WeWriWa—On the way to safety

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Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This week’s snippet comes a few lines after last week’s, when 18-year-old Emánuel and 17-year-old Adrián ran across three Czech partisans in Boubínský Prales, one of the forests on Boubín Mountain.

One of the partisans asked where they were from, and Emánuel said they’re Hungarians.

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Copyright Chmee2

“I think I’ve been shot,” Adrián gasped. “My right shoulder and thigh are burning.”

The tallest partisan lifted Adrián onto his back, and the other two partisans supported Emánuel.  As they hurried to their destination, Emánuel suppressed his urge to cough.

At the edge of the forest, one of the partisans ran off, and came back with a horse-drawn cart full of hay.  Emánuel climbed in, and Adrián was lifted in, after which the partisans covered them with hay.  Every time the cart hit a rock, branch, thick snow, ice, or any other kind of disturbance on its way up the mountain, a fresh wave of pain swept through Adrián.  Though the temperature was still bone-chillingly cold as March approached, Adrián’s right thigh was nice and warm from the blood on both sides.  His right shoulder was warm too, though not as much as his thigh.

A primer on Virtue names

As I’ve mentioned a number of times, Virtue names from the Pilgrim and Puritan era are my onomastic guilty pleasure. I’ve been fascinated by them since I was a preteen, and have used some on my characters over the years. I had a character named Fear in a discontinued story about one of the Western migrations in the U.S. (maybe the Santa Fe Trail?). Her little sister was Thanksgiving, and her older brother was Courage.

My character Lovella Green in my Atlantic City books, who goes by Love, so likes her own Virtue name, she gives her kids the very Puritan/Pilgrim names Honesty, Courage, and Myles. Honesty and Courage in turn give their own kids Virtue names—Amnesty, Blessing, and Reliance (Courage’s kids), and Charity, Harmony, and Increase (Honesty’s kids).

Nowadays, the only commonly-used Virtue names in the English language seem to be Hope, Faith, Grace, Charity, Chastity, Harmony, and Joy. While I understand a name like Happiness or Fearful sounds very out of place in the modern era, I really think they’re neat. Many of these old Virtue names are also unisex, though we probably all have our own opinions about which sex they might sound best on. When in doubt, I filed a name under Unisex.

Here’s a list of Virtue names to choose from if you’re writing about Pilgrims or Puritans, or if you just like the names and aren’t afraid to be different. However, I do stress that many of these names should probably be left in the history books, like Be-Faithful, Lechery, Humiliation, and From-Above. Some of these names weren’t recorded as being used by the Puritans and Pilgrims, but they have the same general concept.

Unisex:

Admire
Adore
Allegiance
Amaze
Approved
Arise
Atpeace

Be-Faithful
Beloved
Benevolence
Be-Thankful
Blessed
Blessing (though I think this works better on a girl)

Called
Cherubin
Clemency
Comfort
Compassion
Condolence
Consider
Constancy
Contemplation
Courage
Credence

Defiance
Delight
Delivery
Desire
Diligence
Discretion
Endure
Evanescence
Experience

Faithful
Fear-Not
Fidelity
Fight-the-Good-Fight-of-Faith
Free-Gift (i.e., salvation)
Free-Grace
Freewill
From-Above

Gift
Give-Thanks
God-Help
Gracious

Happy, Happiness
Has-Descendants
Have-Mercy
Helpful
Helpless
Honest
Hope-For
Hope-Still
Humanity
Humiliation, Humility

Imagination
Increase (I prefer this on a boy), Increased
Infinity
Ingenious
Innocent
Integrity

Joy-Againe (Traditionally used on so-called “rainbow babies,” children born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss)
Joye-in-Sorrow
Jubilation

Knowledge
Lechery
Leniency
Lively
Lovejoy
Loyal, Loyalty
Lucidity

Magnify
Make-Peace
Meek
Memory
Merciful
Merriment
More-Fruit
More-Triale
My-Sake
No-Merit

Obey
Original
Piety
Pity
Pleasance, Pleasant
Preserved (Traditionally given to a child who survived a difficult birth)
Prosperity
Proud
Proverb
Providence
Psalm
Purifie, Purify, Purity

Radiance
Rapture
Reality
Reason
Recompense
Redeemed, Redemptus
Reformation
Regal
Reliance
Remember (prefer this on a girl)
Renewed
Repent, Repentance
Replenish
Resilience
Respect
Restore
Reverence

Sabbath
Safe-Deliverance
Safe-on-High
Salvation
Sanctity
Search
Search-the-Scriptures
Seek-Wisdom
Serendipity
Sincere
Small-Hope
Solace
Solemnity
Solidarity
Stability
Standfast
Stand-Fast-on-High
Steadfast
Steadfast-Love
Submit (Mitty)
Success
Sympathy

Tenacity
The-Peace-of-God
Tolerance
Tranquil, Tranquility
Transience
True, Truth
Trust

Valor, Valour
Vanity
Vyctorye, Victory
Waitsill (Waity)
Weep-Not
Welcome
Wistful
Wonder

Male:

Accepted
Acts-Apostles
Agony
Aid-on-High
Anger
Ashes
Assurance

Battalion
Be-Courteous
Belief
Be-Steadfast
Bread-of-Life
Buried-Sence

Centurian
Concord
Continent
Cotton

Damned (Diminutive of If-Christ-Had-Not-Died-for-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned)
Depend, Dependance
Die-Well
Discipline
Divine-Authority
Go-Good
Donation
Do-Right
Do-Well
Dust

Elected
Fear (always preferred this on a girl)
Fear-God
Fearing
Fear-the-Lord
Flee-Debate
Flee-Fornication
Flye-Debate
Forsaken

Giant-Despair
Godlye (i.e., Godly)
God-Reward
Good-Gift
Good-Work

Hate-Bad
Hate-Ill
Hearsay
Heavenly-Mind
Help-on-High
Humble

If-Christ-Had-Not-Died-for-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned
If-Jesus-Christ-Had-Not-Died-for-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned
Inward

Jesus-Christ-Came-into-the-World-to-Save
Job-Rakt-Out-of-the-Asshes
Judas-Not-Iscariot
Just, Justice

Kill-Sin
Lament, Lamentation, Lamentations
Live-Well
Love-God
Love-Well
Magnyfye (i.e., Magnify)
Merit
Modest, Modesty
Moreover

Pardon
Peaceable
Persecution
Pharaoh
Pilgrim
Praise-God
Pray

Regard
Relictus (i.e., Relinquishing)
Remarkable
Resolute
Resolved, Resolve
Restraint
Return, Returne
Revolt
Riches
Royal

Safe-on-Highe (Traditionally given to children expected to die)
Seaborn
Sea-Mercy (Often used on children who survived a sea journey)
Search-Truth
See-Truth
Seraphim
So-Loved
Sorry-for-Sin
Supply

Tell-No (in reference to not telling lies)
Tenacious
The-Lord-Is-Near
Trial
Tribulation
True-Heart

Unfeigned
Upright
Watchful
Weakly
Wealthy
What-God-Will
Wholesome
Wrath
Wrestling

Zeal
Zeal-for-God
Zeal-of-the-Land

Female:

Abstinence
Abundance
Abuse-Not
Adore
Amity
Amnesty

Be-Strong
Charisma
Charity
Chastity
Cherish
Clarity
Concordia
Confidence
Constance
Content
Cressens (i.e., “to grow”)

Deliverance
Diffidence
Earth
Empathy
Essence
Exercise

Faint-Not
Faith-My-Joy
Favor, Favour
Faythe, Faith
Felicity
Fortune

Given
Glory
Grace
Handmaid
Harmony
Hate-Evil
Honesty (love this name!)
Honor, Honour
Hopeful, Hope, Hopewell
Hosanna

Independence
Joy
Learn-Wisdom
Liberty
Life
Love
Mercy
Much-Mercy
Obedience

Patience
Peace, Peaceful
Perseverance
Placidia (i.e., “calm, peaceful”)
Pride
Promise
Providence
Prudence

Rediviva (i.e., “revived”)
Refrain, Refrayne
Rejoice, Rejoyce
Relicta (i.e., “relinquishing)
Relief (Leafy)
Remembrance
Revere

Serenity, Serene
Silence (Sill)
Sin-Deny
Tacy (i.e., “be silent”)
Temperance (Tempy)
Thankful, Thankfull
Thanks
Thanksgiving

Unity
Verity
Virtue
Wisdom

Metropolis at 90, Part III (Reception and legacy)

Reports on the audience reception by the début of Metropolis are mixed. Some sources say the audience applauded the most impression scenes (including a film critic), while other sources claim muted applause was commingled with boos and hisses. Critical reception was also mixed, with some critics praising the technical merits while panning the actual story. H.G. Wells wrote a New York Times review ripping it apart.

One of the film’s fans was Joseph Goebbels. Many other Nazis also loved it, which possibly led to director Fritz Lang later expressing negative opinions about it. It’s debatable how much of this is urban legend vs. historical fact, but the story goes that Goebbels, in 1933, offered Lang the most prestigious position as head of production at UFA, Universum Film AG.

Lang claimed he left Germany that very evening, though he really left four months later, and made several visits home after moving to France. Whatever the truth, it’s a good thing he left, since his mother was born Jewish, which made him “half-Jewish” under Nazi racial laws in spite of his Catholic faith. The great scientist Niels Bohr was in the same boat in Denmark, and was among the people smuggled to Sweden.

The 153-minute film was drastically shortened for the U.S. and U.K. audience, with different title cards and some changed names. All references to Freder’s deceased mother Hel were also removed, since her name was too close to the word Hell. I wonder if they knew about the Old Norse mythological figure Hel (infamous trickster Loki’s daughter), who presides over an underworld location of the same name.

With the references to Hel gone, mad scientist Rotwang’s original impetus for creating his robot was gone. While it’s not a huge plot point, it’s pretty important as backstory and motivation.

The English-language cut ran 115 minutes, the product of playwright Channing Pollock. A 115-minute version also was distributed in Germany later in 1927. In 1936, a further shortened version came out in Germany, only 91 minutes. (See more on run times and projection speeds.)

In the decades since, Metropolis has come to have a much greater reputation, and can now be seen at a length much closer to the original. (More about that in Part IV.) It routinely ranks highly on those incessant “best-of” lists, both for the silent era and for all time.

The film has been referenced in popular culture many times over the years. Notable homages include:

C-3PO of Star Wars was directly inspired by the Maschinenmensch, Rotwang’s robot.

Madonna’s classic 1989 music video for “Express Yourself” has numerous depictions of scenes from the film. It also features an epigraph almost identical to the film’s, “Without the Heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind.”

Queen’s 1984 music video for “Radio Ga Ga” features several scenes from the film.

Whitney Houston’s 1992 music video for “Queen of the Night” also features several film clips. The costume she wore also was modelled after the robot.

Isn’t it amazing how the cards can fall? Some films, books, artworks, and albums are totally panned or get a mixed, lukewarm initial reception, yet go on to become very revered classics, while many things which were wildly popular quickly date. Metropolis has that special something which has enabled it to remain popular and revered over many generations.

My 2017 A to Z themes revealed

Continuing my tradition of themes related to my writing, this year I’m featuring places and things from my WIP, The Strongest Branches of Uprooted Trees, and its sequels (each following a different group of characters), Sweet Miracles and Rebuilding the RemnantsBranches in turn begins with three of the characters from The Natural Splash of a Living Being escaping a death march, while Splash continues without them.

Branches is set in locales including Abony, Budapest, Florence, Paris, Béziers, Montpellier, and NantesSweet Miracles follows the characters who immigrate to Newark in November 1948 (the name taken from the mousery and rabbitry one of the couples starts), and Remnants follows the characters who immigrate to Israel after the British are finally gone.

You’ll learn about topics like:

Dohány Utca Synagogue, the Great Synagogue of Budapest and one of the largest in the world, which Eichmann used as his headquarters during the Nazi occupation.

Jewish Newark, which is now sadly just a fading memory. In the mid-twentieth century, Newark had the sixth-largest Jewish community in the U.S., with countless synagogues, schools, bakeries, cemeteries, and other communal institutions.

Machal, the all-volunteer fighting force from abroad which helped Israel to win its War of Independence.

La Samaritaine, a historic department store in Paris.

Hashomer Hatzair, a Socialist–Zionist youth group which supported a binational state. (Contrary to what many people on the modern-day Left believe, it’s very possible to be both a Socialist and Zionist without any conflicts!)

Vailsburg, a Newark neighborhood which now has a much different character than it did at mid-century. It includes a former movie palace which today serves as a church.

Košice, Slovakia, the hometown of my character Artur Sklar and Slovakia’s next-largest city. It was also the first European settlement to get a coat of arms.

Ospedale di Santa Maria Nuova, Florence’s oldest hospital, founded by the father of Dante’s love Beatrice.

Basilica di Santa Croce, an impressive complex that’s so more than just a church. It contains Dante’s empty tomb, waiting for Ravenna to return his bones already.

Neology, a uniquely Hungarian denomination that’s akin to Liberal Modern Orthodox Judaism.

Tempio Maggiore Israelitico di Firenze, the breathtaking Great Synagogue of Florence, which was saved from Nazi destruction in 1944 by brave members of the Italian Resistance. They managed to diffuse almost all of the explosives left by the retreating occupiers.

University of Montpellier, one of the oldest universities in the world, and home to the world’s oldest med school still in operation.

Pasarét, a Bauhaus neighborhood on the Buda side of Budapest.

Gellért Hill, a beautiful, storied hill on the Buda side, with lovely outlooks of the entire city.

Lower Galilee, a beautiful, peaceful region I hope to someday live in, far from the maddening rush of the big cities, and with wonderful interfaith relations. You’ll learn the story behind the most bizarre grave I’ve ever seen!

Several letters have two or three topics, but I kept everything within my usual average of 400–800 words. All non-public domain photographs are properly credited. Since I’ve been to the Lower Galilee, many of those photographs are my own work.

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My names blog will feature (mostly) names from Greek mythology. Since the Greek alphabet doesn’t have certain letters, I found mythological names from other cultures for those days. In the interest of fairness, I always do both a female and male name on each day.

WeWriWa—Unexpected friends

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Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This week’s snippet starts the second scene in the fourth section of Chapter 18 of The Strongest Branches of Uprooted Trees. During the pandemonium which broke out during a fight at night, 18-year-old Emánuel Karfinkel and 17-year-old Adrián Fridman were able to escape.

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Boubínský Prales in the Bohemian Forest, Copyright Chmee2

Adrián collapsed in Boubínský Prales, several meters from three armed young men in dark brown clothes.  Emánuel stopped and put his hands up.

“Don’t shoot!  We’ll do whatever you demand, so long as you don’t shoot us for escaping!”

“We’re not Germans,” the tallest young man said. “We’re Czech partisans on night patrol in Šumava.  No one’s going to shoot you for escaping God knows what.  We’ll take you to a safe house.”

“Where are you fellows from?” the shortest partisan asked. “I can tell that’s not a Czech accent.”