Wednesday, January 20, 2016
3 Blue Flowers
“Two Blue Flowers and One More”
About blue flowers in works by Gustave Meyrink and Novalis, my readers knew.
The novel “Heinrich von Ofterdingen” by Novalis (1772 – 1801) -- a poet, author, and philosopher of early German Romanticism – tells a story of a dream of the Blue Flower. Maybe, a sort of a blue lily, but the author gives the flower some mystic features of a beautiful woman.
Originated in the novel and symbolizing the victory of the poetic over the material, the flower became an emblem for German Romanticism.
The short story “Cardinal Napellus” by Gustav Meyrink (1868 – 1932) -- an Austrian author, most famous for his novel “The Golem” -- tells about the other blue flower, quite real. Aconitum napellus, or monkshood, the poisonous plant has flowers dark purple to bluish-purple, helmet-shaped.
In the short story, the flower is a human tall, with steel-blue flowers.
One of personages, an old man of the name of Radspieler tells about his life:
“In our neck of the woods, there is one religious sect Blue Fraters whose members bury each other alive when feeling the nearness of death. The building of their friary is still standing, with the blazon carved in stone above the entrance: the poisonous plant with five blue petals and the upper one looking like a monk’s hood -- Aconitum napellus – wolfsbane.
I joined the friary when I was a young man, and I left it in the twilight of my life.
The friary precincts have a garden – there is a bed of the mentioned poisonous plant, and in summer the monks water the flowers with blood from wounds received during the scourging. Joining the friary, everyone plans the flower, which is to be given a Christian name like of baptism. My flower bore the name of Jerome and it fed on my blood, while I pined for a miracle, for years and in vain, waiting for the Invisible Gardener who could wash the roots of my life with a drop of water.
The baptism of blood. The symbolic meaning of this weird ritual suggests that a human is to plant his own soul in the Garden of Eden and to assist in its growing by watering with blood of desires.
A legend has it that the first wolfsbane sprang up -- a human tall, flowery all over – on the grave mound of the founder of this ascetic sect, the legendary Cardinal Napellus, on a clear night. When they opened the coffin they saw there was not his dead body inside. They say that the saint turned into the plant, and all wolfsbanes came from it.” (Translation is mine. – L. Biyuts)
Gustave Meyrink’s quotes:
“Read the sacred writings of all the peoples on Earth. Through all of them runs, like a red thread, the hidden Science of attaining and maintaining wakefulness.” (Gustave Meyrink)
“Man is firmly convinced that he is awake; in reality he is caught in a net of sleep and dreams which he has unconsciously woven himself.” (Gustave Meyrink)
Now, about the third blue flower. The author, who added it to the previous two, was this writer. The anchusa azurea is the Blue Flower of my paranormal fiction “Extraordinary Story of a Turnskin”.
Set in a trans-Carpathian land the story about the Turnskin may be dated 18th century, but this medley of events, pictures and scenes could happen much earlier.
New, stylish and truly ancient, the story suggests one more theory of werewolves’ origin.