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Today's Stichomancy for Clive Barker

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Four Arthurian Romances by Chretien DeTroyes:

of tangles in the spinning.

Reference has been made to Chretien's use of his sources. The tendency of some critics has been to minimise the French poet's originality by pointing out striking analogies in classic and Celtic fable. Attention has been especially directed to the defence of the fountain and the service of a fairy mistress in "Yvain", to the captivity of Arthur's subjects in the kingdom of Gorre, as narrated in "Lancelot", reminding one so insistently of the treatment of the kingdom of Death from which some god or hero finally delivers those in durance, and to the reigned death of Fenice in "Cliges", with its many variants. These episodes are

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Louis Lambert by Honore de Balzac:

none of the popular diversions of the school. Aliens from the pleasures enjoyed by the others, we were outcasts, sitting forlorn under a tree in the playing-ground. The Poet-and-Pythagoras formed an exception and led a life apart from the life of the rest.

The penetrating instinct and unerring conceit of schoolboys made them feel that we were of a nature either far above or far beneath their own; hence some simply hated our aristocratic reserve, others merely scorned our ineptitude. These feelings were equally shared by us without our knowing it; perhaps I have but now divined them. We lived exactly like two rats, huddled into the corner of the room where our desks were, sitting there alike during lesson time and play hours.


Louis Lambert
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sons of the Soil by Honore de Balzac:

entrance to a fortified town, flanked by two round towers with conical roofs. Above the arch of the porch are heavy stone courses, now draped with vegetation, showing three large windows with cross-bar sashes. A winding stairway in one of the towers leads to two chambers, and a kitchen occupies the other tower. The roof of the porch, of pointed shape like all old timber-work, is noticeable for two weathercocks perched at each end of a ridge-pole ornamented with fantastic iron- work. Many an important place cannot boast of so fine a town hall. On the outside of this gateway, the keystone of the arch still bears the arms of Soulanges, preserved by the hardness of the stone on which the chisel of the artist carved them, as follows: Azure, on a pale,

The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from The Works of Samuel Johnson by Samuel Johnson:

faculty exerted with least fatigue. Even the relator of feigned adventures, when once the principal characters are established, and the great events regularly connected, finds incidents and episodes crowding upon his mind; every change opens new views, and the latter part of the story grows without labour out of the former. But he that attempts to entertain his reader with unconnected pieces, finds the irksomeness of his task rather increased than lessened by every production. The day calls afresh upon him for a new topick, and he is again obliged