Self Portrait, Marguerite Burnat-Provins
On this day in 1841, Edgar Allan Poe’s story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” first appears in Graham’s Lady’s and Gentleman’s Magazine. The tale is generally considered to be the first detective story.
“In investigations such as we are now pursuing, it should not be so much asked ‘what has occurred,’ as ‘what has occurred that has never occurred before.’”
—private detective M. Auguste Dupin from “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”
I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape—the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.
Child reading and creating. Elizabeth Shippen Green. The Mind of a Child by Edwin S. Martin. Harper’s Monthly Magazine, December 1906.
In the late 19th century and early 20th century about 88% of the subscribers of 11,000 magazines and periodicals were women. As women entered the artist community, publishers hired women to create illustrations that depict the world through a woman’s perspective.
Ancient moon priestesses were called virgins. ‘Virgin’ meant not married, not belonging to a man - a woman who was ‘one-in-herself’. The very word derives from a Latin root meaning strength, force, skill; and was later applied to men: virile. Ishtar, Diana, Astarte, Isis were all called virgin, which did not refer to sexual chastity, but sexual independence. And all great culture heroes of the past, mythic or historic, were said to be born of virgin mothers: Marduk, Gilgamesh, Buddha, Osiris, Dionysus, Genghis Khan, Jesus - they were all affirmed as sons of the Great Mother, of the Original One, their worldly power deriving from her. When the Hebrews used the word, and in the original Aramaic, it meant ‘maiden’ or ‘young woman’, with no connotations to sexual chastity. But later Christian translators could not conceive of the ‘Virgin Mary’ as a woman of independent sexuality, needless to say; they distorted the meaning into sexually pure, chaste, never touched.
It is a two-way traffic,
the language of the unsaid.