Marjorie G. Jones
Read as an e-book borrowed from Auckland Libraries via Overdrive, on my Kobo Touch e-reader
Having now read it, upon searching for a picture of the cover, I encountered in the Wikipedia entry for Yates: -
"Influence on popular culture
John Crowley drew extensively on Yates for the occult motifs in Little, Big (1981) and the Ægypt Sequence (1987-2007) in which she briefly appears as a character.".
And here we have the source of my interest in "the Hermetic Tradition", because in my library I have both Little, Big and Ægypt (1987)!
What's more, now I will have to seek out the rest of the "Sequence". I have always rated Little, Big amongst the top ten or twenty books I have read, and it is one of the few I have read more than once.
I have found blogging this book more stimulating than reading it, because I can look up what it makes me think of as I write, not something possible while reading on the train.
She also brought to attention the historical use of memory techniques before printing.
I have read in the past about Hermeticism here, if the reader wishes to explore further.
The brutal truth of war
"In an insightful study, Virginia Nicholson discusses the post-war generation's "enforced spinsterhood and all it entailed." Nicholson reports that, toward the end of the war (when Frances was 17), one headmistress addressed her female pupils thus:
I have come to tell you a terrible fact. Only one out of ten of you girls can ever
hope to marry. This is not a guess of mine. It is a statistical fact. Nearly all the
men who might have married you have been killed. You will have to make your
way in the world as best you can."
Culture as a tool of historians
I was greatly struck by this, as it resonated with my thoughts over the years regarding popular music. "Corny" songs have this illustrative property as well.
Consider "Agadoo" (1984) which definitely qualifies as "inferior": - "In a survey for dotmusic in 2000, respondents voted "Agadoo" as the fourth most annoying song of all time. In a poll for Q magazine in 2003, a panel of music writers voted "Agadoo" as the worst song of all time......."
The lyrics definitely show "current ideas":-
That words from different cultures are all interchangeable as "foreign".
That Arabic coffee, South American pineapples, Caribbean calypso, Caribbean rum, Indonesian sarong, are all representative of North Pacific Hawaii.
That possibly pineapples may be pushed out of trees?
That Hula involves jumping up and down.
That Hula is not a dance, but a song.
That Hula expertise is not enough to give up selling pineapples for a living.
That the huge pineapple-growing industry is still in competition with ukulele-playing casual vendors.
That there is a Hawaiian moon which is somehow not the same as the moon seen elsewhere.
That Hawaiian dance experts are in for a bit of casual sex on the beach.
In general the song's success shows UK popular culture's geographical and cultural ignorance in 1984.
Repeated lyrics removed for clarity (and sanity)
Agadoo doo doo push pineapple shake the tree
Agadoo doo doo push pineapple grind coffee
To the left to the right jump up and down and to the knees
Come and dance every night sing with a hula melody
I met a hula mistress somewhere in Waikiki
Where she was selling pineapple playing ukulele
And when I went to the girl come on and teach me to sway
She laughed and whispered to me yes come tonight to the bay
The lovely beach and the sky
The moon of Hawaii
The rum calypso sarong
We'll all be singing this song
Then down on the shore
They gather romance
She showed me much more
Not only to dance
Michel Eugene Delancray/Mya-Micheline-Helyett Simille/Francois Pierre Camille Bernheim
Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.