunting for chinks in the dark,
    Shoots dangled and drooped,
    Lolling obscenely from mildewed crates,
    Hung down long yellow evil necks, like tropical snakes.
    And what a congress of stinks!
    Roots ripe as old bait,
    Pulpy stems, rank, silo-rich,
    Leaf-mold, manure, lime, piled against slippery planks.
    Nothing would give up life:
    Even the dirt kept breathing a small breath."
    (Emphasis added.)
I'm pretty sure that the remainder of the titles refer to things that are sufficiently mainstream to not need explanation. If you want to know more, feel free to e-mail me or comment below.

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