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Old 06-23-2008   #51
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Re: Puppet Passage of the Day...

He is but a Puppet Saint, that moves, he knows not how.
-- Samuel Butler, Remains

"Reality is the shadow of the word." -- Bruno Schulz
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Old 06-23-2008   #52
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Re: Puppet Passage of the Day...

"The eyes – a deep blue without hope of reflection – stared down at the hands; filaments running from each of the twelve fingers dangled spiders out onto the counter. The spiders sparkled like purple jewels in the dim light. Quin made them do undulating dances on the countertop, which was his lap, twelve spiders in a row doing an antique cabaret review. Another display of Living Art. I actually clapped at that one, despite the gob of fear deep in my stomach. The fear had driven the slang right out of me, given me the normals, so to speak, so I felt as if my tongue has been ripped from me.
With the sound of the clap – a naked sound in that place – his head snapped towards me and a smile broke his face in two. A flick of his wrist and the spiders wound themselves around his arm. (…)
(…)
In front of me, Quin had gone dead, like a puppet, as much as the spiders on his fingers had been puppets."

from Veniss Underground by Jeff Vandermeer

(the nightmare I had after reading this passage)

Bugs are little:
Bugs are wiggly.
Bugs can tickle
Till you're giggly.
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Old 06-24-2008   #53
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Re: Puppet Passage of the Day...

“The Talking Turk was attracting universal attention, and setting the town in commotion. The hall where this automaton was exhibited was thronged by a continual stream of visitors, of all sorts and conditions, from morning till night, all eager to listen to the oracular utterances which were whispered to them by the motionless lips of this wonderful quasi-human figure. The manner of the construction and arrangement of this automaton distinguished it very much from ordinary mechanical figures. It was, in fact, a very remarkable automaton. In the center of a room of moderate size, containing only a few indispensable articles of furniture, sat this figure, about the size of a human being, handsomely formed, dressed in a rich and tasteful Turkish costume, on a low seat shaped like a tripod. The exhibitor would move this seat if desired, to show that there was no means of communication between it and the ground.
The Turk’s left hand was placed in an easy position on its knee, and its right rested on a small movable table. Its appearance, as has been said, was that of a well-proportioned, handsome man, but the most remarkable part of it was its head. A face expressing a genuine Oriental astuteness gave it an appearance of life rarely seen in wax figures, even when they represent the characteristic countenances of talented men.
A light railing surrounded the figure, to prevent the spectators from crowding too closely about it; and only those who wished to inspect the construction of it (so far as the exhibitor could allow this to be seen without divulging his secret), and the person whose turn it was to put a question to it, were allowed to go inside this railing, and close up to the Turk. The usual procedure was to whisper the question you wished to ask into the Turk’s right ear; on which he would turn, first his eyes, and then his whole head, towards you; and since you were aware of a gentle stream of air, like breath coming from his lips, you assumed that the low reply which was given to you really did proceed from the interior of the figure.
From time to time, after a few answers had been given, the exhibitor would apply a key to the Turk’s left side, and wind up some clockwork with a good deal of noise. Here, also, he would, if desired, open a sort of lid, so that inside the figure you could see a complicated mechanism consisting of a number of wheels; and although you might not think it probable that this had anything to do with the automaton’s speech, it was still evident that it occupied so much space that no human being could possibly be concealed inside, even if he were no bigger than Augustus’s dwarf who was served up in a pasty.(…)”


--Automata by E.T.A Hoffman

There is more on automatons in that story. I think it should be read in its entirety.

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Old 06-24-2008   #54
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Re: Puppet Passage of the Day...

The Puppet Show
by Jonathan Swift

THE life of man to represent,
And turn it all to ridicule,
Wit did a puppet-show invent,
Where the chief actor is a fool.
The gods of old were logs of wood,
And worship was to puppets paid;
In antic dress the idol stood,
And priests and people bowed the head.
No wonder then, if art began
The simple votaries to frame,
To shape in timber foolish man,
And consecrate the block to fame.
From hence poetic fancy learned
That trees might rise from human forms
The body to a trunk be turned,
And branches issue from the arms.
Thus Daedalus and Ovid too,
That man's a blockhead have confessed,
Powel and Stretch the hint pursue;
Life is the farce, the world a jest.
The same great truth South Sea hath proved
On that famed theatre, the ally,
Where thousands by directors moved
Are now sad monuments of folly.
What Momus was of old to Jove
The same harlequin is now;
The former was buffoon above,
The latter is a Punch below.
This fleeting scene is but a stage,
Where various images appear,
In different parts of youth and age
Alike the prince and peasant share.
Some draw our eyes by being great,
False pomp conceals mere wood within,
And legislators rang'd in state
Are oft but wisdom in machine.
A stock may chance to wear a crown,
And timber as a lord take place,
A statue may put on a frown,
And cheat us with a thinking face.
Others are blindly led away,
And made to act for ends unknown,
By the mere spring of wires they play,
And speak in language not their own.
Too oft, alas! a scolding wife
Usurps a jolly fellow's throne,
And many drink the cup of life
Mix'd and embittered by a Joan.
In short, whatever men pursue
Of pleasure, folly, war, or love,
This mimic-race brings all to view,
Alike they dress, they talk, they move.
Go on, great Stretch, with artful hand,
Mortals to please and to deride,
And when death breaks thy vital band
Thou shalt put on a puppet's pride.
Thou shalt in puny wood be shown,
Thy image shall preserve thy fame,
Ages to come thy worth shall own,
Point at thy limbs, and tell thy name.
Tell Tom he draws a farce in vain,
Before he looks in nature's glass;
Puns cannot form a witty scene,
Nor pedantry for humour pass.
To make men act as senseless wood,
And chatter in a mystic strain,
Is a mere force on flesh and blood,
And shows some error in the brain.
He that would thus refine on thee,
And turn thy stage into a school,
The jest of Punch will ever be,
And stand confessed the greater fool.
-THE END-

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Old 06-25-2008   #55
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Re: Puppet Passage of the Day...

"" Do you know how we learn, kids?" One of the harlequin puppets had asked us in a shrill mock-voice. "We learn by hiding in the shadows. But don't try this trick at home!"
We all watched as the harlequin's face split open. I shrieked. My schoolmates shrieked. Yet there was no blood or splintered bone. What came pouring out from the crack in the puppet's wooden skull was not gore, but a tiny set of stairs. I can safely guess that at that moment the feelings of all the children present was a blend of terror and awe, which is, of course, the pinnacle of the human emotion. When the harlequin's legs began to climb the stairs, many of the children gasped. Some even giggled, perhaps because of the way the clown was whistling joyfully as it coiled up tighter and tighter inside its own head. Then, through a masterful use of slight-of-hand, the clown vanished altogether."

--The Physics of Unseen Puppeteers by Richard Gavin

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Old 06-25-2008   #56
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Re: Puppet Passage of the Day...

"She was being placed in her bedroom by Mr. Foster, who evidently was in charge of her. And the sight took his breath away. Yes, she was older. A grown woman, not a girl at all... the difference between her and Perky Pat was acute. And so lifelike. Carved, not poured; she obviously had been whittled out of wood and then painted - she was not a thermoplastic. And her hair. It appeared to be genuine hair.

He was deeply impressed."
Philip K. Dick - "The Days of Perky Pat"

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

Tibet: Carnivals?
Ligotti: Ceremonies for initiating children into the cult of the sinister.
Tibet: Gas stations?
Ligotti: Nothing to say about gas stations as such, although I've always responded to the smell of gasoline as if it were a kind of perfume.
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Old 06-26-2008   #57
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Re: Puppet Passage of the Day...

CAT, n. A soft, indestructible automaton provided by nature to be
kicked when things go wrong in the domestic circle.

This is a dog,
This is a cat.
This is a frog,
This is a rat.
Run, dog, mew, cat.
Jump, frog, gnaw, rat.

Elevenson

-- The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce

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Old 06-26-2008   #58
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Re: Puppet Passage of the Day...

Can a passage from a puppet (automaton) also be considered a puppet passage?


and here is more on that automaton.

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Old 06-26-2008   #59
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Re: Puppet Passage of the Day...

"Across the street, in the Claybrooks' living-room window, Donna
Claybrook sat polishing what looked like an athletic trophy, buffing
at it with steady mechanical movements. Joanna watched her and shook
her head. They never stop, these Stepford wives, she thought.
It sounded like the first line of a poem.
They never stop, these Stepford wives. They something something
all their lives. Work like robots. Yes, that would fit. They work
like robots all their lives."

-The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin

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Old 06-26-2008   #60
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Re: Puppet Passage of the Day...

Eins – – – – zwei – – – – drei – –
Ottokar Dohnal schrie auf, kratzte wie wahnsinnig an seiner Streichholzschachtel, – seine Hände flogen vor grauenhaftem Entsetzen. – Endlich Licht – Licht! Die beiden Freunde blickten sich in die kalkweißen Gesichter: "Axel!"
– – viiier – – fünf –- sssechss – siiieben –
Dort aus der Nische kommt das Zählen.
acht – neun – zeeehn – elf –
Von der Decke der Wandvertiefung an einem Kupferstab hing ein menschlicher Kopf mit blondem Haar. – Der Stab drang mitten in die Scheitelwölbung. – Der Hals unter dem Kinn mit einer seidenen Schärpe umwickelt – – und darunter mit Luftröhren und Bronchien die zwei rötlichen Lungenflügel. – Dazwischen bewegte sich rhythmisch das Herz, – mit goldenen Drähten umwunden, die auf den Boden zu einem kleinen elektrischen Apparate führten. – Die Adern, straff gefüllt, leiteten Blut aus zwei dünnhalsigen Flaschen empor.
Ottokar Dohnal hatte die Kerze auf einen kleinen Leuchter gestellt und klammerte sich an seines Freundes Arm, um nicht umzufallen.
Das war Axels Kopf, die Lippen rot, mit blühender Gesichtsfarbe, wie lebend. – Die Augen, weit aufgerissen, starrten mit einem gräßlichen Ausdruck auf einen Brennspiegel an der gegenüberliegenden Wand, die mit turkmenischen und kirgisischen Waffen und Tüchern bedeckt schien. – Überall die bizarren Muster orientalischer Gewebe.



Gustav Meyrink, Das Präparat


(I quoted it in German because it would loose much of its athmosphere if translated...probably I'll do a translation in the next days)

(Dictated while taking a stroll) I have come to realizewhat a superbly contrived marionette man is. Though without strings attached, one can strut, jump, hop and, moreover, utter words, an elaborately made puppet! Who knows? At the Bon season next year, I may be a new dead invited to the Bon festival. What an evanescent world! This truth keeps slipping off our minds.

- Tsunetomo Yamamoto, The Hagakure
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