Archive for the 'Literature' Category

Bachelor Pad Mermaid

Our favorite real-live mermaid Medusirena Marina‘s appearance in the forthcoming issue of Bachelor Pad Magazine was reason enough for us to re-subscribe.   Should be for you, too.

Sailor Twain and the Mermaid of the Hudson Valley


Bonnie of Frogma fame (who is a bit of a mermaid herself) has alerted us to this mermaid-themed graphic novel.

Sailor Twain tells the story of Captain Twain of the Lorelei, which plies its trade up and down the Hudson valley, while the ship’s owner, a dissolute Frenchman, seduces the wives of the gentry in the owner’s cabin. Captain Twain’s own beloved wife is wasting with some unspecified disease on land, and he works to raise money to send her to specialists. He’s a good man, beset with tragedy, and he has forgotten how to write the poetry he once loved.

And then comes the day when he spies a mermaid clinging to the deck of the Lorelei, gravely wounded. He pulls her from the sea and into his cabin, and everything changes for Sailor Twain. The poetry comes back, and at his request, she never sings for him, never puts him under her siren spell. But still, he is hers.

Out spills a mystery, a story about seduction and duty, mythology and gender, dreams lost and dreams forgotten, and the lure of magic and wonder. Siegel’s illustrations are charcoal drawings that fearlessly mix highly detailed, realistic depictions with cartoons, impressionistic smears, and caricature, and they are moody and grey and dreamlike, the perfect match for the story.

This is a stupendous work, a beautiful and sad and lovely thing. If you don’t believe me, go read it online for free and see for yourself.

Sailor Twain

What The Old Man Said

“Don’t you take no sail off ‘er,”
The Ol’ Man said,
Wind an’ sea rampagin’
Fit to wake the dead, —

Thrashin’ through the Forties
In the sleet and ‘ail,
Runnin’ down the Eastin’
Under all plain sail.

“She’s loggin’ seventeen
An’ she’s liftin’ to it grand,
So I’m goin’ down below
For a stretch off the land.

“An’ if it gits any worse. Mister,
You can come an’ call me,
But —  don’t you take no sail off ‘er,”
Said the Ol’ Man.
Said ‘e!

Them was the days, sonnies,
Them was the men,
Them was the ships
As we’ll never see again.

Oh, but it was somethin’
Then to be alive —
Thrashin’ under royals
South o’ Forty-five . . .

When it was — ” Don’t you take no sail off ‘er”
The Ol’ Man’d say,
Beard an’ whiskers starin’
Stiff with frozen spray —

“She’s loggin’ seventeen,
An’ she’s liftin’ to it grand,
An’ I mean to keep ‘er goin’
Under all she’ll stand.

“An’ if it gits any worse, Mister,
You can send an’ call me,
But — don’t you take no sail off ‘er,”
Said the Ol’ Man,
Said ‘e!

by Cicely Fox Smith, 1924

Johnathan Swift takes the piss

From Gulliver’s Travels, Part II, Chapter I

Finding it was likely to overblow, we took in our sprit-sail, and stood by to hand the fore-sail; but making foul weather, we looked the guns were all fast, and handed the mizen.  The ship lay very broad off, so we thought it better spooning before the sea, than trying or hulling.  We reefed the fore-sail and set him, and hauled aft the fore-sheet; the helm was hard a-weather.  The ship wore bravely.  We belayed the fore down-haul; but the sail was split, and we hauled down the yard, and got the sail into the ship, and unbound all the things clear of it.  It was a very fierce storm; the sea broke strange and dangerous.  We hauled off upon the laniard of the whip-staff, and helped the man at the helm.  We would not get down our topmast, but let all stand, because she scudded before the sea very well, and we knew that the top-mast being aloft, the ship was the wholesomer, and made better way through the sea, seeing we had sea-room.  When the storm was over, we set fore-sail and main-sail, and brought the ship to.  Then we set the mizen, main-top-sail, and the fore-top-sail.  Our course was east-north-east, the wind was at south-west.  We got the starboard tacks aboard, we cast off our weather-braces and lifts; we set in the lee-braces, and hauled forward by the weather-bowlings, and hauled them tight, and belayed them, and hauled over the mizen tack to windward, and kept her full and by as near as she would lie.

I mean, really.

Mermaid lit

Mermaid fan and NSL follower Sandra Kishi Glenn  has released a new novel entitled Dangerous (available from Amazon as an e-book).   The themes are decidedly adult, and the mermaid tie-in is a bit tangential (involving some, uh, cosplay I guess one might call it), but it’s a jolly good read all the same.  Click through and download your copy now!

F*ck Yeah, Hornblower

Because it seems there are people out there that love Hornblower even more than we do.

Not surprisingly, we learn that Archie is very big in Japan.

O Pussy My Love

A Restoration mermaid with a literary connection

Chris Partridge of the Rowing for Pleasure blog writes

Hi – this mermaid is carved on the bow of Charles II’s Royal Barge, built in about 1670 and now preserved at the Royal Navy Museum in Portsmouth. The boat was also used to take Nelson’s body from Greenwich to London for his state funeral in St Paul’s Cathedral in 1806.

Nautical literature fans will immediately make the connection that the mission to deliver Nelson’s body to the funeral employing this very barge was commanded by none other than the young Lt. H. Hornblower, RN, as described in the opening chapters of Hornblower and the Atropos [the paperback cover art and the plot synopsis on Amazon are both in error, though.]

For more, see   Thanks, Chris!

Pulp of the South Seas

Some great magazine covers of yesteryear, when men were men, and women wore tiny, animal-print loincloths.






Princess of the Sea – The Monster and the Mermaid

Continue reading ‘Princess of the Sea – The Monster and the Mermaid’

Modern Huck Finn Adventure II


Another goup of Huck Finn emulators makes the news.  NSL earlier reported on Thor Anderson’s solo expedition down the Mississippi on a raft made of trash.  Now a team of three lads have done it again.

“We said there warn’t no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don’t. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.”

So Twain might have written this tale.

Just take away the slave Jim, the Duke and the King, trade the Mississippi side-wheelers for barge tows, leave out Pap and insert a very cranky U.S. Coast Guard, add two bold young women as part of an adventure/art project, and…

Well, perhaps this is a different story, after all. But it definitely has a raft.

Libby Hendon, James Burkart, both Kansas Citians, and Laura Mattingly, of Oceanside, Calif., are somewhere south of Baton Rouge this morning, on what Huck called a “monstrous big river,” drifting past looming grain and chemical barges, bound for …. salt.

Their craft was built in three weeks, as Hendon puts it, “entirely from the discarded remnants of turn-of-the-century homes, civic refuse, and main brand soda-pop manufacture.” That last would mean 30-gallon plastic syrup drums from Pepsico.

 LINK via Fark

The Mermaid Tavern, c. 1599

mermaidtavern.jpgThe Mermaid Tavern
London, England, 1599

Souls of poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?

          —John Keats

Young, famous, and increasingly wealthy, London’s professional playwrights and poets know how to have a good time. A later historian will separate six of them from the flock and name them the Roaring Boys—Thomas Kyd, Thomas Nash, John Webster, Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe and perhaps the greatest scribe of all time, William Shakespeare. Each has his favorite tavern, but most days they congregate at the Mermaid.

Read on about The Mermaid and other great watering holes in history at Modern Drunkard Magazine.

via The Presurfer

Full Fathom Five


Full fathom five thy father lies,
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark, now I hear them – ding-dong bell.

              — Ariel,   The Tempest, I.ii

I’m Cthulhu. Who the hell are you?

You scored as Cthulhu, You are Great Cthulhu! You lay and dream at home (or the beach) most of the time but one day (when the stars are right) you will suddenly have the power to get out there and show the world what youre made of! Lets hope you dont do too much damage……

Shub Niggurath

Which Cthulhu Mythos character/God are you?
created with

Quote of the day


There is nothing so desperately monotonous as the sea, and I no longer wonder at the cruelty of pirates.

              James Russell Lowell, 1819-1891
                  American Poet, Critic, Editor