Thursday, June 20, 2024

The Gospel of Luke on lobsterback

In Animalia, as discussed in "This episode is brought to you by the letters G and L," the Gospel of Luke appears on the back of a lobster. No, not like the Judgement Tablet on the back of a cicada! It's in ordinary book form, if a bit thicker than the Gospel of Luke as we know it, but the book is supported by a lobster.

I've already written a bit about the possible significance of the Gospel of Luke, but I didn't say anything about the lobster. It's been nagging at me, though, and I finally figured out its relevance: "The Lobster-quadrille"! The G and L post prominently featured a griffin, also shown together with something representing sacred records, and the Gryphon in Alice is the one who, with the Mock-turtle, sings "The Lobster-quadrille." (That word quadrille originally meant "one of a set of four," which has obvious relevance to the Gospel of Luke.) In the song, lobsters are thrown out to sea from England, so far that they nearly reach the northern shore of France:

You can really have no notion how delightful it will be
When they take us [the whiting and the snail] up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!
. . .
There is another shore, you know, upon the other side.
The further off from England the nearer is to France --

Normandy is on the northern shore of France, and of course there were later Normans in England as well, so there is possible relevance to Minbad the Mailer. Besides being written correspondence, mail is also a kind of armor, and Normandy and Brittany belong to what was once known as Armorica -- so perhaps the Norman Mailer is sending "mail" (in the form of sacred writings) back to his homeland of Armorica. What was once just called mail is nowadays known as snail mail, and "The Lobster-quadrille" makes it clear that the lobsters being thrown toward France are accompanied by snails.

Where was I reading about Armorica recently? Oh, right, Rimbaud's A Season in Hell:

Hélas, l’Evangile a passé! l’Evangile! l’Evangile. J’attends Dieu avec gourmandise. Je suis de race inférieure de toute éternité. Me voici sur la plage armoricaine.

Alas! The Gospel has gone by! The Gospel! The Gospel. Greedily I await God. I am of an inferior race for all eternity. Here I am on the Breton shore.

Louise Varèse has "the Breton shore" in her translation, but the original French is clearly referring more generally to Armorica as a whole. That geographical reference was all I had remembered as possibly relevant, but when I looked it up I saw that it is juxtaposed with "The Gospel" repeated three times. The third Gospel is, of course, that of Luke.

So we have Rinbad (Rimbaud-Tolkien) waiting on the Armorican shore for the Gospel of Light to be sent over from Britain on lobsterback by Minbad the Norman Mailer. Lobsterback is 18th-century slang for a British soldier, so perhaps it is soldiers who travel from Britain with the Gospel. Or perhaps I should say from "Britain," in scare-quotes, as labels do not always mean what they seem. When I dream, I dream about books -- and one of the books I've dreamed about, back in 2020, was titled Britain as Another Planet. In "How can these books not exist?" I describe looking at some books inside a dome-shaped indigo building (supposedly a "convenience store") called Blue Harbor:

One of these was a "round book" -- that is, its pages were circular rather than rectangular -- and I wanted to look through it but couldn't because it was shrink-wrapped. The others were ordinary books and didn't look very new. I perused the spines and noticed these three titles:
  • Things Soon to Come
  • Britain as Another Planet
  • I Tried to Be Parents
Rereading that now, I was struck by the "round book," since a recent dream has featured Plates (sacred records) in the form of a round disc.And "I wanted to look through it but couldn't because it was shrink-wrapped" -- what is that but another way of saying, "I cannot read a sealed book"?

This idea that a "round book" of plates has something to do with the "Gospel of Luke" received minor but interesting synchronistic confirmation today. I was, for complex psychological reasons, praying the Rosary while lying supine on a tile floor. On Thursdays, one prays the Luminous Mysteries, or Mysteries of Light (Luke means "light"), and as I was doing the third of these five meditations (Luke is the third Gospel), a single copper coin fell out of my pocket and onto the floor -- a little metal disc.


William Wright (WW) said...

In some of his earliest thinking and writing, Tolkien had Tol Eressea actually as Britain. My theory is Eressea (besides being a real place) is another world, so the book in your dream titled "Britain as another planet" obviously caught my attention.

The lobsterback observation was pretty good.

In Doug's writings, the House of Israel is specifically associated with the color red, and the Red Coat is the reason why the British soldiers were called lobsterbacks.

"Red are these chapters coursing over the pages of the book of your history, House Broken [Israel]...", and then goes on to cite many events symbolically tied together by the color red.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Armorica appears on the very first page of Finnegans Wake, followed closely by a slew of Humpty Dumpty references:

Sir Tristram, violer d'amores, fr'over the short sea, had passencore rearrived from North Armorica . . .

The fall . . . of a once wallstrait oldparr is retaled early in bed and later on life down through all christian minstrelsy. The great fall of the offwall entailed at such short notice the pftjschute of Finnegan, erse solid man, that the humptyhillhead of humself prumptly sends an unquiring one well to the west in quest of his tumptytumtoes . . .

Ra1119bee said...


In my previous comment on your Lassie post, I mentioned that
I thought the connection of the illustration of Book of Luke
on the back of the lobster was symbolic of The Weight.
However, in the lyrics of The Weight I was curious about the
etymology of the name/word Lee, as the lyrics speaks
of Luke and young Anna Lee.

from etymology:
lee (n)
"Nautical sense "that part of the hemisphere to which the wind is directed"
(c. 1400) is of Scandinavian origin, from the notion of the side of the ship
opposite that which receives the wind as the sheltered side.

Middle English also had lewth "warmth, shelter," Old English hleowþ, with Proto-Germanic abstract noun suffix *-itho (see -th (2)). Also compare***lukewarm***.
Factoring this in, perhaps
the illustration of the Book of Luke giving 'warmth and shelter' to the lobster,
as opposed to adding Weight
takes on another twist.

Perhaps it is lobster, The Red Coats (British) as WW mentioned,
who are also the sea-lions.

sea-lion (n.)
c. 1600, "kind of lobster," from sea + lion. Later the name of a fabulous animal (in heraldry, etc.), 1660s. Applied from 1690s to various species of large eared seals.
As code name for the planned German invasion of Britain, it translates German Seelöwe, announced by Hitler July 1940, scrubbed October 1940.

Interestingly, as I commented earlier, yesterday on June 19th Stonehenge was sprayed
ORANGE before the Summer Solstice.
Recall my many comments about the colors Yellow and RED and Oscar O
and the Maritime International Signal Flags meaning Man Overboard, which
of course has a nautical connection to the sea-lion and John Dee's iconic
quote : The Sun never sets on the British Empire.

Of course the lion is also an L (EL).

And speaking of Stones and Brits and Shelters check
out the lyrics of the Rolling Stones song Gimme Shelter.
Interesting reference to red coal carpets and Mad Bull
lost its way.

The Bull (symbolic of commerce and Wall Street i.e America)
The Bull losing (lost) its way perhaps symbolically
the "falling' of the American Empire especially so
as the lyrics begin with a coming storm (stormy?)

"Ooh, a storm is threatening
My very life today
If I don't get some shelter
Ooh yeah I'm gonna fade away

War, children
It's just a shot away
It's just a shot away
War, children
It's just a shot away
It's just a shot away

Ooh, see the fire is sweepin'
Our streets today
Burns like a red coal carpet
Mad bull lost its way

The Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter ( note in the original recording
a Black artist, Mary Clayton sings vocals in the chorus).
Many White musicians have used Black people, especially women
as their backup singers.

Gimme Shelter ft Lisa Fischer - Rolling Stones

William Wright (WW) said...

OK, I probably should have picked up on this sooner, but here is something else interesting I see here:

You have Rimbaud (Tolkien in your guess) and Norman Mailer. Norman also means "North Man" - from the North - and North is apparently where the Lost Tribes of Israel are said to be, wherever that is.

You also mention that Norman Mailer's real name was Nachem, which means Comforter.

In my words, I have Tolkien (as Elijah or Eli-yhu) and the Comforter (the Holy Ghost or Paraclete) mentioned together in conjunction with "longinquitous lore", or remote/ distant lore. The kind of distance that might require some special mail service if such lore is going to be shared?

The Holy Ghost-Comforter I have also associated with a Swift Messenger, which ties to Hermes-Mercury. This Messenger has also been symbolized by an airwalking Ben Stiller carrying a briefcase. What is in the briefcase?

Something that tells me we might be onto something here is that none other than Ben Stiller is starring as Norman Mailer in an upcoming movie called Belly of the Beast.

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