Show 81: By The Book, Chapter 2
A fine time was had, eventually, despite some difficulties with the handover and a problem with a couple of the tracks. We still overran a bit, but you stayed with us, which we do appreciate.
Prior to the show, I had streamed music for Xenipher’s race, a CavCon event aimed at raising awareness of the state of cavern finances and encouraging donations. The race went well, I think (the secret music, which was not revealed beforehand, was the Uru soundtrack by Tim Larkin, and the track titles were clues), and was won by thoekenem. We only had a few minutes to make a handover, from me to Ed to host the show, and although it went well as far as could be seen (I did not lose the stream), we did lose a lot of listeners. Most of them came back though, having been warned that this could happen.
On with the motley, then, and a fun-packed show with a bit more chat than usual. Well, I had the books to write about as well as the tracks…
I did promise during the show to say a bit more about the Mock Turtle. Alice In Wonderland, if you don’t know already, is slotted into the “nonsense” category by many, but it truth it is much more complicated than that. The author, Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll is a pen-name) was a mathematics don at Oxford (having achieved a Second in Divinity and a First in Mathematics, and been awarded a Fellowship for life, no mean achievement) and contributed important work in the fields of symbolic logic and what is today known as game theory. The Alice books are full of logical allusions, as well as literary references and puns. The original illustrations for the books were done by celebrated illustrator and cartoonist Sir John Tenniel, to Dodgson’s exacting and profuse directions, and should be considered as part of the story.
So, the Mock Turtle is an allusion to a culinary dish called Mock Turtle soup, which is a dish that tries to replicate the taste of green turtle soup using items more easily available. The main component is a calf’s head, boiled, and the meat recovered for use in the soup, along with oysters and a few other things. Hence Tenniel, under Dodgson’s instructions, made the Mock Turtle have a turtle’s body and front flippers, but a calf’s head, feet and tail. A clever visual joke, sadly lost on today’s audience who have no reason to know what Mock Turtle soup is made out of. The text of the relevant chapter can be found here, and will explain the whole “Fainting in Coils” thing (painting in oils, in case it’s not obvious)
I’ll link to as many helpful pages for the books and songs as I can below.
|Oedipus Rex||Tom Lehrer||The Remains Of Tom Lehrer [disc 2: Live Performances]||2000||Sophocles, 429 BC|
|I Am Stretched On Your Grave||Abney Park||Lost Horizons||2008||Irish poem, C17|
|Rime Of The Ancient Mariner||Iron Maiden||Powerslave||1984||Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1798|
|Jerusalem||Emerson Lake & Palmer||Brain Salad Surgery||1973||William Blake, 1804|
|Wreck of the Hesperus||George Harrison||Cloud Nine||1987||Longfellow, 1842|
|White Rabbit||Jefferson Airplane||Surrealistic Pillow||1967||Lewis Carroll, Wonderland, 1865|
|Fainting In Coils||Bill Bruford||One of a Kind||1979||Lewis Carroll, Wonderland, 1865|
|Eve Of The War||Richard Burton / Justin Hayward||Jeff Wayne’s The War Of The Worlds||1978||H.G. Wells, 1897|
|Steppenwolf||Hawkwind||Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music||1976||Herman Hesse, 1927|
|New World||Strawbs||Grave New World||1972||Aldous Huxley, 1932|
|The Virgin And The Gypsy||Steve Hackett||Spectral Mornings||1979||D.H. Lawrence, 1930|
|A Cry For Everyone||Gentle Giant||Octopus||1972||Camus (1913-60)|
|Rivendell||Rush||Fly by Night||1975||Tolkein, 1937|
|I Robot||The Alan Parsons Project||I Robot||1977||Asimov, 1940|
|Watcher of the Skies||Genesis||Foxtrot||1972||Clarke, Rescue Party, 1945|
|Big Brother||David Bowie||Diamond Dogs||1974||George Orwell, 1948|
|The Mule||Deep Purple||Fireball||1971||Asimov, Foundation, 1951|
|Let There Be Light||Mike Oldfield||Songs of Distant Earth||1994||Clarke, 1986|
|Airship Pirate||Abney Park||Lost Horizons||2008||Neil Gaiman, Stardust, 1999|
|Are ‘Friends’ Electric||Tubeway Army||Replicas||1979||Phil Dick, 1968|
|Lady Fuschia||Strawbs||Bursting At The Seams||1973||Mervyn Peake, 1946|
|Carry On up the Vicarage||Steve Hackett||Please Don’t Touch||1978||Agatha Christie, 1920|
|The Body Electric||Rush||Grace Under Pressure||1984||Phil Dick, 1968|
|Pantagruel`s Nativity||Gentle Giant||Acquiring The Taste||1971||François Rabelais, C16|