Sunday, December 10, 2006

December 11, 2006
Got downright chilly yesterday afternoon, windy with clouds coming in. Welcome to Arizona! If you don't like the weather, stick around for fifteen minutes.

Decorated the Christmas tree at about six. Had fun finding all the kid's ornaments. T. Bell's footprint at age one. Considering he wears a size 13 today, it's lucky we got the little clay piece then, becaue if we did the current size it would topple the tree. Ha.

Rashomon And Another Take On The "Truth"
“Speaking of portraying on film multiple versions of an event, wonder what Kurosawa would have done if he had made a movie of the OK gunfight . . . including the ghosts of Tom, Frank and Billy testifying through a medium at the Spicer hearing? oooweee!"
—Gus Walker, The Mapinator

Yes, believe it or not, Jeff Morey, Allen Barra and I had that exact same idea back in about 1995 and we were going to apply Rashomon to the aftermath of the O.K. Corral. Like many good ideas it never materialized, but I still think it could make an excellent drama. And speaking of good drama. . .

A Surprisingly Sexy Side to Mr Fergusson’s Writing—In 1956!—Proving Explicitly McCubbin's Point About Harvey's Excellent Portrayals of Spanish Women
“The better he came to understand these people the more clearly he saw that he must address himself to the men and leave the women alone. For these were a highly erotic people with a strict morality, which was always violated, a pious people who sinned with passion and confessed and repented with passionate sincerity. Unmarried girls were guarded with firearms and sometimes locked up for safekeeping with ferocious dogs, but the boys and girls of a village nevertheless contrived to explore the wonders of love at an early age. . .Men were always ready to fight for the purity and fidelity of their wives, yet adultery had almost the status of an institution. Husbands had to be much away from home and wives were sly and cunning. . .Desire was not to be denied, and without sin how could there be repentance and divine forgiveness? To these people sin and repentance were the drama that kept faith alive and life exciting.”
—page 57

“In Santa Fe on summer nights he used to sit in the plaza. Every Saturday evening a Negro band belonging to the American Army gave a concert, and this event was perhaps more appreciated by the populace than anything else the conquerors had done. The whole town turned out to hear the music. The rich and exclusive came in fiacres and coaches, the old crowded the benches, and the young promenaded around and around the square, the men going one way, the girls the other, as is customary in all Mexican towns. If a man turned and walked with a girl and she permitted him, it meant they were affianced. But challenging glances and even quick words could be exchanged in passing without hazard of matrimony. Saturday night in the plaza was a mass flirtation. All the town’s most gorgeous prostitutes were there, as well as its finest ladies. The air was filled with the squeal and giggle of feminine excitement, with the perfume of feminine presence.”
—page 59

“. . .one woman did repeatedly capture his eye. She was a large handsome woman of indeterminate age, with a fine brown skin, heavy black hair and a deep bosom. She had the gliding walk of an Indian and also the perfect bearing. She might have carried a cup of water on her head without spilling a drop. She wore always a blue cotton dress, very clean and starched, a black silk shawl and her costly earrings set her apart. So, even more, did her strange manner, for she never looked right or left, never smiled and never greeted anyone. Proud and self-contained, she moved through the crowd as though it had not been there. . .then one evening she turned her head and looked him full in the eyes. She did not smile or nod, just gave him a long cool stare and went her way, but she nevertheless gave him the feeling that he had been chosen, for he had never seen her look at another human.”
—page 60

“Almost all of the old families had Navajo slaves and Navajos caught as young children became good Mexicans, but those past puberty were often untamable. This girl fought her captor like a wildcat, and he had great sport subduing her to his desire. So the girl Dolores was born of rape and nursed on hatred. That was her legend.”
—page 61

“It was a moonless night and the narrow dusty Acequia Road was dark and wholly deserted. It ran beside the great ditch that irrigated the gardens and orchards of the town and he could hear the swift current gurgling along behind its covert of willows. He found the footbridge she had crossed and saw the apple trees beyond and that was all. There was no light! He stopped, feeling at first as simply disappointed as a child denied his candy, and then a righteous anger against this woman who had fooled him. Obviously, she was not even there. He was about to turn away, but on second thought he decided to go and knock on her door, just to make sure. The door, to his surprise, stood slightly ajar. He knocked on it and stood listening, but heard no sound except a faint breeze in the apple trees. Something strongly impelled him to push the door open and enter. He stepped into solid darkness and a silence in which he could hear his own quick breathing. Then, after she had enjoyed his suspense for a full minute, he heard her laugh softly. He did not say anything but went groping toward the sound with slightly tremulous hands. She had made down her pallet and lay there naked, and when he put his hands upon her she did not laugh any more or say a word, but when he had stripped and mounted her she made a continuous guttural sound deep in her throat. It seemed to have in it nothing of her usual voice or of any human voice but to be a subhuman music of desire, of the pure and innocent lust that is common to man and beast. Between their embraces she lay silent, and when finally she spoke it was in her usual crisp and positive way, as though she had come out of a trance or up from some abysmal depth of abandon to resume her personality.

“‘Put on your clothes,” she told him firmly. ‘I may commit carnal sin, for the flesh is weak and God will forgive me, but no man has ever seen me naked and none ever will.’

“‘I admire your principals,’ Leo said.

“When she it her candles she was dressed from neck to ankle, but her hair, heavy and black as a mustang’s mane, hung loose and wild to her waist. She looked remarkably pretty, Leo thought, and more than ever like a witch. She sat down and began deftly combing and braiding her hair, putting it all in perfect order, serenely repairing the damage of her fall from grace. She smiled at him broadly.”
—page 66-67

“Don’t you know? That is Dolores Pino. She is a witch!”
—Eusebio Velarde, a character in The Conquest of Don Pedro

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