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    • 50 secrets of magic craftsmanship ebook torrents

      2 Окт 2012 Zulkile 2

      50 secrets of magic craftsmanship ebook torrents

      Marketing 46 | The Changing Economic Environment 50 | We reach for new heights and reveal the unknown so that what Disney's famed magic. 50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship (Art Ebook) producing irresistible itches, in which it seems as if torrents of dormant deliria of exteriorization. The publisher that ships ebooks without DRM also is unwilling to chase down people who post the books - not only to torrent sites - but. MLP RARITY TAKES MANHATTAN 1080P TORRENT Our pre-approved, hand-picked recovery media Click apps. If Workspace app is installed on. Scheduling to generate connection is now. Then he told that should happen a file that Lx In-Store pickup have to have a process grinding wanted to have.

      I wandered into the main atrium of the temple, a tall, airy space whose walls were lined with gongs. Here, the floor was carpeted with people -- sitting and lying down, eyes closed, soaking in the solemnity of the moment, some with small smiles, some weeping, some with expressions of utmost serenity. I'd tried meditating once, during a drama class at high school.

      It hadn't worked very well. Some of the kids kept on giggling. There was some kind of shouting going on in the hallway outside the door. The clock on the wall ticked loudly, reminding me that at any moment, there'd be a loud buzzer and the roar and stamp of thousands of kids all trying to force their way through a throng to their next class. But I'd read a lot about meditation and how good it was supposed to be for you.

      In theory it was easy, too: just sit down and think of nothing. So I did. I shifted my utility belt around so that I could sit down without it digging into my ass and waited until a patch of floor was vacated, then sat. There were streamers of sunlight piercing the high windows above, lancing down in grey-gold spikes that glittered with dancing dust. I looked into one of these, at the dancing motes, and then closed my eyes.

      I pictured a grid of four squares, featureless and white with thick black rims and sharp corners. In my mind's eye, I erased one square. Then another. Now there was just one square. I erased it. There was nothing now.

      I was thinking of nothing, literally. Then I was thinking about the fact that I was thinking about nothing, mentally congratulating myself, and I realized that I was thinking of something again. I pictured my four squares and started over. I don't know how long I sat there, but there were moments when the world seemed to both go away and be more present than it ever had been. I was living in that exact and very moment, not anticipating anything that might happen later, not thinking of anything that had just happened, just being right there.

      It only lasted for a fraction of a second each time, but each of those fragmentary moments were I opened my eyes. I was breathing in time with the gongs around me, a slow, steady cadence. There was something digging into my butt, a bit of my utility belt's strap or something. The girl in front of me had a complex equation branded into the skin of her shoulder blades, the burned skin curdled into deep, sharp-relief mathematical symbols and numbers.

      Someone smelled like weed. Someone was sobbing softly. Someone outside the temple called out to someone else. Someone laughed. Time was like molasses, flowing slowly and stickily around me. Nothing seemed important and everything seemed wonderful. That was what I'd been looking for, all my life, without ever knowing it. I smiled. The voice tickled me, too, tickled my memory. I knew that voice, though I hadn't heard it in a very long time.

      Slowly, as though I were a giraffe with a neck as tall as a tree, I turned my head to look around. Her hand was on my hand and I remembered the way she'd twisted my wrist around in some kind of martial arts hold the last time I'd seen her. I didn't think she'd be able to get away with bending my arm up behind my back and walking me out of the temple on my tiptoes. If I shouted for help, thousands of burners would Kidnapping people on the playa was definitely against the rules.

      It was in the Ten Principles, I was nearly certain of it. I got to my feet and followed her, freely and of my own will, and even though I trembled with fear as I got up, there was a nugget of excitement in there, too. Of course this was happening now, at Burning Man. A couple years ago, I'd been in the midst of more excitement than anyone would or could want. I'd led a techno-guerrilla army against the Department of Homeland Security, met a girl and fallen in love with her, been arrested and tortured, found celebrity, and sued the government.

      Since then, it had all gone downhill, in a weird way. Being waterboarded was terrible, awful, unimaginable -- I still had nightmares -- but it happened and then it ended. My parents' slow slide into bankruptcy, the hard, grinding reality of a city with no jobs for anyone, let alone a semi-qualified college dropout like me, and the student debt that I had to pay every month. It was a pile of misery that I lived under every day, and it showed no sign of going away. It wasn't dramatic, dynamic trouble, the kind of thing you got war stories out of years after the fact.

      It was just, you know, reality. So I went with Masha, because Masha had been living underground with Zeb for the better part of two years, and whatever else she was, she was someone whose life was generating a lot of exciting stories. Her reality might suck too, but it sucked in huge, showy, neon letters -- not in the quiet, crabbed handwriting of a desperate and broke teenager scribbling in his diary.

      I went with Masha, and she led me out of the temple. The wind was blowing worse than it had been before, real white-out conditions, and I pulled down my goggles and pulled up my scarf again. Even with them on, I could barely see, and each breath of air filled my mouth with the taste of dried saliva and powdery gypsum from my burnoose.

      Masha's hair wasn't bright pink anymore; it was a mousy blonde-brown, turned grey with dust, cut into duckling fuzz all over, the kind of haircut you could maintain yourself with a clipper. I'd had that haircut, off and on, through much of my adolescence. Her skull bones were fine and fragile, her skin stretched like paper over her cheekbones. Her neck muscles corded and her jaw muscles jumped.

      She'd lost weight since I'd seen her last, and her skin had gone leathery brown, a color that was deeper than a mere summer tan. We went all of ten steps out from the temple, but we might have been a mile from it -- it was lost in the dust. There were people around, but I couldn't make out their words over the spooky moan of the wind blowing through the temple's windows.

      Bits of grit crept between my goggles and my sweaty cheeks and made my eyes and nose run. I saw that the fingertips on her left hand were weirdly deformed and squashed and bent, and I had a vivid recollection of slamming the rolling door of a moving van down on her hand as she chased me. She'd been planning to semi-kidnap me at the time, and I was trying to get away with evidence that my best friend Darryl had been kidnapped by Homeland Security, but I still heard the surprised and pained shout she'd let out when the door crunched on her hand.

      She saw where I was looking and took her hand away, tucking it into the sleeve of the loose cotton shirt she wore. How about you? Can't say I expected to see you again. Especially not at Burning Man. Her eyes crinkled behind her goggles and her veil shifted and I knew she was smiling.

      It wasn't exactly a secret that I was planning to come to Burning Man that year. I'd been posting desperate "Will trade work for a ride to the playa" and "Want to borrow your old camping gear" messages to Craigslist and the hackerspace mailing lists for months, trying to prove that the proverbial time-rich kid could out-determination cash-poorness.

      Anyone who was trying to figure out where I was going to be over Labor Day weekend could have googled my semi-precise location in about three seconds. Look, Masha, you know, you're kind of freaking me out. Are you here to kill me or something? Where's Zeb? She closed her eyes and the pale dust sifted down between us. Last time I saw him, he was volunteering in the cafe and waiting to go to a yoga class. He's actually a pretty good barista -- better than he is at being a yogi, anyway.

      And no, I'm not going to kill you. I'm going to give you something, and leave it up to you to decide what to do with it. She shook her head. Technically, it would be better -- for you, at least -- if you never knew.

      But that's how it goes. Being underground had changed her. She was, I don't know, hinky. Like something was wrong with her, like she was up to something, or like she could run at any second. She'd been so self-confident and decisive and unreadable. Now she seemed half crazy. Or maybe one-quarter crazy, and one-quarter terrified. After that burn, walk out to the trash fence, directly opposite Six O'Clock.

      Wait for me if I'm not there when you show up. I've got stuff to do first. Will Zeb be there? I'd love to say hello to him again. She rolled her eyes. You come alone. And come out dark. No lights, got it? I'm with Ange, as you must know, and I'm not going out there without her, assuming she wants to come. And no lights? You've got to be kidding me. For a city of fifty thousand people involved with recreational substances, flaming art, and enormous, mutant machines, Black Rock has a remarkably low mortality rate.

      But in a city where they laughed at danger, walking after dark without lights -- lots of lights, preferably -- was considered borderline insane. One of the most dangerous things you could do at Burning Man was walk the playa at night without illumination: that made you a "darktard," and darktards were at risk of being run into by art bikes screaming over the dust in the inky night, they risked getting crushed by mammoth art cars, and they were certain to be tripped over and kicked and generally squashed.

      Burning Man's unofficial motto might have been "safety third," but no one liked a darktard. She closed her eyes and stood statue-still. The wind was dying down a little, but I still felt like I'd just eaten a pound of talcum powder and my eyes were stinging like I'd been pepper-sprayed. But no lights, not after you get out past the last art car. And if both of you end up in trouble because you wouldn't come out alone, you'll know who's fault it was.

      She turned on her heel and walked off into the dust, and she was out of my sight in a minute. I hurried back to the temple to find Ange. Brooklyn is full of kick-ass indie stores, but if I had to pick just one to visit thankfully, I don't! They're smart, sassy, and forward-looking, and their staff room where visiting authors get to sit down and eat a quick take-out dinner is full of funny stickers and posters -- even moreso than the usual indie store staff-room.

      They burn a lot of stuff at Burning Man. Of course, there's the burning of The Man himself on Saturday night. I'd seen that on video a hundred times from a hundred angles, with many different Men he is different every year. It's raucous and primal, and the explosives hidden in his base made huge mushroom clouds when they went off. The temple burn, on Sunday night, was as quiet and solemn as the Man's burn was insane and frenetic.

      But before either of them get burned, there are lots of "little" burns. The night before, there'd been the burning of the regional art. Burner affinity groups from across America, Canada and the rest of the world had designed and built beautiful wooden structures ranging from something the size of a park bench up to three-story-tall fanciful towers. These ringed the circle of open playa in the middle of Black Rock City, and we'd gone and seen all of them the day we arrived, because we'd been told that they'd burn first.

      And they did, all at once, more than any one person could see, each one burning in its own way as burners crowded around them, held at a safe distance by Black Rock Rangers until the fires collapsed into stable configurations, masses of burning lumber on burn-platforms over the playa.

      Anything that burned got burned on a platform, because "leave no trace" meant that you couldn't even leave behind scorch marks. That had been pretty spectacular, but tonight they were going to burn the Library of Alexandria. Not the original, of course: Julius Caesar or someone! It wasn't the first library anyone had burned, and it wasn't the last, but it was the library that symbolized the wanton destruction of knowledge. The Burning Man Library of Alexandria was set on twenty four great wheels, on twelve great axles, and it could be hauled across the playa by gangs of hundreds of volunteers who tugged at the ropes affixed to its front.

      Inside, the columned building was lined with nooks that were, in turn, stuffed with scrolls, each one handwritten, each a copy of some public domain book downloaded from Project Gutenberg and hand-transcribed onto long rolls of paper by volunteers who'd worked at the project all year. Fifty thousand books had been converted to scrolls in this fashion, and they would all burn. I'd gone in and read some Mark Twain, a funny story I remembered reading in school about when Twain had edited an agricultural newspaper.

      I'd been delighted to discover that someone had gone to the trouble of writing that one out, using rolled-up lined school note-paper and taping it together in a continuous scroll that went on for hundreds of yards. As I helped the librarian roll up the scroll -- she agreed that the Twain piece was really funny -- and put it away, I'd said, unthinkingly, "It's such a shame that they're going to burn all these.

      She'd smiled sadly and said, "Well, sure, but that's the point, isn't it? Ninety percent of the works in copyright are orphan works: no one knows who owns the rights to them, and no one can figure out how to put them back into print. Meanwhile, the copies of them that we do know about are disintegrating or getting lost.

      So there's a library out there, the biggest library ever, Ninety percent of the stuff anyone's ever created, and it's burning, in slow motion. Libraries burn. But maybe someday we'll figure out how to make so many copies of humanity's creative works that we'll save most of them from the fire. And I read my Mark Twain and felt the library rock gently under me as the hundreds of rope-pullers out front dragged the Library of Alexandria from one side of the open playa to the other, inviting more patrons to get on board and have a ride and read a book before it all burned down.

      On the way out, the librarian gave me a thumbdrive: "It's a compressed copy of the Gutenberg archive. Fifty thousand books and counting. There's also a list of public domain books that we don't have, and a list of known libraries, by city, where they can be found. Feel free to get a copy and scan or retype it. The little thumbdrive only weighed an ounce or two, but it felt as heavy as a mountain of books as I slipped it gravely into my pocket.

      The Library had been hauled onto a burn-platform, and the hauling ropes were coiled neatly on its porch. Black Rock Rangers in their ranger hats and weird clothes surrounded it in a wide circle, sternly warning anyone who wandered too close to stay back. Ange and I stood on the front line, watching as a small swarm of Bureau of Land Management feds finished their inspection of the structure. I could see inside, see the incendiary charges that had been placed at careful intervals along the Library's length, see the rolled scrolls in their nooks.

      I felt weird tears in my eyes as I contemplated what was about to happen -- tears of awe and sorrow and joy. Ange noticed and wiped the tears away, kissed my ear and whispered, "It's okay. Now three men stepped out of the crowd. One was dressed as Caesar in white Roman robes and crown, sneering magnificently.

      The next wore monkish robes and a pointed mitre with a large cross on it. He was meant to be Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, another suspect in the burning of the Library. He looked beatifically on the crowd, then turned to Caesar. Finally, there was a man in a turban with a pointed beard -- Caliph Omar, the final person usually accused of history's most notorious arson.

      The three shook hands, then each drew a torch out of his waistband and lit it from a firepot burning in the center of the Library's porch. They paced off from one another, and stationed themselves in the middle of the back and side walls, and, as the audience shouted and roared, thrust their torches lovingly in little holes set at the bottom of the walls.

      There must have been some kind of flash powder or something in those nooks, because as each man scurried away, great arcs of flame shot out of them, up and out, scorching the Library walls. The walls burned merrily, and there was woodsmoke and gunpowder in the air now, the wind whipping it toward and past us, fanning the flames.

      The crowd noise increased, and I realized I was part of the chorus, making a kind of drawn-out, happy yelp. Now the incendiary charges went, in near-perfect synch, a blossom of fire that forced its way out between the Library's columns, the fire's tongues lashing at sizzling embers -- fragments of paper, fragments of books -- that chased high into the night's sky. The heat of the blast made us all step back from one another, and embers rained out of the sky, winking out as they fell around us like ashen rain.

      The crowd moved like a slow-motion wave, edging its way out of the direction of the prevailing wind and the rain of fire. I smelled singed hair and fun fur and a tall man in a loincloth behind me smacked me between the shoulders, shouting, "You were on fire, sorry! Now there were fireworks, and not like the fireworks I'd seen on countless Fourth of July nights, fireworks that were artfully arranged to go off in orderly ranks, first one batch and then the next.

      These were fireworks with tempo , mortars screaming into the sky without pause, detonations so close together they were nearly one single explosion, a flaring, eye-watering series of booms that didn't let up, driven by the thundering, clashing music from the gigantic art cars behind the crowd, dubstep and funk and punk and some kind of up-tempo swing and even a gospel song all barely distinguishable.

      The crowd howled. I howled. The flames licked high and paper floated high on the thermals, burning bright in the desert night. The smoke was choking and there were bodies all around me, pressing in, dancing. I felt like I was part of some kind of mass organism with thousands of legs and eyes and throats and voices, and the flames went higher. Soon the Library was just a skeleton of structural supports in stark black, surrounded by fiery orange and red. The building teetered, its roof shuddered, the columns rocked and shifted.

      Each time it seemed the building was about to collapse, the crowd gasped and held its breath, and each time it recovered its balance, we made a disappointed "Aww. And then one of the columns gave way, snapping in two, taking the far corner of the roof with it, and the roof sheared downward and pulled free of the other columns, and they fell, too, and the whole thing collapsed in a crash and crackle, sending a fresh cloud of burning paper up in its wake.

      The Black Rock Rangers pulled back and we rushed forward, surrounding the wreckage, crowding right up to the burning, crackling pile of lumber and paper and ash. The music got a lot louder -- the art cars were pulling in tight now -- and there was the occasional boom as a stray firework left in the pile sent up a glowing mortar.

      It was glorious. It was insane. She'd taken the news about Masha calmly, but she'd said, "There's no way I'm letting you go out there alone," when I told her that Masha had insisted on meeting me. We threaded our way through the dancing, laughing crowd, getting facefulls of woodsmoke, pot smoke, sweat, patchouli Ange loved the smell, I hated it , ash and playa dust. Soon we found ourselves through the crowd of people and in a crowd of art cars.

      It was an actual, no fooling art car traffic jam: hundreds of mutant vehicles in a state of pure higgledy-piggledy, so that a three story ghostly pirate ship on wheels found itself having to navigate through the gap between a tank with the body of a '59 El Camino on a crane arm that held it and its passengers ten feet off the ground and a rocking, rolling electric elephant with ten big-eyed weirdos riding on its howdah.

      Complicating things was the exodus of playa bikes, ridden with joyous recklessness by laughing, calling, goggled cyclists and streaming off into the night, becoming distant, erratic comets of bright LEDs, glowsticks, and electroluminescent wire. EL wire was Burning Man's must-have fashion accessory. It was cheap and came in many colors, and glowed brightly for as long as the batteries in its pack held out.

      You could braid it into your hair, pin or glue it to your clothes, or just dangle it from anything handy. Ange's jawa bandoliers were woven through and through with different colors of pulsing EL wire, and she'd carefully worked a strand into the edge of her hood and another down the hem of her robe, so she glowed like a line drawing of herself from a distance.

      All my EL wire had been gotten for free, by harvesting other peoples' dead EL wire and painstakingly fixing it, tracking down the shorts and faults and taping them up. I'd done my army surplus boots with EL laces, and wound it in coils around my utility belt.

      Both of us were visible from a good distance, but that didn't stop a few cyclists from nearly running us down. They were very polite and apologetic about it, of course, but they were distracted. But as we ventured deeper into the desert, the population thinned out. Black Rock City's perimeter is defined by the "trash fence" that rings the desert, not too far in from the mountain-ranges that surround it.

      These fences catch any MOOP "matter out of place" that blows out of peoples' camps, where it can be harvested and packed out -- leave no trace and all that. Between the trash fence and the center of the city is two miles of open playa, nearly featureless, dotted here and there with people, art, and assorted surprises. Now we were walking in what felt like the middle of nowhere. So long as we didn't look over our shoulders at the carnival happening behind us, we could pretend that we were the only people on Earth.

      Well, almost. We pretty much tripped over a couple who were naked and squirming on a blanket, way out in the big empty. It was a dangerous way to get your jollies, but nookie was a moderately good excuse for being a darktard. And they were pretty good-natured about it, all things considered. A moment later, she winked out of existence.

      I did the same. The sudden dark was so profound that the night looked the same with my eyes open and shut. But I'd never seen a sky full of stars like this. The Milky Way -- usually a slightly whitish streak, even on clear, moonless nights -- was a glowing silvery river that sliced across the sky. I'd looked at Mars through binox once or twice and seen that it was, indeed, a little more red than the other stuff in the sky.

      But that night, in the middle of the desert, with the playa dust settled for a moment, it glowed like a coal in the lone eye of a cyclopean demon. I stood there with my head flung back, staring wordlessly at the night, until I heard a funny sound, like the patter of water on stone, or She shushed me. It'll evaporate by morning. One of the occupational hazards of drinking water all the time was that you had to pee all the time, too.

      Some lucky burners had RVs at their camps with nice private toilets, but the rest of us went to "pee camp" when we needed to go. Luckily, the bathroom poetry -- "poo-etry" -- taped up inside the stalls made for pretty good reading. Technically, you weren't supposed to pee on the playa, but way out here the chances of getting caught were basically zero, and it really was a long way back to the toilets. Listening to Ange go made me want to go, too, so we enjoyed a playa-pee together in the inky, warm dark.

      Walking in the dark, it was impossible to tell how close we were to the trash fence; there was just black ahead of us, with the slightly blacker black of the mountains rising to the lighter black of the starry sky. But gradually, we were able to pick out some tiny, flickering lights -- candle-lights, I thought -- up ahead of us, in a long, quavering row.

      As we got closer, I saw that they were candles, candle lanterns, actually, made of tin and glass, each with a drippy candle in it. They were placed at regular intervals along a gigantic, formal dinner table long enough to seat fifty people at least, with precise place settings and wine glasses and linen napkins folded into tents at each setting. Ange giggled. She gave me a little salute. The day the bridge went.

      Right, of course. These were the girls who'd been playing on Masha's Harajuku Fun Madness team when we'd run into them in the Tenderloin, moments before the Bay Bridge had been blown up by parties unknown. What had I called them? The Popsicle Squad. Masha inclined her chin in a minute acknowledgement.

      Plenty of people looking for me. But let's get started, okay? She'd stiffened up beside me the minute I'd said hi to Masha, and I had an idea that maybe she wasn't as cool about this meeting as she'd been playing it. Why should she be? Masha brought us down to the farthest end of the table, away from her friends.

      We seated ourselves, and I saw that what I'd thought were bread-baskets were in fact laden with long-lasting hippie junk-food: whole-wheat pop-tarts from Trader Joe's, organic beef jerky, baggies of what turned out to be home-made granola. High energy food that wouldn't melt in the sun. Masha noticed me inspecting the goods and she said, "Go ahead, that's what it's there for, help yourself.

      Now we were just black blobs in the black night, far from the nearest human, invisible. I felt a hand -- Masha's hand -- grab my arm in the dark and feel its way down to my hand and then push something small and hard into my fingers, then let go. It's a crypto key that will unlock a four-gigabyte torrent file that you can get with a torrent magnet file on The Pirate Bay and about ten other torrent sites.

      It's called insurancefile. I'd appreciate it if you would download and seed the file, and ask anyone you trust to do the same. I tried to imagine what might be in the insurance file. Blackmail photos? Corporate secrets? Pictures of aliens at Area 51? Proof of Bigfoot's existence? Her voice was a little tight and tense, and though she was trying to hide it, I could tell she was stressing. Her voice was absolutely emotionless. I can't think of any reason to trust you, not one. Masha didn't say anything.

      She heaved a sigh, and I heard her unscrew a bottle and take a drink of something. I smelled whiskey. Got to see a lot of things. Got to know a lot of people. Some of those people, they've stayed in touch with me. Not everyone at DHS wants to see America turned into a police state. Some people, they're just doing their jobs, maybe trying to catch actual bad guys or fight actual crime or prevent actual disasters, but they get to see things as they do these jobs, things that they're not happy about.

      Eventually, you come across something so terrible, you can't look yourself in the mirror anymore unless you do something about it. You think to yourself, 'Someday, someone will have the chance to speak out against this, and I'll quietly slip them these files, and my conscience will forgive me for being a part of an organization that's doing such rotten stuff. That person will take them off your hands, launder them so no one will ever know where they came from, release them when the moment comes.

      This is quite a nice service to provide for tortured bureaucrats, you see, since it's the kind of thing that lets them sleep at night and still deposit their paychecks. Lots of people find it useful to outsource their conscience to a disgraced runaway outlaw, and, well, stuff does start to trickle in. Then pour in. Soon, you're sitting on gigabytes of that stuff.

      I was feeling a little lightheaded. Masha was giving me the keys to decode all the ugliest secrets of the American government, all the stuff that had so horrified loyal DHS employees that they'd felt the need to smuggle it out. Masha herself would be so hot that she was practically radioactive: I could hardly believe that space-lasers weren't beaming out of the sky to kill her where she sat.

      And me? Well, once I had the key, no one could be sure I hadn't downloaded the insurance file and had a look, so that meant I was, fundamentally, a dead man. How dare you? Ange shut up. I held my breath. There was the distant wub wub wub of terrible dubstep playing from some far-away art car, the soughing of the wind blowing in the slats of the trash fence, and there -- had I heard a footstep? Another footstep? Hesitant, stumbling, in the dark?

      A soft crunch, there it was again, crunch, crunch, closer now, and I felt Masha coil up, get ready to run, and I tasted the beef-jerky again as it rose in my throat, buoyed up on a fountain of stomach acid. My ears hammered with my pulse and the sweat on the back of my neck dried to ice in an instant. Crunch, crunch. The steps were practically upon us now, and there was a bang that made me jump as Masha leaped away from the table, knocked over her chair, and set off into the dark of the playa.

      Then there was a blazing light, right in my face, blinding me, and a hand reaching out for me, and I scrambled away from it, grabbing for Ange, screaming something in wordless terror, Ange shouting too, and then a voice said, "Hey, Marcus! It's me! I knew that voice, though I'd only heard it for an instant, long ago, on the street in front of Chavez High.

      His blazing headlamp blinded me, but from what I could feel, he'd grown a beard of the same size and composition as a large animal, a big cat or possibly a beaver. The terror drained out of me, but left behind all its nervous energy, and I found myself laughing uproariously. Suddenly, small strong hands separated us and Zeb was rolling on the playa, tackled by Masha, who must have circled back and recognized his voice. She was calling him all sorts of names as she wrestled him to the ground, straddling his chest and pinning his arms under her elbows.

      I just didn't want to disturb you. The girls told me you were down here. Thought a light would kill the atmosphere. Masha let him up and gave him a kiss in a spot on his cheek where his beard was a little thinner. He laughed again and tousled her hair. Masha was a totally different person with Zeb, playful and younger and not so totally lethal. I liked her better.

      I still felt angry at her for what she'd done to us, but after being scared witless and then let down an instant later, it was hard to get back to that angry feeling. All my adrenaline had been dumped into my bloodstream already, and it would take a while to manufacture some more, I guess. Still, things were far from settled. I couldn't see or hear her in the dark, and the silence stretched on so long I thought maybe she'd fallen asleep or tiptoed away.

      Then, suddenly, she said, "God, you're still a kid, aren't you? The way she said it made me feel like I was about eight years old, like I was some kind of hayseed with cow crap between my toes, and like she was some kind of world-traveling superspy underground fugitive ninja.

      I don't think I was very successful. She gave a mean laugh. What's fair got to do with anything? There is stuff going on in the world, bad stuff, the kind of stuff that ends up with dead people in shallow graves, and you're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem. Is it fair to all the people who risked everything to get me these docs for you to walk away from them, because you don't want to have your safe little life disrupted?

      After all you bravely, what, bravely told other people's stories to a reporter? Because you held a press conference? What a big, brave man. Yeah, it got me. Because you know what? She was right. Give or take. There'd been plenty of nights when I lay in bed and stared at the ceiling and thought exactly these thoughts. There'd been kids in the Xnet who did stuff that was way crazier than anything I'd done, kids whose jamming had put them right up against Homeland Security and the cops, kids who'd ended up in jail for a long time, without any newspaper coverage advertising their bravery.

      Some of them were probably still in there. The fact that I didn't know for sure -- didn't even know all their names, or how many there were -- was yet another reason that I didn't deserve anyone's admiration. Every bit of clever, flashy wit ran and hid in the furthest corners of my mind. I heard Zeb shuffle his feet uncomfortably. No one knew what to say. Except Ange. Not everyone can draw a fat salary for their trouble until the day comes that it's all too much for their poor little conscience and they just have to go and run away to a beach in Mexico somewhere, lying in the bed they made for themselves.

      It made me smile, there in the dark. Go, Ange! Whatever my sins were, they were sins of omission: I could have done more. But Masha'd done the worst kind of evil: sins of commission. She'd done wrong. Really, really wrong.

      She'd tried to make up for it since. But she was in no position to shame me. Another one of those long silences. I thought about dropping the USB stick in the dust and walking off in the dark. You know what stopped me? Because Zeb was a hero. He'd broken out of Gitmo-By-the-Bay and instead of running, he'd come and found me at Chavez High so that he could pass on Darryl's note.

      He could have just hit the road, but he hadn't. And I'd told his secrets to the world, put him in harm's way. This wasn't just Masha's mission, this was Zeb's mission, too. They were a team. I owed him. We all did. Fine, it's not fair. Life's not fair. I've got this thing now. What do I do with it? Shout it from the mountaintops. If I ever ask you to release it, release it. And if you haven't heard from me by the Friday of the next Burning Man, one year from now, release it.

      Do you think you can do that? I'm out of here. Don't screw up, all right? He grabbed a pop-tart from the basket and opened it, chewed at it enthusiastically. But she is so tightly wound! It was so manifestly true that there was nothing for it but to laugh, and so we did, and it turned out that Zeb had some beer that he gift-economied to us, and I had some cold-brew coffee concentrate in a flask that we dipped into afterwards, just to get us back up from the beer's mellow down, and then we all needed pee camp, and we went back into the night and the playa and the dust.

      This section is dedicated to Barnes and Noble, a US national chain of bookstores. As America's mom-and-pop bookstores were vanishing, Barnes and Noble started to build these gigantic temples to reading all across the land. They're passionate and knowledgeable about the field and it shows in the excellent selection on display at the stores.

      Barnes and Noble Nook. All day long, people had been telling me that the weather man said we were in for a dust storm, but I just assumed that "dust storm" meant that I'd have to tuck my scarf under the lower rim of my goggles, the way I had been doing every time it got windy on the playa. But the dust storm that blew up after we left Zeb behind and returned to the nonstop circus was insane. The night turned white with flying dust, and our lights just bounced back in our faces, creating gloomy grey zones in front of us that seemed to go on forever.

      It reminded me of really bad fog, the kind of thing you get sometimes in San Francisco, usually in the middle of summer, reducing all the tourists in their shorts and T-shirts to hypothermia candidates. But fog made it hard to see , and the dust-storm made it hard -- nearly impossible -- to breathe. Our eyes and noses streamed, our mouths were caked with dust, every breath triggered a coughing fit.

      We stumbled and staggered and clutched each other's hands because if we let go, we'd be swallowed by the storm. Ange pulled my ear down to her mouth and shouted, "We have to get inside! We were at Seven Fifteen and L, way out in the hinterlands. Without the dust, the walk would have taken fifteen minutes, and been altogether pleasant. With the dust I tripped over a piece of rebar hammered into the playa and topped with a punctured tennis ball -- someone's tent stake.

      Ange's iron grip kept me from falling, and she hauled me along. Then we were at a structure -- a hexa-yurt, made from triangular slabs of flat styrofoam, duct taped on its seams. The outside was covered with an insulating layer of silver-painted bubble wrap. We felt our way around to the "door" a styro slab with a duct tape hinge on one edge and a pull-loop.

      Ange was about to yank this open when I stopped her and knocked instead. Storm or no storm, it was weird and wrong to just walk into some stranger's home. The wind howled. If someone was coming, I couldn't hear them over its terrible moaning whistle. I raised my hand to knock again, and the door swung open. A bearded face peered out at us and shouted, "Get in! We didn't need to be asked twice. We dove through the door and it shut behind us. I could still hardly see; my goggles were nearly opaque with caked-on dust, and the light in the hexayurt was dim, provided by LED lanterns draped with gauzy scarves.

      He was wearing tie-dyes and had beads braided into his long beard and what was left of his hair. He grinned at us from behind a pair of round John Lennon glasses. Shoes first, thanks. Awkwardly, we bent down and unlaced our shoes. We did have half the playa in them. The other half was caught in the folds of our clothes and our hair and our ears. We can beat the dust out of your clothes once the wind dies down. My first instinct was to say no, because we hadn't even been introduced, plus it seemed like more hospitality than even the gift economy demanded.

      On the other hand, we weren't doing these people any kindness by crapping up their hexayurt. On the other other hand That's why she's my girlfriend. Left to my own devices, I'd be on-the-other-handing it until Labor Day. The man produced billowy bundles of bright silk. Here, these are the pants, and you wrap the tops around like so. Straight from the source. Very comfortable and practically one size fits all. We stripped down to our underwear and wound the silk around us as best we could.

      We helped each other with the tricky bits, and our host helped, too. We went through a stack of them wiping the dust off each other's faces and out of each other's ears and cleaning our hands and bare feet -- the dust had infiltrated our shoes and socks!

      He had a soft, gentle way of talking, but you could tell by the twinkle of his eyes that he didn't miss anything and that something very interesting was churning away in his mind. Either he was a zen master or an axe-murderer -- no one else was that calm and mirthful. Lots of people used "playa names," cute pseudonyms that let them assume new identities while they were at Burning Man. I'd had enough of living with my notorious alter ego, M1k3y, and didn't feel the need to give myself another handle.

      I hadn't talked it over with Ange, but she, too, didn't seem to want or need a temporary name. We'd interrupted an old-school gaming session, the kind you play with a dungeon master and lots of role-playing. I'm hardly in any position to turn up my nose at someone else's amusements -- after all, I spent years doing live-action role-play -- but this was seriously nerdy.

      The fact that they were playing in the middle of a dust storm on the playa just made it more surreal. He had a lined and seamed face, kind eyes, and a slightly wild beard, and he was wearing a scarf around his neck with a turquoise pin holding it in place. I slipped my hand into Ange's and did my best not to be shy or awkward.

      He was also in his fifties or sixties, with a neat grey Van Dyke beard and dark rimmed glasses. The last man was a lot younger than the other three -- maybe a youthful forty -- and clean-shaven, with apple cheeks and short hair.

      Are you going to sit in? I've got some pre-rolled characters you can play. We're just doing a mini-dungeon while we wait out the storm. John brought us some cushions from the hexayurt's recesses and sat down with crossed legs and perfect, straight yoga posture. We settled down beside him.

      Wil gave us our character sheets -- I was a half-elf mage, Ange was a human fighter with an enchanted sword -- and dug around in a case until he found hand-painted figurines that matched the descriptions. They were, well, they were beautiful. They'd been painted in incredible detail, more than I could actually make out in the dim light of the yurt. My character's robes had been painted with mystical silver sigils, and Ange's character's chain mail had each ring picked out in tarnished silver, with tiny daubs of black paint in the center of each minute ring.

      I'd always thought of tabletop RPGs as finicky and old fashioned, but these figs had been painted by someone very talented who really loved the game, and if someone that talented thought this was worth his time, I'd give it a chance, too. Wil was a great game-master, spinning the story of our quest in a dramatic voice that sucked me right in. The other guys listened intently, though they interjected from time to time with funny quips that cracked one other up.

      I got the feeling they'd known one other for a long time, and when we took a break for fresh mint tea -- these guys knew how to live! They all smiled kind of awkwardly at one another. They laughed again. I could tell that I was missing something.

      Wil said, "You ever hear of the Electronic Frontier Foundation? I figured it out a second before he said it: "These guys founded it. Ange was looking slightly left out. That one started the first ISP the San Francisco; that one commercialized spreadsheets; and that one wrote the Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace. Barlow laughed like a cement-mixer. Also, I wrote a song or two.

      Since we're on the subject. Ange shook her head. I blushed. A couple of times on the playa, people had recognized me as M1k3y and come over to tell me how much they admired me and so on, and it had embarrassed me, but now I wanted these guys to know about that part of my life and I couldn't figure out how to get it out without sounding like I was boasting to three of the all-time heroes of the Internet. Again, Ange saved me.

      He started Xnet. Wil laughed aloud at that. He put on a hard-boiled detective voice: "Of all the yurts in all the playa, they had to walk into mine. Mitch held out his hand. I shook his hand, tongue-tied. The others followed suit. I was in a daze, and when John told me that he "really admired the work" I'd done, I thought I'd die from delight.

      Now, are we here to talk or to roll some goddamned dice? Ange turned out to be a master strategist -- which didn't surprise me, but clearly impressed everyone else -- and she arrayed our forces such that we sliced through the trash hordes, beat the mini-bosses, and made it to the final boss without suffering any major losses. She was a born tank, and loved bulling through our adversaries while directing our forces. Wil gave her tons of extra XP for doing it all in character -- barbarian swordsmistress came easily to her -- and her example led us all, so by the time we got to the dragon empress in her cavern at the middle of the dungeon, we were all talking like a fantasy novel.

      Barlow was a master at this, improvising heroic poetry and delivering it in that whiskey voice of his. Meanwhile, Mitch and John kept catching little hints that Wil dropped in his narration, discovering traps and hidden treasures based on the most obscure clues. I can't remember when we'd had a better time. Mitch and Barlow kept shifting on their cushions, and just as we broke through into the main cavern, they called for a stretch break, and got to their feet and rubbed vigorously at their lower backs, groaning.

      Wil stretched, too, and checked the yurt's door. It was coming on to midnight, and when Wil opened the door, a cool, refreshing breeze blew in, along with the sound of distant music. That was the thing about Burning Man -- there was so much I wanted to do! Wil came over and handed me another cup of mint tea, the leaves floating in the hot water. Can't believe these guys let me DM their game. And I can't believe I ran into you. It was because the Barney people had been sending a lot of legal threats out to web sites and EFF had been defending them, and, well, it was a lot of fun.

      I knew him from somewhere. It was driving me crazy. You look really familiar --". My jaw dropped so low I felt like it was in danger of scraping my chest. He looked embarrassed. I've never been much of a Trek fan, but I'd seen a ton of the videos Wheaton had done with his comedy troupe, and of course, I knew about Wheaton's Law: Don't be a dick.

      It was a weird thing to say, sure, but it was the first thing that came to mind. He was a really funny tweeter. No wonder he was such a good narrator -- he'd been acting since he was like seven years old. Being around all these people made me wish I had access to Wikipedia so I could look them all up. We sat back down to play against the megaboss, the dragon empress. She had all kinds of fortifications, and a bunch of lethal attacks. Barney says: Thank you, Julie! Ho Ho Ho. Merry Christmas. It reminds me of the story of 'The Magic Stocking'.

      Barney says: Merry Christmas! Enid Blyton wrote quite a few Christmas-themed stories, another good'un being 'Santa Claus is Surprising'. Barney says: Thank you, Didgeridude. Wishing happiness and peace to you and yours. What happened to Gillian and Imogen after their mother's death?

      Are there any descendants of Enid in these days? A bone for you. Barney says: The flowers in the story are known as wallflowers. Gillian and Imogen were both married by the time their mother died. Imogen is still alive and well, as are four of Enid Blyton's grandchildren, and I believe there are great grandchildren too.

      Tally-Ho Cottage beats the whole lot of 'em. Fatty has quite surpassed himself now! Frederick, my dear boy, I must say that you're a very gifted and talented person! Barney, my country is a total let down, nothing ever happens because there is no crime at all!

      How on Earth can I keep a lookout for mystery and adventure and get one, Barney?! Hot meringues. Barney says: Don't go giving Fatty a swelled head, Ana! Your country has no or very little crime and you complain about that?! Sounds like Heaven to me! Not too good for Find-Outing though, I have to admit! Barney, I believe you're right that I don't have enough time to complete a book like that.

      But I maybe can manage at least an hour a day but currently I'm at vacation so I do have a lot of time. How can I plan the book and what should it be like? I mean, adventure, mystery, imaginary, etc. Please do give your choice as I believe your choice would be really useful [don't tell me to choose].

      Cheers, Hunaina. Barney says: Don't forget that I'm a book-reading dog, not a book-writing dog, Hunaina! However, some books may be harder to write than others. A mystery needs careful plotting because you have to include little clues without giving the game away, and a school story involves dealing with lots of characters at once and interweaving their plot threads.

      I'd probably start with an action-packed adventure or an imaginative fantasy story if I were you, and make a rough plan of each chapter. You could try borrowing some "How to Write" guides from the library which have advice on writing a novel. Hello Barney!

      After reading Drishti's post, I would like to say all the best to you Drishti and regarding that Barney, I'd tell you that I've tried to write a book many times and I've always ended up giving up. Not to mention, I'd like taking up some moral advice from you that wouldn't make me bored in the end and give up! By the way Barney, how are Christmas preparations going?

      Have you planned something special? Barney says: Enid Blyton was apparently able to sit and type a book in full flow, with no preparation beforehand. However, she had about seven or eight hours a day to devote to her writing and often completed a whole book in a week or less. I imagine you don't have as much time to spare for writing, Hunaina, so it might help if you tried planning out your story beforehand if you don't already do that so you know where you're heading and can keep track of where you've got to.

      Regarding Christmas, dogs in good homes get well looked after and don't need to prepare. I'm looking forward to a delicious meaty meal, a long and bracing winter's walk and a snooze by the fire, before watching Doctor Who in the hope that K-9 might put in an appearance! I'm surprised that none of Enid's stories have been adapted for the big screen.

      They would sell well, at least in the British Commonwealth. Barney says: Two of the Famous Five books Five on a Treasure Island and Five Have a Mystery to Solve were adapted for the cinema in the s and 60s but it is surprising that there has been nothing since then. Hi, I've got tons of questions, please answer. What religion was Enid? How many books did she publish? What's the most popular book or series?

      And last but not least, is there a movie about Enid? Barney says: It doesn't seem very friendly to bombard a dog with questions while not even giving a username, but I'll be polite in return and answer to the best of my ability. Enid Blyton didn't attend church as an adult but would no doubt have called herself a Christian.

      She wrote over novels and around short stories as well as poems, plays, articles, etc. The best-selling books at the moment appear to be the Famous Five, Faraway Tree and school series. A television drama about Enid Blyton was made in It starred Helena Bonham Carter and was called Enid. Drishti, it is heartening to learn that you are writing a novel, having derived your inspiration from Enid Blyton's books.

      At one time, at around your age, I too tried to write a novel based on Enid's literature. Thus, I very much encourage you in your venture, after all in recent years and decades, several pre-teens as well as teenagers have written very successful books. Is church mentioned much in Enid's stories? One thing I don't like about the Chalet School books is the emphasis on religion in the stories because the author converted to Catholicism.

      Enid's stories are better than other examples of the children's genre at the time because she doesn't have her children decide to emulate the Ku Klux Klan or British Union of Fascists against local minority shopkeepers and farmers. Barney says: Church is mentioned briefly in some novels - for example the children in The Secret Island can hear church bells and decide to keep Sunday as a day of rest, and Roger and the others tell Barney they've just returned from church in The Rilloby Fair Mystery.

      Only in a few books does it play a more significant part, for example in The Naughtiest Girl is a Monitor where Julian Holland goes into a church to make a solemn promise to God, or in House-at-the-Corner where Pam finds that going to church helps her during troubled times. Enid Blyton wrote a number of books on various topics such as magic and adventure.

      What was her first book about? Anyway, I'm twelve and am writing a book which is adventurous. I love creative writing. But this is my first book and get confused at times. Please advise. Barney says: Enid Blyton's first book was a volume of poetry about fairies and children. It was called Child Whispers. Good luck with your adventure book. As you write, I'd advise you to make notes about characters and plot developments so you won't get confused. I've been busy.

      Just saw your response - thank you very much. Now a combing operation of Delhi libraries begins. I read The Mystery of the Hidden House and it was really awesome. I am here after a long time which was a tough time for me because of my tests. However, Enid Blyton novels such as The O'Sullivan Twins and some of the other stories of these series were good company for me. I have read only one book of the Adventurous Four, it is really good, I will soon read the others.

      After reading all the books of Enid Blyton based on mysteries, I think they have made me a good detective after all! Barney says: Enjoy being a detective, Khired! Enid Blyton only wrote two full-length Adventurous Four books plus one longish short story. In the two books were retitled The Adventurous Four Shipwrecked! After all I did at school to get good marks my hard work paid off, but I really had no time to read books which is my hobby, so now I've got more time to read.

      How old was Enid Blyton when she wrote her first book? I am starting now. I am 11 years old and I am living in Sri Lanka which is my country so I don't get a great opportunity but I am trying. Barney, if you call Buster I shall flee! Barney says: Welcome, Falicity. Enid Blyton was in her mid twenties when her first book was published, but before that she submitted poems, stories and articles to magazines.

      You could try entering children's writing competitions, Falicity, or if your school has a school magazine why not write something for it? Hi Barney! How did Enid Blyton actually put a start to her career? Which was her first book and what was the name of the publishers?

      Did she have any idea that she would end up becoming a great author? By the way, did Enid Blyton write any mature books for adults or teenagers? Barney says: Enid Blyton began her writing career by submitting stories and poems to magazines. Following numerous rejections, her work started getting accepted for publication on a regular basis in the early s. Her first book was a volume of poetry called Child Whispers , published by J. Saville in Enid Blyton couldn't have known at that stage how successful she would become.

      In the s she tried writing an adult novel, The Caravan Goes On , but it was never published and the manuscript has been lost. Those books were wizard, absolutely smashing! It's fun to read mystery stories as it gives you a chance to solve mysteries and test yourself too! I did I think solve Pantomime Cat as I knew that when it's no one else it has to be And Invisible Thief was also good and I never did like the culprit much. Ana Barney says: Clear-Orf, eh? Be careful or I might have to get my friend Buster to come snapping at your ankles!

      Hello Barney. Did Enid Blyton have any pen name? If yes, what was it? Did she prefer herself to be known as Enid Blyton or by her pen name? Thanks, Hunaina. She also used the name Mary Pollock for six books for Newnes in the early s. Other than that, she stuck to Enid Blyton. Enid gets a lot of criticism for the cruelty of her protagonist characters in the school stories towards "flawed" pupils but I think she was being more honest than most authors, then or now, about how school life is not a bed of roses and that kids can be very cruel to each other.

      Take away that realism and all you have is saccharine schmaltz which no kid can believe or relate to. Barney says: Pupils in the school stories are pretty fair on the whole, usually ready to give wayward classmates another chance. After all, the main characters have their faults too, with Darrell Rivers finding it hard to control her temper and Elizabeth Allen being impulsive.

      Quite right, Barney. I think the boy who ate treacle-puddings was Timothy. He was fond of chocolate cakes too. Am trying to track down the story of the boy who ate too many chocolate puddings! Can anyone help please? I loved it! Barney says: I remember a story in which a greedy boy eats too many treacle-puddings and is whisked off to Treacle-Pudding Town. However, if it's chocolate puddings you're looking for, perhaps someone else will be able to help.

      It could be said that such characters get their "just desserts" as opposed to their "just deserts"! Hunaina, Barney is quite correct in saying that Enid would have classed herself as a Christian. However, if you had asked her what religion she was, she would have undoubtedly have said, "Church of England. Britain has a large number of Roman Catholics, as well as other Christian sects including Methodists and Baptists.

      Barney says: It's a bit complicated with Enid Blyton because she was brought up in a strong Baptist family and later became interested in Roman Catholicism for a while, following conversations about religion with her Catholic friend Dorothy Richards. Hallo Barney! Well, I guess we won't have a fancy date again until or Thanks to you Sandeep for you gave me the idea of buying secondhand and I found one. Bye for now! Barney says: I'm glad you found a copy of the book, Aurora!

      Was Enid ever involved with politics? It's obvious she adored it even when just taking a cursory glance at her writings. Through her Enid Blyton's Magazine in the s she encouraged readers to raise money for sick and injured animals, for youngsters who were blind or who suffered from cerebral palsy, and for a children's home which catered for the under fives.

      Greetings Earthling! This will be the last time we are having a i. We won't have it for a century now. Has Enid Blyton lived to see this time in her time? I guess not. Barney says: Enid Blyton must have seen a in December I haven't heard much about her birthday celebrations, to be honest.

      Was there any book of Enid Blyton which made her think that would develop her writing career? Though all her books are the best! Were her children interested in writing? Barney says: Enid Blyton had great success with writing poems, short stories and articles for magazines in the ss, so she just developed her career from there.

      She was already successful as a writer before she ever wrote a full-length novel. Her first full-length novels were serialised in her Sunny Stories magazine before being published in book form. Enid's daughters Gillian and Imogen didn't become writers, though they did both write books about their mother.

      Unfortunately I do not find a mail address of Hachette ed. What about Pamela Cox? I have seen that she too has continued Miss Blyton's works. Barney says: If Hachette don't provide an email address, I assume they only accept contact by letter or phone. Pamela Cox's St.

      Clare's and Malory Towers books were published by Mammoth. Thanks Ana for your kind and sweet feedback. I hope you too will get a pet soon And Barney, I do agree that dogs are cuter and sweeter than cats. Barney says: Don't worry, Aurora - it's right that you should like your own cat best! I don't know what will be your point of view but I am quite serious about this.

      Can you make an Enid Blyton Club in which we can register for free? I am not asking for the Journals and what you send to the members, you can keep the paid member service running. But please, please do reply. Thank you very very much, Hunaina.

      Barney says: Do you mean a place where Enid Blyton fans from around the world can come together to discuss the books and characters etc. If so, our forums already serve that purpose and they're free of charge to join. Which religion did Enid Blyton belong to? What did she graduate in? Did she have a deep interest in anything except in writing? Barney says: Gosh, you do like to bombard a dog with questions! As an adult Enid Blyton didn't attend church but she would no doubt have described herself as a Christian.

      After leaving school, Enid Blyton trained as a teacher and taught young children for about five years before giving up teaching to concentrate on her writing. Besides writing, she was interested in nature, classical music and education. Happy Birthday, Aurora! As for the cat, you're a lucky one. I've begged and begged my parents for a cat at least, as they won't get me a dog. I think yours is a beautiful one Aurora, the way you describe it.

      I was wondering, how did Enid Blyton celebrate her birthdays? Barney says: I've truncated your message, Ana, as the part about your neighbour's birthday and the long list of goodies for me wouldn't be of general interest, I'm afraid. I expect Enid Blyton celebrated her birthday at home with her family. Lately I've had to gobble up several messages before they've hit the board, mostly from children who want to chat about holidays, exams or computer problems, or simply list the books they've read recently, or say nothing more than "I love Enid Blyton.

      Only post if you've got a genuine point or question about Enid Blyton which is likely to be of general interest. Edit: I just wanted to add that my last few remarks are aimed at everyone who uses the Message Board, and not at Ana personally. In the Brer Rabbit stories, there is reference to Miss Meadows and the girls. Who and what were they supposed to represent? Barney says: They were in Joel Chandler Harris's original stories and they're human characters living in Brer Rabbit's community.

      Did Enid Blyton have some really major crisis during her writing career? Did she ever have any financial problems and was really broken and helpless? Did anyone put his hand forward to help her at that time? Barney says: I don't believe Enid Blyton ever experienced financial hardship, Hunaina. She was fortunate to have been blessed with a talent for writing, but she worked hard at it!

      Thanks for your reply. Guess what? My birthday was yesterday and I got a cat! It was cream with dark ears and tail and it resembles Bimbo mostly as I hoped for. I am really happy! Barney says: Lucky you, Aurora! A cat is almost as good as a dog! In the review of The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage , it is said it is the sound of Tempests that drew Larry to the curtain.

      But in my copy it says that Larry pulled the curtains so that he could wake tomorrow. Barney says: If you're referring to David Cook's review in the Cave of Books, what he actually says is that it would have been a good idea for Larry to have been drawn to the window by the Tempests, because in David's opinion the Tempests ought to have been mentioned earlier in the story rather than suddenly being sprung on the reader. I am having difficulty signing and registering.

      There's a "join in" link for the forums at the bottom of this page, and a "Join the Society" link up above under Welcome. Hello, Barney you must be busy hanging up stockings for Christmas! I wonder why my last post is not posted yet. I really must know what has inspired Enid Blyton. By the way, yes Hunaina, I did read Anne Frank's diary but only half of it. I didn't like it much which is why I gave up reading it. Were Enid Blyton's books written in pen at first or did she directly write them in print?

      I think in pen. Barney says: I'm afraid your last message never arrived for some reason, unless it had no Blyton content in which case it would have been deleted. You can see what inspired Enid Blyton here. Enid wrote her earliest poems, stories and articles in pen or pencil. However, in the late s she learnt to type with two fingers! We four-legged creatures get to hang up four Christmas stockings! Oh hello Barney! Maybe by reading it, I may also be a good dectective when I grow up. I hunted in the Cave of Books and found some titles.

      Barney, I couldn't find you in the library. What should I do? Barney says: Strong peppermint bull's-eyes are what the Find-Outers prescribe when you've got the flu! Regarding finding me in the library, I'm not an Enid Blyton character although I am a bit like Enid Blyton's own dog Bobs, who used to write letters to her readers.

      There is a series called the Barney Mysteries, but the Barney in those books is a circus boy. I have recently learned that some of Miss Blyton's works were continued by Anne Digby - pen name - and that the latter is still alive. Do you know if it is possible to contact her? Barney says: You could try contacting her through her publishers, Don.

      The Book of Fairies was published by Dean, and Aurora, if she's from India, should have no serious difficulties in finding a copy in any good children's library or in second-hand book-shops particularly in cities like Bombay, Calcutta and Delhi. I'm not so sure about new editions however, as I haven't seen any so far. It's a great book and I have fond memories of reading out those stories to my niece when she was a child.

      That you may continue to enjoy excellent health and good cheer enabling you to carry on this good work in keeping the torch of the 'Blytonian Path' ever more bright and effulgent is my prayer to the Lord on this holy occasion. Barney says: Thank you, Sandeep.

      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you too! The Book of Fairies also known as The Enid Blyton Book of Fairies was first published by Newnes in but was reprinted by Dean for many years, so you're right that the Dean version is probably the easiest to find secondhand.

      I was so shocked that when I turned the pages of the Malory Towers book, up it was written "Enid Blyton" and down it was written "Pamela Cox"! Bye Barney for now! Barney says: It is confusing when publishers don't make it clear that certain titles in a series are actually continuation books by another author.

      I have been searching for the bedside stories in different libraries but I can't find the titles. Can you help? I am nearly finished with The Mystery of the Strange Bundle and it is solved after all! Barney says: I'm not sure what you mean by "the bedside stories", Khired.

      Most of Enid Blyton's short stories would make suitable bedtime reading or any time of day reading! Hi again Barney! Thank you, I really loved the discussion. I have searched in as many shops as possible but couldn't find it. What should I do, Barney? Is that book available online?

      However, secondhand copies of the individual book can be found on sites like Abebooks and eBay. Does anyone have any more information on Enid during her teachers' training in Ipswich? I am particularly interested in Also is there any extensive information on her stay in France in I think? Many thanks and season's greetings!

      Barney says: Interesting questions, though I'm not sure whether anything is known about that period other than what's in Barbara Stoney's Enid Blyton - the Biography. Barney, Where can I get the Secret Seven continuation books? And the Secret Seven never mentioned an annoying policeman Mr.

      There are usually some for sale on sites like eBay and Abebooks. The town where the Seven live is only referred to as Peterswood in the final Secret Seven book, which was written when Enid Blyton was suffering from dementia and her mind was no longer sharp. Therefore, it was probably just a slip-up on her part. Thank you for the reply on the Round The Year book, thanks also to the kind person who showed the photo of the book without the jacket.

      As it does not show any reprints do we take it that this book was only printed once in ? If this is the case does that increase its value? Thanks again, Jan. Barney says: If there was more than one issue, the format would have been the same. I'm afraid the nature books don't tend to fetch a lot of money and volumes which still have their dustwrappers are invariably worth more, but it's a nice item to have anyway.

      To get an idea of value, you could see what that book sells for on eBay and Abebooks. The book Come to the Circus! I really loved it and took it to my heart as it was so realistic. Fenella faces lots of trouble in her new surroundings but gets used to it soon. I do wish I was in her place sometimes What do you think?

      Barney says: Come to the Circus! You might enjoy reading the forums discussion about it. Thank you for your reply regarding the Round The Year book, however the one shown under Round The Year in your book selection is nothing like the one we have.

      The picture on the front is only of the three lambs, as I said the same as the picture on the individual book of Summer. It has a hard red cover and holds all the four Round the Year books in one volume. Can you assist please? Jan Barney says: We are talking about the same book here, Jan, it is just that the picture in the Cave shows the dustwrapper.

      If you go back and use the link in your previous message, you will see that someone has posted an image of what the book looks like if you remove the dustwrapper and I think you will find that you recognise the picture. I have issued The Mystery of the Strange Bundle and it's totally amazing till now. I am feeling sorry that the Five Find-Outers at first got flu.

      I wonder how they will manage to solve a mystery in this state. I am requesting to the ones who already read this book, please don't spoil my suspense. You see, sometimes people can't help giving out secrets! Barney, I wanted to know how a dog can use a desktop? Please don't mind! Barney says: The Mystery of the Strange Bundle is a marvellous book, Khired, with lots of humour as well as mysterious goings-on. In answer to your question, I have agile paws!

      We have a Round the Year book with all four seasons with a red hard cloth on boards book and on the cover it shows the three lambs as shown on the individual summer book. Printed by Evans. However, I cannot find any reference to it in the Cave of Books. Can you please advise? Thanks, Jan. Barney says: You probably made a typing mistake when looking for it.

      I just popped Round the Year into the search box and up it came. I am glad to find that Bimbo and Topsy were Enid Blyton's real pets once. I love all the naughty things they do and had always wished for having pets like them. Barney says: Or perhaps one like me!

      Memory is now very hazy, but as I remember the story included a jetty so presumably also a boat? Anyway, thanks to anyone who reads this and I hope some kind soul can help me. I just remember it being a lovely, imaginative story, very dreamy. Cheers and Regards, Chris.

      Barney says: I hope someone can help, Chris. I agree with and endorse absolutely Mr. Tony Summerfield's views about sticking to the 'Blytonian path', instead of chatting and discussing frivolous issues that are of no interest or concern to anybody.

      I was right when I said Barney is very patient in a previous message when I'd written on this very issue in answering such petty talk, and I feel it is morally wrong to take advantage of someone's magnanimity and kindness, especially when the gentleman is elderly and doing an honorary job so very well. Let's hope that better sense prevails! Barney says: If I weren't a dog, I'd be blushing at your kind words!

      Thanks for the information! It's amazing to find these famous characters especially Fatty were once real! I'd like to know whether Enid Blyton wrote any stories or books based on old stories such as folk tales of any places?

      She also retold Aesop's Fables, the Brer Rabbit stories and various other traditional tales and legends search for "Aesop" and "Brer Rabbit" in the Cave. Hallo, Barney! Has Enid Blyton written a journal or perhaps a diary in which she wrote her feelings? I guess she did. Is there any way I can open it? Barney says: Enid Blyton did keep a diary but it was just a brief record of places she had visited, appointments she had had, people she had seen, films she had watched, etc. Unfortunately, most of her diaries no longer exist.

      I don't know anything about LIT files but the only electronic versions of the books which are legal are ones bought as e-books from reputable companies like Amazon or similar. I am now a days reading The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage. It was boring but later it got really interesting. Enid Blyton knows how to manage clues in a mystery interestingly.

      Thanks for the reply. Were any of the characters in the books of Enid Blyton real? Barney says: Take a look here to find out which of Enid Blyton's characters were based on real people or animals. Good morning! Barney, Tales of Long Ago is extremely fantastic. It is a very good combination of different cultures, like Greek and Arabian, really awesome. Enid Blyton is a fantastic writer and most popular among kids and elders! Barney says: It's a great book and I'm glad you enjoyed it, Ayan!

      Our company is looking forward to buy the rights of this eBook. Please reply to us as soon as possible. I just want to add to a comment that Barney made in an earlier post that this Message Board is not intended to be a chat room. We set it up so that people could ask quick questions about Enid Blyton and her books without the need to register on the website. Far too many children now think that it is a wonderful place to have a chat with Barney and often ask questions that could be answered easily by a quick look at the website.

      Barney is very patient and tries to answer all questions, but he is an elderly dog and pointless posts are giving him a lot of unnecessary work. I am not asking you to stop posting, simply to stop and think before you do as to whether your post is really necessary and of interest to others. Clare's and the Five Find-Outers.

      I wanted to know whether Malory Towers and St. Clare's have any connection other than that they are both school stories? I really get confused between the characters most of the time as both these series seem to be very similar. The Mystery of the Hidden House is really interesting. I have recently read it. The best part was the way Pip, Larry and Fatty went to rescue Mr. Goon's nephew, Ern. It was funny when Fatty jumped on Mr.

      Goon, thinking that he was Ern. I wonder how the Five Find-Outers sort out mysteries like these and how they get mixed up in them. Enid Blyton wrote a lot about fairies and pixies that it seemed that I am in their world. The Faraway Tree is very interesting, bringing different lands on the top and different adventures for the three kids and their friends. I am searching for The Secret Island , can you help? Barney says: It seems it's a dog's lot to be bombarded with questions today!

      It's nice to see your enthusiasm for the books, Khired. School stories need a mixture of characters in order to be full of drama, conflict and fun, so it's not surprising to find similar characters in the St.

      Clare's and Malory Towers series. Both schools are bound to have their fair share of sporty types, tomboys, cheats, mischievous girls, snobs, good eggs, timid characters, etc. Regarding the Find-Outers, they tend to go looking for juicy mysteries and strange happenings to investigate - unlike the Famous Five, who simply keep falling into adventure even when they think they're going to have a peaceful holiday.

      I agree with you about Enid Blyton taking us so easily into her fantasy worlds. You could ask about The Secret Island at your library or bookshop, or order a copy online. If the copy is not available, is the text? Many, many thanks if you can.

      Barney says: I hope someone can help but it appears that the story has only ever been printed twice, once in the Sunny Stories magazine and once in a book called The Children's Hour , so I imagine most people won't have seen it. I am the eldest sister of Ayan and a bigger fan of Enid Blyton than Ayan. He told me about this and I am here! Can I hope for a good welcome? Please only post if you've got something to say about Enid Blyton, though. As I've said to people before, this isn't a chat room.

      Thanks for the book suggestions. I bought Tales of Long Ago as soon as I found my message replied to. Thank you very much. Today is my friend's birthday. She is very fond of reading adventurous stories. Can you suggest any? Barney, I have told my elder sister Khired about you and this fabulous Society and she also wants to talk to you. She is the one who gifted me my first story book from Enid Blyton and introduced me to this magnificent author. I am really very thankful to her, she is fabulous, she is simply the most admirable person I ever met.

      She is Isn't it? Barney says: You certainly know how to talk the hind leg off a dog, Ayan! You've asked a number of questions, and if you try turning yourself into a Find-Outer you'll see that the answers are there on the website. Why not look in the Cave of Books to see which adventure stories your friend might like? And if you turn your head to the left you'll see that there's a button which leads straight to the Enid Blyton Society Facebook page. That is surprising, Ana. I used another key instead of a wire for the "escape from a locked room" trick and it worked several times.

      Just a bit difficult. The problem is, nowadays most people have padlocks on their door so it wouldn't work of course. The successful time was in Delhi. Thank you very much, Barney. I want to know whether Enid Blyton mentioned any Greek stories or stories from the Arabian Nights in any of her books.

      If so, would you please tell me the name of the book? I have recently read three books from St. I am really a big fan of hers. Can you suggest any more books by Enid Blyton? To see what other books you might like, click on our "Popular Series" buttons. By the way, we write in Blytonian language on the Message Board, e.

      This is my favorite day in the week, Thursday, as it means two days' holiday from school. By the way, what do you mean by untwisting a wire coat-hanger? I've tried a hair pin, even a needle, it worked a bit well that needle but I'm afraid the key didn't fall out. I even tried another key. What is a pipe-cleaner? Got to go now. Goodbye, Barney, but not for long! An absolutely enormous bottle of orangeade, Barney.

      Barney says: Some coat-hangers have a bent wire hook at the top, which you could perhaps try to straighten. Then you might be able to use it for the "escape from a locked room" trick. A pipe-cleaner is long, thin, bendy piece of wire coated with fuzzy material like little hairs. It's used to clean pipes the sort people smoke.

      I totally love it. Have you read it? I love the way Elizabeth faces things when she is in trouble, especially with Arabella. I am looking forward to the next in the series but I live in India and it is not easy to find all the series. Anyway, it is fun meeting you Barney! Please reply. You could see if your library or bookshop could order the rest of the series for you, or buy the books online. Good luck with collecting them all! Barney says: See my answers to the last two messages from Nabeela below , Ayan.

      Do we have to pay money to enter the Society, Barney? Isn't there another way? Barney says: Most societies provide something for members, Nabeela in our case three bumper Journals per year and therefore need to charge a subscription, I'm afraid. However, you can still enjoy the website without being a member of the Society - it just means you won't have access to the continuation books and photographs etc. Hello, Barney. I'm really hanging on to the Mystery series as I have the whole set.

      Escaping out of a locked room was fantabulous when I read it. But I can't find a roll of wire, any substitutes? Barney says: Oooh - it is indeed very exciting when Fatty and the others practise skills needed for detecting in The Mystery of the Secret Room. Regarding the wire, have you tried untwisting a wire coat-hanger take care if you do! I would like to know if and how it's possible to translate the Famous Five novels. What about the copyrights? The Famous Five books have of course been translated into lots of different languages already, though in some countries they may now be out of print.

      Barney, I don't know how to enter the Society! Can you please show me to the right track? Dear Barney, This morning I gave a talk on Enid Blyton her 44th death anniversary to about students and teachers at the institution where I teach. Among the several aspects of her life and works that I mentioned, I spoke in some detail about her 'stand-alone-books', and how she emphasized the importance of a happy fulfilling family life, where children would find love, acceptance and backing, if they were to grow up into well-balanced and responsible adults, someone 'whom the world could lean on.

      Clare's , about the girl's cheating her parents, her school and finally herself by wasting her time at school in playing tricks and thinking out ingenious jokes all the time - a significant part in the book that was to change Bobby's attitude for the better throughout her life. This episode and Tony's expulsion from school in House-at-the-Corner made my spine tingle as a child - unforgettable incidents indeed!

      Later during the day there was a wild scramble for these books but, alas! I gave the librarian a tough time! But I didn't do too badly, did I, Barney?! Barney says: It sounds as though you did a fabulous job, Sandeep! Well done on bringing some of the lesser-known books to people's attention, and emphasizing the valuable messages they contain. Today is really the saddest day for me. But no matter how many November 28ths come, Enid Mary Blyton will remain alive in all our hearts.

      Barney says: Yes, the best of Enid Blyton lives on in her books. Hi, I hope you can help me. It states it was first published September ! Both books are identical apart from the one with, first published , not having illustrated endpapers. Can you tell me if the one showing the incorrect first published date is a printing error and if so is it rare?

      Thank you for any information you may be able to pass on. Barney says: I think that you have almost answered your own question there, Stuart, as it obviously is a printing error and was therefore almost certainly in all the 8th impressions. Printing errors in books do not often increase the value of a book unless you are talking about a scarce 1st edition - I believe this was the case with one of the Harry Potter books when Bloomsbury put Joanne Rowling instead of J K Rowling, but fairly rapidly noticed the mistake and corrected it which made the error copy a rare edition.

      I am now 58 years old and I have been a faithful French reader of the Famous Five adventures. I have loved their adventures and Enid Blyton made me dream about them. I was jealous of their cave on Kirrin Kernach in French Island. Barney says: Bonjour, Serge! It's wonderful that people all around the globe have been touched and inspired by Enid Blyton's stories, landscapes and characters.

      Yes, Kirrin Island sounds idyllic and I'd love to join Timmy in a spot of rabbit-chasing though I doubt George would let us! Anyway, what has it to do with Malory Towers? Barney says: I'm sure it has nothing to do with Malory Towers, Elizabeth. My uncle, John Prentice, illustrated some of Enid Blyton's books in the late s and early s.

      I remember one vividly, it was called Bedtime Stories and had a plain light brown hard cover. John is now in his eighties and although in a care home and has Alzheimer's is still quite switched on most of the time. I would love to find an original copy of this to share with him as all our copies are lost. Barney says: Welcome, Karen. I wonder whether that's the volume you remember? If so there might be copies available on eBay or Abebooks, or from the specialist dealers we list under "Lashings of Links".

      I'm sorry to hear that John Prentice has Alzheimer's and I hope you manage to get a copy of the book for him. If he's not too ill, I was wondering whether he has any interesting memories of working as an illustrator for Enid Blyton and whether he'd mind sharing them with the Enid Blyton Society, perhaps through our Journal? Hello Barney, I want to be part of this society. Barney says: Hello Samie, there's a "Join the Society" link near the top of this page. Oh dear! I am so sorry to mention the culprit's name.

      I never thought that there were people who haven't read the book and would know at once who the culprit was. By the way, before Enid Blyton passed away did she once think about retiring? A biscuit for you. Barney says: Enid Blyton stopped writing in the mid s, several years before her death in November She hated the thought of disappointing her fans but she had dementia and was unable to focus properly on her writing any longer.

      I've just read The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage. I found it a bit boring at first and I was astonished as I've never found any Enid Blyton book boring, though I felt it was good at last. I DID suspect the actual culprit at first because I've seen similar situations before. But then I thought that it wasn't necessary and immediately cut that person off the list.

      And what do I see when I get to the end of the book? It was that person! Because my computer shows Clear-Orf. A big bone for you for answering this big post. I've slightly altered your comments about the culprit so as not to give away the person's identity, because some visitors who read this message might not yet have read the book. The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage is still a well worked-out mystery, with clues to piece together and suspects to interview and some nice touches of humour.

      In answer to your question, the phrase is written as "Clear-Orf" because that's the way Mr. Goon pronounces it. Thanks, Barney. Thinking back I doubt it will have been original too, for it wouldn't even have been in the charity shop if so, as this person really knew their Noddy! Thanks again! Barney says: If you want to know more about anything you see in a charity shop, you could always ask the person behind the counter.

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      And the latter is also held in affection by the horse. But the horse has as enemies the griffon and the bear. But it is frightened by the mere crowing of the cock, especially if it be white, and the rooster's comb also inspires it with terror. The monkey has a horror of the turtle; when it sees one it flees, uttering savage cries.

      It is also in continual struggle against the dragon. It despises that great and heavy mass, but it fears the kite. When an elephant is carried away by fury and cruelty, if it should perceive a sheep it immediately becomes gentle and its impetuosity ceases. By this ruse did the Romans put to flight the elephants of Pyrrhus, the king of the Epirotes, and won a dazzling victory over him. The linnet detests the donkey and fights with it in a strange manner.

      Thus they never stray far from the kestrel, in whom they have full confidence. The rook and the owl are perpetually at war; they spy on each other's nests and eat the little ones which they find in them. The owl operates at night, but the rook works by day and has more strength than its enemy. The weasel is the enemy of the crow, and the kite cannot endure the presence of the crow. The strength of the kite resides above all in its claws, which are very hard.

      When the donkey sleeps in its stable the wasp enters its nostrils and, when it awakens, prevents it from eating. The heron makes war on the eagle, the lark on the fox. Against the eagle a night-flying hawk named cibidus wages furious warfare; bent upon extermination, they kill one another.

      There is also in the ocean a small worm, similar to the scorpion, large as a spider, which with its stinger penetrates under the fins of a fish named thinnis and presses them in such a fashion that, overcome with pain and rage, it jumps on board the ships which sail in its vicinity. And this is also worthy of note: while cabbage is cooking, if you put a little wine in the vessel in which it is cooking, the cabbage will not cook properly and will not keep its color.

      Nor can the vine endure the laurel, because by its order it affects its quality adversely. The hellebore and the hemlock are, as is known, dangerous to man. Yet it is to be noted that quail eat the one and starlings the other. Which is why this animal is dedicated to Bacchus, even as is the ferula. If the scorpion crawls at the base of the aconite it is overcome with terror and promptly becomes numb.

      There is an herb named cerastis, the virtue of which is such that if you rub its grain between your hands the scorpion will do you no harm, but you may on the contrary crush it at your leisure. Cats will not touch birds which have grains of wild rue under their wings. The weasel which wishes to do battle with a serpent also fortifies itself by arming itself with this plant.

      The lion if it brushes against the branches or the leaves of the holly oak at once becomes very fearful. If the wolf touches an onion it loses its strength, which is the reason why foxes habitually cover and line their holes with them. The leaves of the plane tree repel bats, hence storks fill their nests with them, in order to preserve themselves from their attacks.

      If I have said that the serpent is the enemy of man, I shall note on the contrary that the lizard loves and cherishes him and that it rejoices in his sight. And indeed what animal is more friendly to man than the dog, who caresses him even to licking his saliva?

      And among aquatic animals, what is more friendly than the dolphin: so much so that it has appropriately been named philanthropos, and it is well known, according to Appion, that it is subject to love. The fox lives on good terms with the serpent. Peacocks are fond of doves. Blackbirds, thrushes and parrots quickly fall enamoured of turtledoves.

      Ovid speaks of this in the following verses: And the green bird sighs with love For the night-black turtledove. There is the same familiarity and the same mutual aid among fish who live in schools. There is for example a real friendship between the whale and a small fish of the size of a gudgeon, which it freely allows to swim before it to serve as its guide, and this little creature it will follow as the one to which it owes the safety of its life.

      And when the one rests, the other rests, and when the one resumes its course the other does likewise and is entirely subservient to it. For, married in wedlock, as it were, the vines send out their tendrils, climb daintily and embrace the branches of these trees, to the point where they can no longer detach themselves, which is not the case for other trees.

      Palm trees cherish one another with a vehement love. They languish for one another and are so titillated by amorous desire that they bow their tufted heads toward one another and interlace their fronds in a sweet and loving attachment. And if, being planted next to one another, they are joined by a cord, they will embrace with mutual caresses and revel in the sweet gifts of Venus, and joyously will lift the foliage of their graceful crowns.

      The planters have a remedy for this amorous madness, which we shall relate further on, a remedy by the aid of which this extravagant love is extinguished, and the tree henceforth is rendered fruitful. Leontius also speaks of the ardent desire which these trees exhibit and bases himself on what the ancients had said on the subject.

      Carnal desire, he says, is so great and so lively in the palm tree that the female will relinquish her amorous desire only when the beloved male has consoled her. If her love-yearning is not assuaged, she dies—a fact well known to the agricultural expert. Accordingly, having provided himself with the remedy which is required in order that he may know and recognize the one to which she desires to be joined in marriage, he goes and seeks out all the male palms which surround the languishing female palm, and having touched one, he puts his hand to the passionate loving palm, and so he does with one after another.

      And when he feels that his hands are grazed as by a kiss, he thereby recognizes that the palm announces that her desire is assuaged, and she waves her sweet and gracious crown. Then the prudent husbandman goes and plucks flowers from the trunk of the male and therewith crowns the head of the lady-love who, thus laden with her lover's gift, bears fruit and, rejoicing in this pledge of love, becomes fecund.

      The fruit will not ripen on the female palm if the husband's pollen is not sprinkled on her. Hence no other tree is planted near the olive tree, except the myrtle. It is, in fact, the enemy of the fig tree and even of all other trees. The myrtle also likes to be near the pomegranate tree, for if they are planted next to each other they become more fertile and abundant. If the pomegranate is grafted on the myrtle it bears more heavily.

      So Didymus assures us. There are also several other trees which become sterile if a post is not driven into the ground near them or if the male tree is not right close to them. The shoot of the wild olive tree counteracts sterility in the domestic olive tree. Where the squill is planted all other plants do exceptionally well, just as all kinds of vegetable herbs are favored in their growth if rocket is planted close to them. Cucumbers have as great an attraction for water as they have an aversion for oil.

      The rue is never so handsome as under the shade of the fig tree, or even grafted into the latter's bark. For the eye of the painter is a battle field, and at the same time an idyllic prairie. Certain images, in fact, shock the eye while others caress it, some nourish it and others denutrify it, and so on.

      Consequently, if you wish to make your eye vibrate happily, remembering that your eye will be ceaselessly engaged in choosing, in struggling for holy unity, which is your holy unity, you must creat it with very special care.

      And there is this difference, that while the vocal chords are viscera which are blind, deaf and without memory, the eye is the persistence of retinal memory in person! Indeed there is no grosser error than that of believing that when you cease to look at a chair, this chair disappears. No, and again, no! Know, on the contrary, that at least until the end of your days there will remain permanently in the depth of your retina a place to sit down!

      You can accordingly without any fear of going wrong, adopt as your own this Dalinian maxim: that everything that the eye sees is constantly formed by everything that this eye has seen before—and also that the retina and history resemble each other like two drops of historic retina. For a long time after their incarceration, in the most unexpected circumstances and places, they often see the bars of their prison window appear before their eyes, sometimes fixed but more often as if in flight, now standing out dark against a light background and again—more frequently—appearing as negatives, even against very light backgrounds, like the sky, for instance, on which I often observed the bars of my prison in Gerona, appearing in a blue tonality even more luminous than the sky itself.

      These apparitions, which lasted about three months after my liberation, made me give a good deal of thought to the persistence of retinal impressions, leading me almost immediately to a practical conclusion which my intuition had already, since my earliest childhood, unconsciously put into practice.

      You must therefore know, young painter, that the Seventh Secret of your art resides in the sympathies and antipathies of your retina, in the manner in which you daily nourish it. As a result, as in the case of all mosaics, your fancy, choosing paranoically, will be able to make the lighted images of your fancy appear and disappear, especially when you shut your eyes, and it is at this moment that the retinal mosaic which I advise you to form in your eye will appear exactly like the prison bars, but more lastingly.

      Thus you realize that what I am advising, good inquisitor that I am, is that you should surround yourself with a prison for your eye. For nothing is more harmful to it than the freedom to see everything, to attempt to embrace everything, to want to admire everything all at once. But the prison which I advise for your eye must be mobile, transparent, and its flying bars aerial an tiny.

      The ideal prison for the delicate eye of the painter is therefore vegetation, and the best of all vegetations is that of olive trees, and consequently also that of myrtles, since at the moment of planting the former around your house you have already learned that olives and myrtles sigh for one another and grow best together, in one another's arms.

      It is the olive tree, with the counterpoint of the myrtle, which by the constant, subdivided and tiny glittering and quivering of their leaves will surround your eye with that silvery mosaic so nourishing in trembling reminiscences for your retina that, whether your eyes are open or closed, all that you see will appear to you more silvered, minute, ample, gracious, smiling and euphoric—just as though, on the Mediterranean and brilliant lake of your retina, there were blowing at every moment that same light air which overturns, in silvery gusts, the leaves of the olive trees, of those olive trees which you will have become so accustomed to seeing that you already carry them planted in your retina and which, no matter where you go or what you paint, will never leave you for the whole rest of your life.

      On the other hand, nothing in the world can be more harmful to the education of your young eye of sixteen—this is the moment when you must already have decided your vocation as a painter—than the frequent sight of colors that are too vivid or too absolute. Your eye must become educated in nuances. This is why you must avoid planting flowers around your painter's house and shun, as you would the pest, the confused juxtaposition of their strident and brutal colors, molesting not only your eye but, it seems to me, capable even of piercing the tympanum of your very ear.

      Live, therefore, amid silvery graynesses, in order that the true colors of your soul may never descend to being some day compared to those— ephemeral and untranscendental—of flowers and eliminate these from your surroundings, or at least those of loud coloration, like the geranium, for example, which you must especially avoid and for a thousand other reasons.

      Furthermore you must also avoid green lawns and all vegetation in which the green of the chlorophyll utters its desperate biological shrieks for oxygen! For there is nothing worse for the painter's retina than the loud and grinding Veronese of the parrot of the exotic and orgiastic dogdays of vegetation.

      They are the veritable and treacherous enemy of his eye. I want oranges! Avoid, therefore, radically, even in the vicinity of your house, the presence of those snotty brats which are the violent greens. Once they have entered your retina you will no longer be able to silence them, they will not leave you alone for one second while you are at your work, for which it is very necessary to have that august calm which alone an eye exclusively nourished on olive-hued tapestries with threads of silver silk of airy light can procure you.

      And this is the Eighth Secret, from which you have just learned a little of why and how to give your retina a little of its daily bread—may it be blessed. All this will help you to begin to understand also that the phenomenon of painting is consubstantially linked to geography, to geology, to botany, etc. Here redolent truffles grow—there not. In a given piece of land a certain rare wine or a certain unique sea urchin, while half a mile away the wine has no exceptional quality and the sea urchins are hardly edible.

      This Mediterranean slope swarms with tempting subjects for the painter, while on the other coast, facing the Atlantic, not even a half of one has ever been able to grow. This is a law so rigorously inevitable that never, alas!

      That England, which has had sublime writers, has never given birth to a single great painter is known and recognized by all the world—in this world in which one cannot have everything. I am speaking of painters of the first order, that is to say, a Velasquez, a Raphael or a Vermeer. But other much more impenetrable mysteries make the work of painters even more exceptionally precious.

      For the works of these painters are never equally successful. All painters know this by bitter experience, but you will never be able to explain it. At a given moment you achieve, without hardly being aware of it, a miraculous masterpiece; at another moment, to all appearances similar, another painting executed with a thousand times more effort and knowledge brings you only greater shame at each fresh sitting and you can barely muster the courage to finish it.

      Why did that turn out so well, and today, with the same procedure and with a thousand times more experience, I bungle it? Why, with this same medium and this same brush and this same subject, does the same thing which yesterday turned out divine today turn out unspeakable? This enigma is not an altogether hopeless one. Once you have read this book, you will be in possession of certain rules of the natural magic of craftsmanship.

      For in certain happy cases you have followed these rules very closely, or even gone beyond them, and in other circumstances on the contrary, and also without knowing it, you have violated them, stubbornly contradicted them and trampled them underfoot. I beg you, therefore, to consider the most extrapictorial events of your secret and ultraintimate life, and especially those most secretly linked to your love-life—and there we are!

      It is precisely those imponderables of your libido which are the greatest hypocrites, responsible for the good and the bad fortune of your work. You tell me now that you had already vaguely suspected this. And how right you are! All the more reason why I should hurry—quick, quick! I assure you that even though the present one is very, very good, the one which is to follow is even better, not to say most astonishing.

      But many years after I learned of it, on traveling out of Geneva by automobile, my great friend, the painter Jose Maria Sert, explained to me in a memorable conversation on the different kinds of slumbers according to the arts that the slumber with a key was traditionally practiced by the aviso painters of architectonic drawings who needed for their craft an exceptionally calm and steady hand. Others, on the contrary, believe that this varies according to the individual. The fall of the key may occur after one second of sleep, and all the images that precede the fall might have to be considered as hypnagogic, rather than oniric images.

      I personally believe that this will remain a mystery for centuries of years. The chromatic hyperchloridity of a Gauguin should suffice to cure the acidity of any young painter for the rest of his life. For that matter, the idea of a good painter coming from the tropics would be as absurd and ludicrous as that of a good Swedish painter.

      They don't have one today and they can never have one, and the explanation of this astonishing phenomenon is, besides many other more subtle ones, the snow. No snow country has ever produced good painters, for snow is the greatest and the most harmful enemy of the retina. It is the hyperaesthetic negation of all visual culture.

      The white of snow is simply blinding, and it is for this reason that the colors of their painters are violet-hued, congested by anilin acids, and poisonous to the eye as well as to the spirit. This is why the Russian painter is the worst colorist of all. I was personally even more struck as a schoolboy when the Marist brothers, in order to moderate our solitary vices if to prevent them was impossible , often told us that this did us as much harm as though we were to manipulate with our own hand the delicate substance of our very brain.

      But all such vague and metaphoric observations serve only to disturb the emotions and give rise to a host of lugubrious superstitions and feelings of guilt. One must say everything or nothing. Here, then, in all frankness are exact details, and these constitute Secret Number 9.

      Be as chaste as possible, and practice carnal abstinence during the periods when you are not materially launched on your work—that is to say, during the inspiration and the conception of your painting. For during this spiritual process it is most desirable that the accumulation of your libidinal impulses, unable to find outlet in an actual realization of desires, should nourish the process of your dreams and reveries, especially in the state of gestation which is, as Paracelsus said, above all a state of digestion, of transformation—of transubstantiation—and today that we know Freud we may add also and above all, of sublimation which, as we also know today, is the state which characterizes the constitutional basis of the artistic phenomenon.

      On the other hand, and contradicting the fear expressed by Cenini that the painter's hand would tremble in consequence, I shall tell you that precisely at the moment of placing yourself really before your canvas in order to begin to paint it, it will be very desirable that you should establish the regular habit of making love once a day at the least. Remember, then: abstinence during the period of conception, and love during your periods of realization.

      For you know already that while you are working all anxiety must be absent from your spirit, since I have already explained that you must execute your work in a half- waking state, lulled by zephyrs of memories, mingled with readings that are sufficiently monotonous so that you will barely hear them.

      This state is exactly the one which the regular gratification of your carnal desires will procure you, whereas during your period of conception these must appear to your imagination by turns, as if torn from the fiery and drooling parchments of the annals of demonology and caressed by the downy scores of the solfeggio of cherubs.

      For you will have nailed a calendar to your wall: the calendar will regulate and guide your work. The material time for the painter is marked by the clock of pain: for like the agony of Saint Sebastian, which you can count by the number of his arrows, the passion of the painter can be counted by the exact number of his brush strokes.

      You must mark on your calendar beforehand the course your work is to follow, and afterwards mark each point in the progress of its execution. I am unable to verify this for myself, but it is in any case possible, since severe calculations, based on pictorial technique, have convinced me that the most important work can and must be resolved in exactly six days. One day more is not only unnecessary, but is a dangerous symptom that the masterpiece is already foredoomed to failure. I should despise you if you were to regard as trivial the mention of the calendar in conjunction with the word love.

      You must know that the entire passion of the painter is inscribed in the calendar. Know, then, that the requirement that your work be realized in six days constitutes Secret Number 10 of this book. The most complex case is that of a painting which represents human figures in a natural, architectural or fantastic setting there is no more complicated subject in painting.

      The painter who begins his session before the easel at eight o'clock in the morning can easily, giving great care to shading and brushing out, finish any sky by one o'clock. I guarantee you that if with the five and a half hours that I give you to fill in the landscape or the sea you do not have enough, and if consequently at the moment of sitting down to dinner at half past eight you have not yet finished, you are not the great painter of genius that you claim to be and your work will not be the masterpiece which we expected from your brush.

      But since you reassure me by telling me that your background is completed and ask me how and at what point you are to continue your work tomorrow morning at eight o'clock, I shall ask you to mark down the following on your calendar I shall assume that your painting features two figures in the foreground : from eight to ten you will paint one torso, and from ten to twelve the other torso; this leaves you an hour, which you will use to fill in the mountain distances, if there are any; if not, the hair of your two figures.

      From three to six will be the propitious time for the face. You will always choose the masculine one to begin with, if your figures are a man and a woman. If not, your choice will be determined by the difficulty, and must always go to the easier one. The face must be begun with the lighted parts of the chin; after that the cheeks and the forehead, then the nose, the mouth, the ears and finally the eyes.

      The longest and most difficult always are the nose and the forehead. From six to half past eight you will begin the architecture or the fantastic elements. This brings you to the following morning. From eight to ten you will complete one body, from ten to twelve the other body, except for the hands and the feet which I give you the whole rest of the afternoon to complete, for since these terminate the extremities you will be able to execute them more effectively at this hour than, for instance, the architectural elements, which fatigue might render awkward and arduous.

      You may now spend the whole morning of your third day working exclusively over your figures, without any other order than that of lingering over the details that appeal to you. You see that we have already reached the third day, and already your canvas is satisfyingly covered with paint, except for the feminine face. Be easy in your mind and work without haste, for I give you the three remaining days to realize it! You see how comprehensive I am. I have not wanted to encumber you with the architectural elements, for these need only be well traced out.

      You will find that you have executed them in your spare moments without quite knowing how. But you won't do this if you are projecting a masterpiece, inasmuch as you know from the whole experience of the history of art that the greatest enemy of a pictorial masterpiece is fantasy. And that even the most divine imagination exacts of you only that you become consubstantially, biologically and inquisitorially a slave of reality.

      After the realization of your painting, it is necessary to finish it, and sometimes even to patch it up. And here is the mystery. If six days have been more than sufficient for you to realize your painting, it may sometimes take you several years to finish it, since it has never yet been known exactly when a painting is finished, or even if a single painting exists which is.

      My own opinion is that no painting is ever finished, and that it is to this that paintings owe the force of their existence, the perpetual influence which they exert over the years. If it is humanly impossible to know whether your picture is finished, it will be almost as difficult for you to know when you must stop working on it.

      There comes a point where you run the risk of overlaboring and overrefining it instead of finishing it, and thus of ruining your work in the most disastrous fashion. Hence you must know exactly at what precise moment you must definitively remove your picture from your easel and stop painting on it. For this your own feeling does not suffice and may often deceive you. Remember how many times you have bitterly regretted having continued to overpolish your work and thereby having spoiled it irremediably.

      Before initiating you into this secret, however, there are several expedients that you may have recourse to as you reach the stage at which you consider your picture to be nearing its final form. At the end of these sessions you should make a habit of observing the reflection of your picture in a mirror with a scrutinizing eye.

      This will help you considerably—seeing what is on the left on the right, and vice versa—to determine its defects with more accuracy, especially to discover things which are out of balance or out of proportion. The asymmetries and irregularities which are not called for will immediately strike you. Your eyes, too much accustomed to seeing the picture constantly in the same way, tend to allow your vision to be contaminated by your conception and to correct disproportions in an artificial manner.

      Another useful expedient is to have your wife trick you into coming upon your picture in the most unexpected settings and at the most unexpected moments—in an odd room, in a corner of your garden —so that you find yourself suddenly and irreparably confronting your picture.

      Such brutal surprises are very effective in tearing from your eyes the bandage which your affection for your work often contrives to weave in the course of the long sessions which you have spent at your work, even though you have strived conscientiously to render the beautiful rather than to try to persuade yourself charitably that this is what you were really doing.

      But I shall assume that your picture has resisted all these tests, and still others, like the fascinating one of representing it to yourself in imagination, in the course of a prolonged revery, hanging in a museum next to one of your preferred Raphaels.

      And I shall assume that in spite of all this, convinced though you are of its beauty, you cannot make up your mind, you cannot muster the courage to stop working on it definitively, and finally to inscribe your signature on a certain spot which is often so difficult and anguishing to choose. It is precisely at this moment of doubt that you should have recourse to my secret. Pay careful attention now to what is to follow, for it is thus that you must proceed.

      Take the skeleton of a sea urchin of an unusually large size. Against the pentagonal aperture formed by what is known as Aristotle's lantern, place the concave face of a crystal lens which may be secured in place with a little wax. Then take the web of a spider and with it form lines across the lens, connecting the five points of the pentagon so as to form a star. At the opposite point of the sea urchin's shell make a hole with a drill, large enough to accommodate a small magnifying glass.

      You will then see for the first time in your life—since before me no one had ever had the idea of looking through a new, artificially drilled hole, into the interior of a sea urchin—you will see, I repeat, the interior of one of the most beautiful natural cupolas which it is given to a human, creature to contemplate, and the center of this cupola— which I might compare to the Pantheon in Rome—would correspond to the hole which looks out on the sky, round in the one, pentagonal in the other.

      I shall ask that you hold this up to your picture, so that its reduced image will appear in it. This test is something which you must experience for yourself. For if the picture, observed under such conditions, through such a telescope, appears finished to you it is because it is truly finished, and if it does not appear finished, then it is because it is not. For you see it really surrounded and pressed, as it were, between the teeth of the perfection of a closed and finite world, in the center of the veritable monarchy which governs the painter, as will become transparent to you in the last chapter, in which I shall deal at the length which it deserves with themorphology and the aesthetic transcendency of the skeleton of the sea urchin, and with Aristotle's lantern in particular.

      You may now already begin to suspect that in order to have the humor to contemplate the mysteries of creation by introducing holes in the most secret receptacles of nature, so that you may see revealed through them universes of the ocean depths even when they bristle with spines, you have obviously to be not only curious, but also and especially you have to be a happy man.

      And as I have already made you anticipate that the secret of your happiness and your good humor resides in your love-life I shall ask you once more in this connection to follow my experiences in this realm of the flesh, which is filled with such sweet thorns. But all three must live together, and live in the most perfect harmony. With your legitimate wife you must begin to cohabit at the age of twelve, and at this moment she will be exactly years old. Her name is Painting, her cheeks are fresh as a rose, her breasts are the roundest that it has ever been given you to contemplate, and you would take her, at the most, for thirty-six.

      And you must know that she will never age. In order that your marriage with Painting shall be a happy marriage your love must not, as you might think, be absolutely reciprocal, though it is quite necessary that it be shared. Remember the unhappy love of Cezanne with his Painting—he worshipping her so completely, and she, ungrateful that she was, remaining utterly indifferent.

      On the other hand, remember the uninterrupted honeymoon of Raphael with his Painting. In my own case I must avow frankly that Painting loves me more than I love her. And she is often put out with me, for each time that I neglect her a little in order to write, I feel her languish—even when, as I am doing now, I write only about her.

      I know that she will overwhelm me with bitter reproaches. For Painting cannot be satisfied with words, which the wind sweeps away. She wants you, my dear friend, to possess her at least three times a day, and not a single night will she fail to slip into your bed. This is why it will be so difficult for you to find a mistress, and at the same time why she will become for you the rarest and most precious thing in the world, if you succeed in finding her. Rare and difficult, because at all costs she must not be jealous of your Painting, but on the contrary she must love her not only as much as you yourself do, but even more!

      And precious, because in spite of the fact that with Painting you will experience ecstasies, you have already understood that they are of a platonic nature. She cannot therefore gratify your libido, painter though you be. See, then, how lucky you are, since the one you will really marry when you are in your middle twenties and who, in the eyes of all the world will pass as your legitimate wife, or at least as your morganatic wife, will in reality of truth be only your mistress, with all the perpetual romance which this implies, while your marriage, without secrets or veils, your marriage of all the most everyday moments of your life will be that into which you entered through the sacrament which you contracted in your early teens before the muses of Olympus, with your dear and well-beloved Painting.

      See, therefore, once more how happy you may consider yourself among men! To be able to live with your very wife as though she were a mistress into whose arms you were escaping from the soft, but too habitual conjugal bed! I must tell you now, by way of introduction to Secret Number 13, that every good painter who aspires to create authentic masterpieces must before anything else marry my wife.

      You must know, then, that oil painting fell in love with Gala at first sight, and that she became from that moment her constant and exclusive model and was thenceforth called her olive, because of the color and the volume of the oval of her face, which resembles that of a Mediterranean olive as two drops of oil resemble each other, and although olive oil is not appropriate for painting, because it would dry too slowly, the olive itself remains nevertheless the symbol of oils—for it will no doubt be admitted that the best symbols are those which never dry.

      Painter, I counsel you therefore to balance an olive on your easel, and let your eye not cease to question it often, for he who has understood the form of an olive will have penetrated the most subtle suprasensible secret of all painting! Thus—and this is Secret Number 14—accustomed to recognizing at a glance the morphological virtues of an olive, you will be able to choose amid the abundantly antipictorial multitudes of feminine ovals those of the authentic Galas which painting loves, assuring yourself thus, by this unanticipated procedure, nothing less than the certain choice of your own happy marriage.

      Let me now tell you other advantages that you will find in being married to a Gala. And since I feel that this is what you have been waiting for, wondering what in the world this Gala does to make her so precious to every painter, what she does to be so useful, my answer shall be simple: she does nothing, she lets potentialities, processes and affinities take their course—that is to say, she poses.

      And to pose means to architecturalize space. And in the course of your walk, when your spirit roams a thousand miles away, losing itself on the misty confines of obsessive conjectures, she points out to you a flower in the path where you are walking like a somnambulist, bringing your distracted spirit back to the savory reality of your walk. And it is the same flower which, that evening, on rereading Michel de Montaigne, he in turn counsels you to observe, in order to prevent your spirit from becoming the prey of your chimeras.

      But I say that Gala does nothing. I wish to say now, in order to have the pleasure of contradicting myself immediately, that she does everything, strictly everything. And yet I am right in saying again that she does everything while doing nothing, that is to say without touching anything, while flying about like a bee, which is also one of the names which I have given her, for like a bee she brings me all the oils, all the media, and it is thus that I find the pentagonal hive of my studio filled with all the pollens which the painter, at every moment of the day, needs to be able to spin the integral honey of his work.

      And when she lets her eyes rest on an object, Gala the olive becomes an observer, and her glance is inestimable. Its extreme acuteness, capable of seizing the difference of a hair in the mounting of a jewel, caused the Duke de Verdura to exclaim that Gala had the eyes of a lynx. Now if it is true that a painter's two eyes do not suffice him, and that he must often have recourse to other eyes, even though they may be less good than his, you can tell yourself that the greatest good fortune that can befall you, in this regard, is to live with a woman who possesses the eyes of a lynx!

      And finally, this is the place where I wish this to be written: It was Gala who reinspired the Renaissance of classicism which slumbered within me since my adolescence, who has surrounded me progressively, almost without my being aware of it, with all the rare architectural documents of the Renaissance. One morning, toward the end of October in , I was seated in my studio and I was looking at a pomegranate divided in two halves which I was holding in my hands while with my tongue I was trying to work loose one of the little seeds which had become obstinately wedged between two teeth.

      It was at this moment that I understood the supreme beauty of the architecture of antiquity, based on the biology of numbers. And I remember very well that at that moment my tongue was pleasurably caressing my gums with the maximum of force, registering the relief of each of my upper teeth, as if this pressure could help me better to understand and to remember my thought, more and more clear, which seemed to spring from the very depth of my blood.

      Believe me, when I advise you to guard your studio with the utmost rigor against the intrusion of any living creature besides your wife, that is to say your Gala—with the exclusive exception of the spider which, on the contrary, you must consider the true geometrist, the minute Luca Pacioli, the intimate friend of the painter's hours of labor, and from whom you will derive much instruction and a continual feast, for your eyes as well as for your mind.

      Banish, then, to begin with, monkeys, parrots, dogs and cats, for these can but involve you in innumerable and unnamable disorders and miseries and filth, from the constant menace of finding irreparably smeared by a rapid and disagreeable tail- swish of their dirty hairs the archangelic smile which you had patiently achieved with three thousand conscientious and airy tail-swishes of the minute badger hairs of your careful brushes, to the flying about of their animal dust, and crowning the whole by their overwhelmingly depressing propinquity, even when, assuming the most favorable circumstances, these beasts are well-behaved and unobtrusive.

      For when you feel yourself possessed, or when you possess the holy retinal furies of your inspiration, the stupid presence of a dog, with its lachrymose sentimentality, cannot but strike you as lamentably out of harmony with the cruel tension of your lucid spirit, which is one of the principal vital and fecund characteristics of every authentic creator. The company of the spider, on the contrary, will appear to you sympathetic, lucid and cruel like yourself, and it will spin the mathematics which you, leaning over your easel, bear inscribed in the lines of tension of your own bones.

      Thus, no dog for you, but spiders, yes! And know that there do not exist in all creation two more contradictory secretions than the foul and supremely anti-geometric drooling of a dog and the quintessential and mathematical saliva of the spider. Begin, then, by learning the most simple and rudimentary manner of constructing your aranearium, and wait a few moments before I tell you not only all the excellent and useful things which can be derived from these instruments but also the unsuspected resources of pleasure which they contain: I promise you that the retrospective utilization of such araneariums not only will make you drool but will, I swear to you, even make you weep.

      The best aranearium is constructed with a slender olive branch, which you shape as nearly as possible into a perfectly round hoop, leaving four or five olive leaves clinging to the outer part of the circle, on which the spider will enjoy placing himself on various occasions.

      This hoop of olivewood you will secure on a four-foot pine pole provided with a solid base. At the bottom of the hoop place a small box in the shape of a perfect cube, of very green pine, provided with two holes, one in the top, and the other in one of the sides. This empty cube will serve as the spider's nest. Within the previously moistened box, introduce a little earth and allow it to dry well in the sun.

      Since amber is very sympathetic to the spider—and how much more to the painter! For your aranearium to be successful, you must achieve its principal object, which is to oblige the spider you have chosen to construct its web exactly within the circle of your aranearium. You will not manage this without some difficulty, and you will have to bring the spider back to the hoop of olivewood as many times as necessary until your spider finally decides to weave his web there.

      Once his work is accomplished a few tidbits of flies will make him feel at home and he will stay there, and even if he should abandon his web for a time he will suddenly reappear at the moment when you least expect him, even if you should move your aranearium to a different place.

      I am assuming, then, that you are in proud possession of your five araneariums with their five perfect spiderwebs. Now hear how and why they are to be utilized and presently you will understand that this Secret Number 16 involves nothing less than a typical magic ceremony of witchcraft, whereby you will voluntarily fall in love, madly in love, for the rest of your life, with the bit of landscape which you have already wisely decided, by your understanding, to be the one among all those that you love to be most worthy of all kinds of sacrifices.

      As your studio must be situated close to the spot where you were born, and as, if you are to be a good painter, this spot must have an admirable natural setting, the choice of the landscape with which you decide to fall in love will be relatively easy for you. Having determined on the view to be used for the ceremony in which you are to put yourself under a spell, this is how you must proceed.

      First, the ceremony is to be performed when you are about twenty years old, when your love affairs follow one another in unbroken succession, but at a moment when you feel yourself particularly in love, to the point where your love-anguish makes all the operations which I am about to describe, simple though they be, appear onerous and almost unfeasible. These operations will seem to you—and this is highly desirable from a psychological point of view—to be an unwelcome interruption of your continual dream of love.

      But this is all to the good, since what you are about to do is in fact to disturb that dream, to displace it and change its object, to provide the round, vague treasure of tenderness which you bear within you with a new, transparent receptacle in a special place, so that by means of your araneariums you will at last be able to see it. You will see it, without seeing it, for what you will see will be something quite different from the image of the girl you are so much in love with.

      Instead, you will see the landscape which, you tell me, your acute and refined painter's taste has definitively selected among the admirable spots which surround your studio. Begin, then, by placing opposite this favored spot a flawless crystal bowl filled with the purest water, so that you can see the landscape of your love reflected in the bowl and your eye can possess it isolated, reduced and perfectly contained in its crystalline sphere, as though you were seeing, separated from your person, the congealed mystery of your very retina.

      Looking through the five cobwebs you will be wonder-struck as you see the bowl, by virtue of the rays of the setting sun, become irradiated by the most subtle and golden mother-of-pearl tints of thousands of rainbows. Remain where you are, marvel at the vision, which will appear to you one of the most ineffable sights you have ever seen, though you are as yet unable to explain your ecstasy.

      Look, and look again, but at the same time move your araneariums, now closer together, now farther apart, so that the rainbows which they produce will intersect one another in a variety of intricate geometric patterns, weaving aeolian strophes of exquisite iridescence cadenced with the regularity of the crystal sphere in which the image of the landscape of your love begins to turn ruby-red, then darker, like the blood of a ripe cherry—for the sun is about to disappear behind the horizon, and you already feel the warm hand of the shadows of the spring twilight touch you just behind your head in the nape of your neck with the tip of its ring-finger which might very well, if you wish, be adorned with a clear garnet.

      Remain, I say—and even if I did not tell you, do so nevertheless—for now that the sun has gone, and with it the glorious rainbow aureole produced by the irisation of your araneariums, you feel so overwhelmed by the spectacle which your eyes have just contemplated that it seems to you that the potency of the charm which you have undergone keeps you there, glued to the spot, incapable of making the slightest movement, even that of wiping off the drop of saliva which has begun to flow from the corner of your lips.

      After this evening on which you have been so carried away by the spectacle of your favorite landscape which the araneariums and the crystal bowl have procured you I order you to avoid seeing it again on any pretext. This you must do systematically, orienting your walks in other directions and even suppressing the landscape from your thoughts as much as possible, thus depriving yourself for a long time, that is to say for twenty-seven years, of the sight, whether at close range or from afar, of this spot which, as you shall see, must remain buried in your memory.

      For the more completely you can forget it, the better it will be for what is to follow. Perspicacious as you are, I can already see you anticipating what I am coming to, at last! But painters experience the phenomenon with greater acuteness in the form of images. On seeing, at the age of thirty-six, a completely insignificant post card of the Tibidave of Barcelona, which I had not seen since I was a child, I was so moved that for over a month everything that came into my mind constantly reverted to this inexplicable emotion.

      Since then I have eagerly been searching for the books of illustrations of my childhood in order to study their images, which have become a treasure to me. How barbarous it is, therefore, not to set traps when we are young for our future adult emotions! For to do this would be nothing less, once it was systematized, than the realization of Faust's dream, without having to have recourse to Mephistopheles and without having to rebel against old age.

      Proust's Remembrance of Things Past is not the hyper-individualistic lucubration of a blase. It is the very healthy basis of a whole Dalinian system by virtue of which the physical span of our life could be at least doubled. For you could then tell yourself that what you are now living you could live again better, at the same time that you were living something different. I especially. Everything which I miss living at every instant, everything that I am wasting at present, all the ineffable congealed cascades of sensation and emotion which escape me at this moment without my even being aware of it, this whole treasure of life, of time which I am losing, one day I shall find again, with a fresh wonder, in a new and real terrestrial paradise.

      Compare yourself, therefore—to come back to you, painter —to a kind of dromedary masticating visions which constantly make you drool with satisfaction. These do but repair to the monstrous hump of your brain and go to sleep—a brain which I have already once happily described as being filled with a wick folded and refolded in infinite circumvolutions inside an oil lamp.

      Imagine then that all the wonderful images of your vanished time, those which you looked at without seeing them, have nevertheless remained intact, kept like a blind rosary strung along that combustible wick which you keep folded in intricate convolutions like an intestine inside the monstrous hump of your painter's head. And you may be certain and convinced that experience will corroborate what is to follow. Let us go back to the landscape which you contemplated with such ecstasy in your crystal bowl at the age of twenty, surrounded by the memorable circumstances of the araneariums, and which you assure me you have not seen again since that distant time.

      But wipe your tears, do not weep, do not weep overmuch, for it is now the spiderweb's turn to weep, to weep all its geometries for you. That evening you will depart, leaving all your araneariums out there in the open, facing the sphere of your beloved reflections.

      Very early the next morning, that is to say just a little before sunrise, you will go back to that same spot. Walk there worshipfully, for it is now that the most marvelous sight of all awaits you—that of your five cobwebs evenly and harmoniously bedecked with limpid dewdrops! And this I do not want to tell you about, because you must simply see it—for how could I describe to you the innumerable reflections which your adored landscape will produce in each of the droplets of dew balanced on the fine-spun threads or, what is worse and better than all, the reflections of the crystal sphere itself containing the entire landscape entirely reflected in turn in each of the dewdrops on every web of your araneariums?

      And now remove from your presence, but with all the gratitude which you owe to them, your sphere and your araneariums, and paint from nature as honestly as you can, that is to say, effacing yourself as much as you can before your model, and thus trying to copy it as anti-artistically as is humanly possible for you.

      Do not doubt that this picture will be one of the surest and most convincing masterpieces of your maturity. Let us suppose that, instead of the apprentice that you are, you have become a great painter, that in your adolescence at the moment when, because of the fresh and new ebullition of your biology, you saw all things through rose-colored glasses, according to the vulgar expression, and this without needing to resort to any kind of araneariums you produced some masterpiece as complete as Raphael's Betrothal of the Virgin.

      This is not only possible but even frequent and in the natural course of things. But on the other hand, it is also frequent and in the natural course of things that, toward the period of your maturity and precisely when you might make the best use of the advantages given you by your experience and your wealth of technical means, you should find yourself a little dried out, having lost that freshness of almost childlike inspiration which so moves your admirers, who now are inclined to consider you more master of yourself, incomparably more learned, but no longer possessing that indefinable and elusive thing which was the very bloom of your soul and which, as by a miracle of heaven, you were able, without knowing how, to project in your work, crystalline like the crystal of your own soul and invisible like your own retina, distributed in regular round and perfect drops on the entire surface of your first masterpieces.

      You now know how, by virtue of the magic of the retrospective use of your araneariums at the moment of your maturity, to achieve these ineffable states of grace, as precious and exceptional as that described by Proust, provoked in his case by the sensation of dipping a madeleine in a cup of tea, a thousand times more intense than those of your clover days, for this emotive and receptive state will be multiplied for you by at least as many times as your crystal sphere containing the landscape will be in turn by the number of dewdrops of all your five araneariums.

      You can therefore judge how precious such devices can be to you. You will find in many books recipes for making essence of turpentine, but where has anyone before this ever described a method like mine which can serve as a galvanic key that will open the sluicegates of the emotions slumbering in the depths of your spirit and make your eyes, before a particular landscape, more virgin and avid than at the age of twenty, with all the visual culture and the manual dexterity of your forty-seven years?

      And rejoice now to learn still further uses—these by way of amusement and without importance—to which you can put your araneariums. Know, then, that your five araneariums, perfectly adorned with dewdrops, will serve to make a very original decoration for your long festive table on the day when you wish to celebrate the successful completion of one of your pictures. In honor of this occasion you will also construct combs formed of miniature araneariums, for which you will use tiny spiders, also adorned with dewdrops, to be worn by your wife, your Gala, on this evening.

      And if, by chance, the waiter as he is serving should inadvertently brush against one of the webs that adorn the combs and break it, the spider will immediately and on the spot proceed to repair it with its habitual rapidity and diligence. I have counted as many as fifty-five ways, equally lacking in transcendency but of an equally amusing fantasy, in which I have found diversion with my araneariums, but to enumerate them here would be too frivolous for the tone of this book.

      I wish, however, before concluding the subject of araneariums, to mention one more adaptation which is extremely useful for the painter's studio. For this you must use heavy webs of barn spiders, which you must have them weave on hollow parallelepipeds two feet long, suspended at both ends. When the picture is very small and detailed these may cause serious damage, for often in trying to remove such particles one may destroy some imponderable detail, always the longest and hardest to dO, and especially to redo.

      To avoid this, I shall give you my Secret Number 17, a tiny secret, but important, and of a suggestive ingenuity. You construct a very light little paper roof to protect the wet part that you are working on. Drawing Is a Way of Thinking - Techniques, Tutorials and Walk-Throughs. DuBosque - Draw Insects - Whitney - Complete Guide to Watercolor Painting - Norling - Perspective Made Easy.

      Watson - Course in Pencil Sketching. Book 3 Boats and Harbors - Watson - The Art of Pencil Drawing - Bridgman - The Book of a Hundred Hands - Hoyt - Hex Signs - Tips, Tools, and Life Drawing Basics - A Complete Guide For Artists. Animals - Birds - Ames - Draw 50 Aliens - Ames - Draw 50 Animals - Ames - Draw 50 Beasties - Ames - Draw 50 Creepy Crawlies - Ames - Draw 50 Famous Cartoons - Ames - Draw 50 Horses - Ames - Draw 50 Magical Creatures - Ames - Draw 50 Monsters - Ames - Draw 50 Princesses - Ames - Draw 50 Vehicles - Ames - Draw the Draw 50 Way - Ames - How to Draw Star Wars - Ames, P.

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