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Old 01-22-2009   #41
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Re: Man- Eater Passage of the Day

"'Go ahead,' Heydahl repeated. 'We've had our fill.'

Katterson turned back to the meat. He pulled a plate from the shelf and plopped the piece of meat on it, and unsheathed his knife. He was about to start carving when he turned to look at the two others.

Barbara was leaning forward in her chair. Her eyes were staring wide, and fear was shining deep in them. Heydahl, on the other hand, sat back comfortably in Katterson's chair, with a complacent look on his face that Katterson had not seen on anyone's features since leaving the Army.

A thought hit him suddenly and turned him icy-cold. 'Barbara,' he said, controlling his voice, 'What kind of meat is this? Roast beef or lamb?'

'I don't know, Paul,' she said uncertainly. 'Olaf didn't say what -'

'Maybe roast dog, perhaps? Filet of alleycat? Why didn't you ask Olaf what was on the menu. Why don't you ask him now?'

Barbara looked at Heydahl, then back at Katterson.

'Eat it, Paul. It's good, believe me - and I know how hungry you are.'

'I don't eat unlabeled goods, Barbara. Ask Mr. Heydahl what kind of meat it is, first.'

She turned to Heydahl. 'Olaf -'

'I don't think you should be so fussy these days, Mr. Katterson,' Heydahl said. 'After all, there are no more food doles, and you don't know when meat will be available again.'

'I like to be fussy, Heydahl. What kind of meat is this?'

'Why are you so curious? You know what they say about looking gift-horses in the mouth, heh heh.'

'I can't even be sure this is horse, Heydahl. What kind of meat is it?' Katterson's voice, usually carefully modulated, became a snarl. 'A choice slice of fat little boy? Maybe a steak from some poor devil who was in the wrong neighborhood one evening?'

Heydahl turned white.

Katterson took the meat from the plate and hefted it for a moment in his hand. 'You can't even spit the words out, either of you. They choke in your mouths. Here - cannibals!'

He hurled the meat hard at Barbara; it glanced off the side of her cheek and fell to the floor. His face was flaming with rage. He flung open the door, turned, and slammed it again, rushing blindly away. The last thing he saw before slamming the door was Barbara on her knees, scurrying to pick up the piece of meat."
Robert Silverberg - "Road to Nightfall"

"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 01-24-2009   #42
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Re: Man- Eater Passage of the Day

"Later that afternoon Connolly sat back in a canvas chair on the deck of the launch. About half the Indians had returned and were wandering about the huts in a desultory manner, kicking at the fires. Ryker, his authority re-asserted, had returned to his bungalow.

'I thought you said they weren't cannibal,' Connolly reminded Pereira.

The captain snapped his fingers, as if thinking about something more important. 'No, they're not. Stop worrying, Lieutenant, you're not going to end up in a pot.' When Connolly demurred, he swung crisply on his heel. He had sharpened up his uniform, and wore his pistol belt and Sam Browne at their regulation position, his peaked cap jutting low over his eyes. Evidently Connolly's close escape had confirmed some private suspicion. 'Look, they're not cannibal in the dietary sense of the term, as used by the Food & Agriculture Organisation in its classification of aboriginal peoples.They won't stalk and hunt human game in preference for any other. But' - here the captain stared fixedly at Connolly - 'in certain circumstances, after a fertility ceremonial, for example, they will eat human flesh. Like all members of primitive communities which are small numerically, the Nambikwara never bury their dead. Instead, they eat them, as a means of conserving the loss and to perpetuate the corporeal identity of the departed. Now do you understand?'

Connolly grimaced. 'I'm glad to know now that I was about to be perpetuated.'"
J. G. Ballard - "A Question of Re-Entry"

"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 01-25-2009   #43
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Re: Man- Eater Passage of the Day

"They moved out into the channel and plunged through the bowers of spray into the heavier swells of the open current.

As they reached a sheltering bend and the figure of Ryker faded for the last time among the creepers and sunlight, Connolly turned to Pereira. 'Captain - what actually happened to Colonel Spender? You said the Indians wouldn't eat a white man.'

'They eat their gods,' Pereira said."
J. G. Ballard - "A Question of Re-Entry"

"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 01-29-2009   #44
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Re: Man- Eater Passage of the Day

It's not a passage but it's probably related to the thread topic:

"They're Made Out of Meat"

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Old 02-12-2009   #45
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Re: Man- Eater Passage of the Day

"Laing crouched over the fire, testing the hind-quarters of the Alsatian with a skewer. He shivered in the cold air flowing up the face of the high-rise, with an effort repressing his memory of the bone-pit. At times he suspected that some of the residents had reverted to cannibalism - the flesh had been stripped with a surgeon's skill from many of the corpses. The lower-level residents, under constant pressure and discrimination, had probably given in to necessity."
J. G. Ballard - High-Rise

"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 02-18-2009   #46
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Re: Man- Eater Passage of the Day

The Healing Power of Death

Were Europeans once cannibals? Research shows that up until the end of the 18th century, medicine routinely included stomach-churning ingredients like human flesh and blood.

According to the recipe, the meat was to be cut into small pieces or slices, sprinkled with "myrrh and at least a little bit of aloe" and then soaked in spirits of wine for a few days.

Finally, it was to be hung up "in a very dry and shady place." In the end, the recipe notes, it would be "similar to smoke-cured meat" and would be without "any stench."

Johann Schröder, a German pharmacologist, wrote these words in the 17th century. But the meat to which he was referring was not cured ham or beef tenderloin. The instructions specifically called for the "cadaver of a reddish man ... of around 24 years old," who had been "dead of a violent death but not an illness" and then laid out "exposed to the moon rays for one day and one night" with, he noted, "a clear sky."

In 16th- and 17th-century Europe, recipes for remedies like this, which provided instructions on how to process human bodies, were almost as common as the use of herbs, roots and bark. Medical historian Richard Sugg of Britain's Durham University, who is currently writing a book on the subject says that cadaver parts and blood were standard fare, available in every pharmacy. He even describes supply bottlenecks from the glory days of "medicinal cannibalism." Sugg is convinced that avid cannibalism was not only found within the New World, but also in Europe.

In fact, there are countless sources that describe the morbid practices of early European healers. The Romans drank the blood of gladiators as a remedy against epilepsy. But it was not until the Renaissance that the use of cadaver parts in medicine became more commonplace. At first, powders made from shredded Egyptian mummies were sold as an "elixir of life," says Sugg. In the early 17th century, healers turned their attention to the mortal remains of people who had been executed or even the corpses of beggars and lepers.

Paracelsus, the German-Swiss physician, was one of the most vehement proponents of body-stripping, which eventually gained popularity at even the highest levels of society. British King Charles II paid 6,000 pounds for a recipe to distill human skull. The regent applied the resulting distillate, which entered the history of medicine as "the king's drops," almost daily.

Scholars and noblemen, as well as ordinary people, swore by the healing powers of death. US anthropologist Beth Conklin, for example, quoting a 19th-century source, writes that in Denmark epileptics were reported to stand around the scaffold in crowds, cup in hand, ready to drink the red blood as it flows from the still quavering body. Skulls were used as medicine, as was the moss that tended to sprout from them. It was believed to staunch bleeding.

Human fat was supposed to alleviate rheumatism and arthritis, while a paste made from corpses was believed to help against contusions. Sugg even attributes religious significance to human flesh. For some Protestants, he writes, it served as a sort of substitute for the Eucharist, or the tasting of the body of Christ in Holy Communion. Some monks even cooked "a marmalade of sorts" from the blood of the dead.

"It was about the intrinsic vitality of the human organism," says the historian. The assumption was that all organisms have a predetermined life span. If a body died in an unnatural way, the remainder of that person's life could be harvested, as it were -- hence the preference for the executed.

The practice was not always a success. In 1492, when Pope Innocent VIII was on his deathbed, his doctors bled three boys and had the pope drink their blood. The boys died, and so did the pope.

Was all of this cannibalism? Sugg has no doubt that it was. Like the cannibals of the New World, the Europeans were fundamentally interested in the consumption of vital energy. For anthropologist Conklin, the European form of cannibalism is especially remarkable. Outside Europe, she notes, the person who was eating almost always had a relationship with the person who was eaten. Europe's cannibalism, on the other hand, was "distinctly asocial," Conklin writes, adding that human body parts were treated as merchandise: bought and sold for a profit.

By the end of the 18th century, however, the appeal had worn off. "With the Enlightenment, physicians sought to shed their superstitious past," says Sugg. In 1782, for example, William Black, a physician, wrote that he welcomed the demise of "loathsome and insignificant" medicines, like "dead men's skulls pulverized." These, and "a farrago of such feculence," had fortunately disappeared from the pharmacies, Black remarked.

An era had come to an end, and with it the interest in recipes like those of Briton John Keogh. The preacher, who died in 1754, recommended pulverized human heart for "dizziness." Keogh even provided a dose and instructions for use: "A dram in the morning -- on an empty stomach."

(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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Old 02-18-2009   #47
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Re: Man- Eater Passage of the Day

Thanks, Tobias. I was both fascinated and repulsed by this tasty bit of history. (I read it at what is referred to as the "dinner hour" here. Now I'll probably just stick to drinking beer tonight.) What is the source of the information?

"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 02-18-2009   #48
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Re: Man- Eater Passage of the Day

i saw a documentary on this on TV today and this article was published in 'Der Spiegel':

Europeans were Savages and Cannibals | Gather
Europe's 'Medicinal Cannibalism': The Healing Power of Death - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International


and here's another interesting one:

Mexicolore

(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

Last edited by Cyril Tourneur; 02-18-2009 at 08:23 PM..
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Old 02-26-2009   #49
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Re: Man- Eater Passage of the Day

From The Trouble with Being Born (1973), by E. M. Cioran (trans. Richard Howard)

Sometimes I wish I were a cannibal—less for the pleasure of eating someone than for the pleasure of vomiting him.
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Old 03-05-2009   #50
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Re: Man- Eater Passage of the Day

Rufus is worse than a ghoul in his sin,
He walks in the graveyard merely to win
From each opened grave one infamous meal,
His meat from each carcass, he bends low to steal,
And is beaten to death by the horrors within.
Frank Belknap Long - "Rufus (Catullus)"

"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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