Saturday, February 02, 2013

The Major Arcana: Introductory Post and TOC

I have a prediction about the future: February is going to be a very verbose month on Benefit of the Doubt.

This is more than simply a word from an Oracle; as a guess, it's fairly educated. For the last couple weeks, I've been following a very random impulse, prompted by a random visit to Notions-N-Potions, an Occult Stuff store in Beacon, NY. Whilst browsing there, my wife and I browsed a stack of Tarot cards. What memories they brought back!

I went through my own Tarot phase, of course, like many of us fantasy/literature/eclecticism nerds do. I had a bunch of decks, and I tried doing a couple readings, and browsing through some very interesting New-Agey books on the subject, before it all disappeared into a box on my shelf to make way for a Warhammer Fantasy phase. But this visit to this Occult/Biker store brought back the memories, invoking those hazy semantic resonances, reminding me how interesting I've always found these methodical, archetypal obscurities and ambiguities in the world of mysticism.

So I treated this resurgence of memories as a writing prompt... from the humming disarray in my brain, I started plucking famous names of literary figures who I could associated with the various Trumps of the traditional Tarot deck. And I figured, why not pen mini-essays on these figures, using the cards as a guide?

Right now, I'm just calling it "The Major Arcana," though it would be just as appropriate to call them "People Jesse Likes, Loosely Connected by Tarot Card Wikipedia Entries." Maybe I'll just call them "The Trumps," or "The Majors." I don't know.

As of this writing, I've completed almost all of them. With February starting, I think it's a good time to start publishing them on this blog.

As I publish them, I'll link to them on this initial entry, so you have a gradually-expanding Table of Contents of my musings.

Number one is Franz Kafka as The Fool, to be posted on Monday.

POSTS SO FAR:
2/4/2013 - THE FOOL: Franz Kafka
2/6/2013 - THE MAGICIAN: Christopher Nolan
2/8/2013 - THE HIGH PRIESTESS: Octavia Butler
2/11/2013 - THE EMPRESS: Sofia Coppola
2/13/2013 - THE EMPEROR: James Cameron
2/15/2013 - THE HIEROPHANT: PT Anderson
2/18/2013 - THE LOVERS: Vladimir Nabokov, Baz Luhrmann
2/20/2013 - THE CHARIOT: Cormac McCarthy, Guy Ritchie
2/22/2013 - STRENGTH: John Steinbeck
2/25/2013 - THE HERMIT: Marcel Proust
2/27/2013 - WHEEL OF FORTUNE: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
3/1/2013 - JUSTICE: Werner Herzog
3/4/2013 - THE HANGED MAN: Andrei Tarkovsky
3/6/2013 - DEATH: Darren Aronofsky
3/8/2013 - TEMPERANCE: Terrence Malick