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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Van Dyke - The Other Wise Man, part 4 - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Imagine seeing the Great Sphinx at Giza while it was still unvandalized!  I thought I knew the story of it, but discovered myth and legends and contradictory hypotheses aplenty.

Artaban learned in last week's part of the story he must travel to Egypt if he wants to end his quest.  Along the way he looks up at the Sphinx seeking answers. 
Next week I'll post that story's end, but think it's time for an assortment of Van Dyke's "pearls of wisdom."

I found three major sources of quotes and, while it's difficult, will choose one from each.
https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/henry_van_dyke
Not much on illustration, but 6 pages of quotes http://www.azquotes.com/author/4271-Henry_Van_Dyke
Tons of illustrations go with the 62 quotes at The Famous People, making it sooooo hard to choose.
https://quotes.thefamouspeople.com/henry-van-dyke-239.php
While we're at it, you might want a look at the Wikipedia article about Henry Van Dyke.  The man led a fascinating life and certainly burned his own candle in service to others.  I'd also like to suggest you consider this message from Wikipedia (it's too small if not shown in the original size, but otherwise the message either is cut off or goes over the sidebar of labels here).  Oh, and in case you wondered, donations to Wikipedia are tax deductible. in the U.S., U.K., and the Netherlands.





 ********************
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
 
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Van Dyke - The Other Wise Man, part 3 - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Is it ever right to lie for a good cause?  That's part of today's journey with The Other Wise Man, Artaban.  Three days behind the other Wise Men, all alone he finally reaches Bethlehem.  If you remember, by now he has given up one of his three jewels to help a traveler in need, but he still has his pearl and ruby to offer the King.  It may not be Gold, Frankincense, or Myrrh, but he is eager to give it.
The woman was definitely Jewish and using the blessing given by Moses to Aaron in the book of Numbers, which would have been well known to her.
If you have time you may find this article about this familiar blessing shows even more inside its Hebrew roots which could be translated to mean "Yahweh will kneel before you presenting gifts and will guard you with a hedge of protection" -- as the author says, his first thought was 'Wow!'

Artaban has only his pearl remaining.  The journey is not over, but from here on, just as we all are at our most busy, the story segments will be brief indeed.

There are many images of the Slaughter of the Innocents in Bethlehem that day, but Artaban prevented it from entering yet another home.  He asks "I have spent for man that which was meant for God.  Shall I ever be worthy to see the face of the King?"

********************


This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
 
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Van Dyke - The Other Wise Man, part 2 - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

 Horse lovers can enjoy today's continuation of the story of "The Other Wise Man."
from the Unwanted Horses Coalition (.org)
Today's section of the story is only slightly shorter than part one, but it's the turning point in the quest by this Magi.  From here on it picks up speed like the horse, Vasda, who shoulders a huge role in this journey.  There are images of people with a horse bearing the name, but here I believe the images in an audience's mind are more powerful.  The journey also includes an unfamiliar term for distance, the parasang, but I believe the story's explanation of how far a traveler on horseback can go is sufficient.  That Wikipedia link says an army could travel five parasangs in a day and compares the ancient Iranian/Persian term to the European league.  It's sufficient in my mind to notice the love and familiarity Van Dyke shows for the partnership between Artaban and his swiftest horse.

As for the geography and the history behind today's story, I'll leave it for the end since the story shouldn't be delayed.  I will say that maps don't reveal the terrain Artaban and Vasda traveled.  Here are two quick views.
The river Orontes shows in this view from Biblical Geographic.com, a site you might find fascinating if Biblical history interests you
The view from that height is contrasted with this 1836 print by British artist, William Henry Bartlett showing the Turkish port near the mouth of the river Orontes, with Mount Cassius or Jebel al Aqra near the Turkish Syrian border.
Clearly the trip on horseback was quite an undertaking and Artaban must hurry if he hopes to join with the other magi.
While Van Dyke's book, The Blue Flower, doesn't illustrate this part of the story, I bet you pictured the story of "The Good Samaritan."  Many artists have tried to show their view of this act of mercy. The closest to what I picture in this story is 
by Dutch painter, Pieter Lastman, in the 1600s
From here on the story will move in much shorter sections matching Artaban's own haste and our busy lives at this time of year.

For those wanting to look at the geographical and historical information Van Dyke liberally sprinkles through the text, start where Artaban did, in Ecbatana.  You can get the larger picture in an article about what is now called Greater Iran.  That territory encompasses way more than present day Iran or its neighbor, Iraq, so it's probably better to call it Greater Persia
and recognize the Parthian Empire and its twin rulers of the period, Phraates V (seen only on a coin) and his mother and later wife, Queen Musa, titled the Queen of Queens.  She has quite a story, starting as a Roman concubine given by the Roman emperor, Augustus, to Phraates IV.  By all means take a look at the link about her for a tale of palace intrigue and murder!
Here's a few more Wikipedia links of locations mentioned in the story for those wanting "just a bit more." Nisaea, which had plains of horses, Bagistan in Uzbekistan, and as for the Temple of Astarte, it's simplest to say she got around and, of course, the 400 pillars of her temple is now a ruin.  Some of the names like Concabar lead nowhere, but I leave it up to you if you wish to search a bit further. 

I prefer to think how might Van Dyke talk of all this.

I hope you return for the rest of this story.  If it could last for more than a century and move audiences, including me remembering hearing it years ago, I think you will find it worth the "time."

********************

This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
 
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

My wishes to all lovers of stories and storytelling

I don't like calling it Turkey Day.  Yes, it's a great time to feast, but the real feast is in giving thanks for our wonderful world and those we hold dear.  Here's my wish for you.
As we enter into the Christmas season (and, yes, it is a season), I began a bit early because I was asked to begin my Victorian Christmas programs again.  In that era Charles Dickens was a major influence, especially his Christmas Carol.  When he died, it is reported that a costermonger's daughter cried out, "Dickens dead?  Then will Father Christmas die, too?"

Just as the New York Sun editorial in 1897 proclaimed to yet another child, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus", I want to join that famous Dickens character in saying, "God bless us, everyone!"

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Van Dyke - The Other Wise Man, part 1 - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Several years ago I was given this magnet with the quote from Henry Van Dyke as an added Thank You after a program.

Yesterday I did my first Victorian Christmas program of 2017.  It includes music, traditions, and, of course, stories.  One story I love, but don't attempt, because it would require an entire program unto itself, is Henry Van Dyke's haunting "The Other Wise Man."  It's a novella and frankly more than I want to take on to do justice to it.  That doesn't mean it can't be done.  I discovered it from the storytelling of Fort Wayne, Indiana storyteller, Larry Givens, who told it beautifully so many years ago.  I learned he has died.  He told in schools, churches, and at the Johnny Appleseed Festival.  I knew him from the Michigan Storytellers Festival since he was a regular attendee and told there long ago.  It took quite a bit of calling around to find out this, but fellow Fort Wayne storyteller, Scott Mertz, confirmed my suspicions about the passing of someone whose stories have stayed with me. We storytellers tell in the moment and it's written in the sand!

Then I searched for information about Henry Van Dyke beyond what I've given when posting another story of his this past Easter.  He not only wrote several stories about Christmas and Easter, but Van Dyke told this (1896) and, in the following year, "The First Christmas Tree", to his congregation as sermons.

DON'T LET THAT STOP YOU!

He was an extremely popular author and also an English Literature professor at Princeton.  Again...don't let that stop you.  The man knew how to talk to an audience.

Van Dyke's quotations fill the internet (and magnets?) and it's definitely not because they're preachy. People continue to find their rare wisdom valuable.  His book, The Blue Flower, not only includes "The Other Wise Man", but also "The First Christmas Tree", which is only slightly shorter.

"The Other Wise Man" is divided into five parts, perfect for the coming weeks leading up to Christmas.  (I suspect he broke those "sermons" into five weeks, too.)  In the future I will also give some of the background about Van Dyke and a few of those quotations along with the weekly section of the story.

Since Christmas was extra important to him, and as we look at the coming season, let's open with this quote of Van Dyke's.
http://www.azquotes.com/quote/521584
The first section of this story is far longer than the other sections (especially the final three), but if Van Dyke didn't split it, I won't either.  Possibly for re-telling to modern tastes, however, some might choose to summarize this setting the scene for the rest of the story.  It does, however, include an explanation of the character and mission of our "Other Wise Man" as well as a view of how the Magi came to the idea of their historic journey, so I would point to the importance of the discussion of whether it should be done.
I hope you, too, will return to hear the rest of this story.  Yes, that was a long start to the story, but appreciate the words, "it is better to follow even the shadow of the best than to remain content with the worst.  And those who would see wonderful things must often be ready to travel alone."  May we all follow that advice and hope it's not a "long pilgrimage and a fruitless search."

Here's a very brief biography at American Literature.com giving you access to the entire story if you can't wait, as well as his other stories and poetry.

And here's another Christmas quotation of Van Dyke's expanding on the idea of keeping Christmas and seems appropriate in a world with hate, evil and death which certainly didn't end in 1895.
https://kendranicole.net/tag/christmas/
*********************
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
 
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!