I just killed Eva Braun

It’s been a sunny, warm Monday in July, holiday, summer, and I have witnessed the Third Reich fall. I killed Hitler. I killed Eva Braun. I dropped bombs on the others. They fell from my hand, slipped through my fingers.

You see, exaggerating is also an art. Of course I killed no one, especially no people that have been dead for ages now. But I was reading a book about Eva Braun’s niece, and when I put it away, it felt like I had a choice. Will I let her live? Or will I let her die? I didn’t have to continue reading, I didn’t have to kill these people.

On the other hand I knew that the end is always inevitable. They would have to die anyway… So I read on. And watched it all happen. And felt a very weird kind of guilt.

You see, it kind of feels that I’m the one who does all this because I am reading on. I felt that quite clearly when I was reading Bring up the bodies, a book about Thomas Cromwell. I knew we were reaching the point were Anne Boleyn has to be executed. When I put the book down to do something else (which was hard, sometimes, though I knew what was about to happen), I suddenly felt the guilt creeping upon me.

You are killing here. But you have a choice. Will you let her live?

No… No, I want to read on.

But you will kill her. And there will be no turning back.

But… But…

No. You have to choose. Choose wisely.

Needless to say, I kept reading. Because ignoring the end doesn’t make it any different. The last page was waiting for me and the scaffold was waiting for her. I could only apologize to her, inside my imagination.

Is there some kind of word to describe this? The feeling you are killing the people who die in your book? And do you feel the same way?

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To tear a kingdom apart

Today I read Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. This book tells Cromwell’s side of the downfall of Anne Boleyn. Together with him we live the day that lead to her execution.

Not that I’m obsessed.

I’m just curious… Anne Boleyn tore a kingdom apart, she managed to get a queen out forever, to cut the bond between England and Rome, and to be the first queen who was ever executed. That’s quite much for a young woman. Seven years she has been working her way to the top. With her French past (she was a maid of honour there) and her pleasant character she was said to be ‘exotic’, though apparently she also had a bad temper. When she came at court to serve the queen, she quickly got some admirers since she was seen as the most stylish and accomplished woman there. Then she caught the king’s attention, and there we go. For seven years she seems to have refused to become his mistress, she resisted his seduce attempts. That may have been what kept him going for her… I guess she was one of the few women to do that.

Eventually, Anne became a queen, but that success only lasted for three years. May the 19th, 1536 – Anne’s been beheaded. It was probably the lack of male heir she promised to give the king which opened up the path to downfall. We’ll never know for sure what happened and how it happened.

Anne Boleyn - image via Wikipedia

Anne Boleyn – image via Wikipedia

I find it so interesting to read about her. How did she do that? How could she become so important? That’s so intruiging. Some people just seem to have A Thing that makes them irresistible. Much like Cleopatra, who managed to seduce the two most important men of Rome at the time. Accounts say that she wasn’t pretty… But still she was so powerful and attractive.

I guess it’s not so much about looks, but more about a strong desire for power and the ability to charm people. I suspect that such abilites are something you are either born with or not. Of course you can learn how to do small talk, but to be able to get everyone at your feet, that must be something inside you that’s always been there. I think.

To me this is very intruiging. I know I’m not like the two women I mentioned here, but it can no harm to learn from them! (Though they both didn’t die a natural death.)

By the way, in the clips I have found on YouTube from the movie The Other Boleyn Girl, Anne is almost always crying. I cannot imagine a woman who has been fighting for seven years to be queen weeping all the time. While The Tudors Anne had stronger nerves and more dignity. I believe that that is way closer to the truth. You cannot get where she got when you’re emotionally so vulnerable.

After all this time

-After all this time, still…?
-Yes… Yes.
-But how?
-There are enough ways to keep it alive.
-When did you last see him then?
-You could say about a year and a half ago for the last time… Though I also saw him again in the summer. But that was too short…
-I didn’t know… I didn’t know that was even possible…
-Apparently, it is.
-So what are you going to do now?
-I don’t know. I don’t have the money to buy all the seasons…

Yes, my dears, I still like The Tudors a whole lot. So I’ve got two clips here for you, a video and a piece of music, to see or listen as you prefer. I just like them both a whole lot. For the video, skip to 4:33. This is the moment when Anne returns in Henry’s dream or illusion. It’s so heartbreaking to see her realize he thinks she’s guilty. And then she starts making him feel bad. Look at that little smile when she turns away again… She’s so good. It doesn’t take long, so go ahead and skip to 4:33.
The piece of music is called ‘Mary told of Chapuy’s death’. Very sad piece, but very, very beautiful. I can appreciate a good soundtrack for sure.

Enjoy!

 

Evil is the new sexy (part 3)

Ready for the last doses evilness? Then here we go! Make sure to read this  and this as well in case you can’t get enough of evil people.

First of all I’d like to apologize for repeating myself – there are some clips I keep on using, I know that. But in case you’ve missed them, you just get to see them again, and in case you’ve already seen them, feel free to skip those.
So here we go again for Anne Boleyn. I still find The Tudors an awesome series, and Anne Boleyn was so well played, amazing. But you must admit that in the beginning, we all hated her a bit. She was the cause of Katherine’s misery, how could we forgive that? After a while though, I couldn’t help but understand that it wasn’t even personal… She was kind of forced to seduce the king, and in the end she was left behind by everyone it seems.
Still, kinda evil. The way she talks about Katherine, and the way she talks to Mary… Ouch.

Thanks to Edita I also want to point out Lilith. She’s a sort of mythological figure, a female storm demon, bringing illness and death to the people. Not the best thing to be known of… In the Bible she’s depicted as a ‘night ghost’, and in the Jewish myths she sometimes appears as the first wife of Adam. She wouldn’t have been made of a part of his body, making her equal to him. That also caused her to require equal rights. They constantly fought about that until Lilith was fed up with that and called God. (She knew his secret name – useful!) Though God wanted her to return to Adam, she refused and wouldn’t give in. If that ain’t badass… In my opinion she was very right to do so. But okay.
It is said that the woman on the right of God in Michelangelo’s painting might be her. Who knows… I wonder if they have figured out who everyone on the painting is. Imagine that that is possible!

Back to more recent times, have you seen The Avengers? I haven’t, but apparently, girls were fond of Loki – though he’s the bad guy! So I felt like I sort of had to include him. When searching for a good clip starring him, I must say his voice sounded pretty nice… And well, a bad guy is always a bit more interesting than a good guy that spends his time saving kittens (though in the end, I’d choose the kittens guy, obviously – I love kittens).

As the last thing I’d like to show you – I know there are many others, but I can’t show them all unfortunately – I want to show you Death. Do you imagine Death wearing a yellow dress, smoking cigarettes? Could you imagine her on pointes, with classical music in the background?
If no, well, I didn’t picture her like that either, but now I do. If you think ballet is boring and nice, think again, because in Le Jeune Homme et La Mort (The Young Man and Death), the ballerina is a real femme fatale, toying with the young painter until he breaks down. She constantly pulls him closer, only to kick him away again, literally. Nonchalantly smoking she walks around and makes him go mad. He looks so broken…
Now, that is what I call evil. Death appears at 4:40, in case you want to skip to that part immediately. It’s impressive how she plays with that poor guy. And yes, they’re actually smoking on stage in this part. In part 2 (you can find it on YouTube, of course) she ends up tying his rope – whether she’s Death or a real woman that drives him insane, she’s the ultimate evil person and therefore a great end to this series.

Saturday night? Let’s watch The Tudors!

Yesterday, Saturday, a friend of mine celebrated her anniversary. We went to a rather small party with good music every now and then (a nice difference with all the parties without any good song at all). In the middle of our group, we had made a huddle of bags and jackets, because it was too annoying to dance with. The entire evening we have been preventing people to step on our huddle. Imagine four girls (mostly at least one was gone for a drink or something) all of sudden stretching out their arms to block your way. That were we.
So it was a fairly good party, but then, all of sudden, I thought: ‘Oh-oh, The Tudors will be recording tonight, right? Right?’ And then: ‘Oh yes, it’s automatically recorded since last season’. Relief.

Yes, that is what I thought. Because I don’t want to miss a single episode of The Tudors. I’m hooked! And believe me, missing one episode means you can’t understand any further political/emotional development. But above all I’m just a great Tudors fan. That’s a confession.
For those who don’t know The Tudors, it’s a quite recent British series on King Henry VIII and all of his wifes. It’s hard to keep understanding who’s who, who f*cks who, who’s catholic etc. But if you persevere, you’ll be rewarded with dresses that are stunningly beautiful, with a small political background, and even some good music every now and then.

Queen Catherine of Aragon

My father and I have been watching it since the first episode and we are persevering like a sir. We have to watch all episodes together, because mostly I do understand what’s going on more or less, and I need to clear some stuff out during a conversation or decapitation. Lots of decapitations, by the way. It’s hard to believe that people at the court at that time could die a natural death. The best way to commit suicide back then must have been marrying Henry. Or being catholic. Or being reformed. Or having looked at someone the wrong way. Something like that. Especially during the third season, plenty of people have been killed. Like that, every season has its own trademark. The fourth season, currently running here, is all about Queen Katherine Howard and her childish and porn-like behaviour.

Queen Katherine Howard, dancing, something she does most of the time, next to giggling.

None of my friends watches this series, so I couldn’t discuss with them on which wife is the best. Luckily there’s Internet, there’s YouTube and look! Everyone seems to be talking about Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour and Katherine (three of his wifes were called Katherine)! Hot topic! My father and I have always liked Catherine of Aragon for her solemnity and dignity. Anne Boleyn was the fury, the seductive and tempting one. Jane Seymour on the other hand was calm and peaceful. Unfortunately she wasn’t played by the same person in season 1 and 2. I liked the second one the most, and her music theme is incredibly beautiful and touching. Anne of Cleves wasn’t his wife for a long time, she was nice but quite insignificant. In Belgium, Katherine Howard is ruling now. She’s so childish and annoying… Giggling is her hobby. One more to go… For now, I’m in team Jane and team Katherine of Aragon, and I wonder if Catherine Parr, the last wife, will change that.

As I said, sometimes they use great music. I was really touched at the death of Jane Seymour, especially in combination with the music. Here it is, enjoy and be touched.