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12222 in books: what you'll be reading this year
Galaxy A20 - 6. Chequered Shirt With Long Sleeves. Fishing Hook - 1. Fresh Bubble Bath - ml. Another manuscript, left unfinished by its author Fellowes Kraft and discovered by Moffett, is an historical fiction that follows the briefly intersecting adventures of Italian heretic Giordano Bruno and of British occultists John Dee and Edward Kelley.
Moffett is trained as a historian, and is under contract to write a popular history covering hermetical themes. The distinctions between Crowley's, Moffett's, and Kraft's books are continually elided and the three books are finally undifferentiated. The novels generally have three main "strands" reflecting on three main characters, one occurring in the present day generally following Pierce or Rosie Mucho in their artistic works, and two occurring in the Renaissance following the fictionalized historical activities of John Dee , Edward Kelley and Giordano Bruno as written by Fellowes Kraft.
The difference is marked stylistically by dashes indicating dialogue for events that happened in the Renaissance and events in the twentieth century marked by dialogue in ordinary English quotation marks. The titles of the first three volumes in the sequence are tributes to Renaissance literary works; and in many cases the nature of these works redound on the action of these three novels themselves:.
The sequence is organized around the 12 astrological houses , with each book divided into three parts, each bearing a Latin name of the corresponding house. The Solitudes' parts, for example, are called "Vita", "Lucrum" and "Fratres", the Latin names for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd houses. The four volumes themselves correspond to the four seasons, starting with spring and ending in winter.
Harold Bloom has praised the first three books in the sequence, installing the first two in his list of the Western canon. Michael Dirda , asked in what his favorite recent book was, named "the four-part sequence by John Crowley called 'Aegypt. Terri Windling selected Love and Sleep as one of the best fantasy books of , saying "his growing story is a masterpiece. What lies between is what I am.
O infinite form of being: beast and stone and vegetable; the way a man may stand in his garden or dance by the river while wakes of small boats rock the reeds. The cities and the people in them, gods who walk in white linen, like women under the blue stone of heaven.
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I am the priest in a hidden house, guide to inner worlds. I am the idea of myself in my mother's belly, a bright trembling star in the memory of morning, a grain of sand blown east. I am the husband of Isis: woman, and widow, and witch. To embrace her is to dream of ripening wheat. To sleep in her arms is to dream of honey. With a word she drives the snakes from the river. The boats sail far to its mouth. Air is what I breathe. Earth is where I stand.
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I have given my face to Amenta. It is white with heat. The world is bright as bronze. The dead rise up to see me, breathe the air and look into my face, a yellow disk on the eastern horizon. Mine is a heart of carnelian, crimson as murder on a holy day. Mine is a heart of cornel, the gnarled roots of a dogwood and the bursting of flowers. I am the broken wax seal on my lover's letters. I am the phoenix, the fiery sun, consuming and resuming myself. I pace the halls of the underworld.
I knock on the doors of death. I wander into the fields to stare at the sun and lie in the grass, ripe as a fig. The souls of the gods are with me. They hum like flies in my ears. I will what I will. Mine is a heart of carnelian, blood red as the crest of a phoenix. The night sun rests in the lap of a bear, dreaming in the northern sky. A half-moon, I shine above the legs. I come forth from the edge of heaven. I climb to the deepest pit of the sky and rest awhile above cooling rocks, above houses in the cities and people who sleep warm nights on the roofs under a half-moon, dreaming.
Oh, I am weak and feeble at the sight of my children sleeping. Oh, I am weak with wonder to see my dark wife dreaming, her hair unbraided and perfumed, falling across her eyes and in her red, red mouth and around her firm, brown shoulders. I am weak and feeble, gliding in cloudless dark. Forgetful of the teeth and tongues of snakes, I rest above my homeland dreaming. Below are my house and cattle. I grow a little stronger. My beams of light are arrows which wound the night and drive it back. I am the eye of a sleeping lion who dreams of stalking the fields with his mate.
I am the eye of a resurrected man come home to kiss his wife. I am a half-moon, high in the darkness, a cup of light spilling dreams from the sky.
I must move on to the furthest edge of heaven. The wheat in my fields has sprung up in straight rows. I am a half-moon in the night, keeping watch. I must move on.
O starry ones! I am a man by a river, gazing up. And how these same stars quiver above Kheraba and An. How these lights reach farther than the watch fires of Heliopolis. And what of hidden things? O hawk! O restless son, traveling into this season. The snake writhes in your talons. Your wings brush the edge of the sky.watch
Endless Things (The Aegypt Cycle, #4) by John Crowley
Long flight of days, passing many lands, death sleeps among your many feathers. O soul, ancient ram! Two horns of sense and reason implanted in your forehead. Son of the mountain sky.
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Dusty hoof which tramps an old trail. O king! This rock on which we live endures. Yours is the plumed white crown, tower of flesh infused with spirit. Above, the eye of god is dreaming us. Below, we are.
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Air and earth and mist and fire. To the east the mountains are singing. O lord of acacia trees! This sad mortality! The boat is set upon its sledge and filled with yellow flowers. O jackal Anubis! I have passed through the underworld door. Nothing grows and nothing dies; all that was and would be, is.
This life is a singular breath and your moving eye is time. Upon the brow of men the word is writ, and in their hearts the word is deed. Smoke from temple fires curls like hair. The ankh in your one hand, the knife in your other.