Wendy Joseph Writes
I got linked to this page through an email from Derek Blackwell. I’m an avid medieval-music listener, with a special interest in the music and culture of the troubadours and that 11-13th century time in France, and am interested to know more about what you do. Unfortunately, I am out of town this weekend and for a while longer, so I will not be able to check out your “Witch’s Hand” book event on the 14th.
I wondered if you are aware that the text “Arise, arise” you used, from Pope “Innocent,” (a misnomer if ever there was one) was a call to unleash one of the greatest massacres of innocents Europe ever saw — the extermination of the Cathar “heresy,” beginning with the pillage of Beziers and the murder of thousands of its inhabitants. Having read a bit about this time and the crusade against the Albigensians, it is impossible for me to look at Pope Innocent, or his henchmen and allies, as anything but despots who used their power to crush the beautiful flowering of culture and spirit in Provence in the early centuries of the second millennium. The face of France, and Europe as a whole, would be incalculably different, and possibly more beautiful, if this dreadful act of political/religious hegemony had not occurred.
Thank you for your comments. You seem well versed in the history of the Cathar/Albigensian heresy, and I agree completely with you. I think you’ll find my treatment of it to your liking. Have you been to that part of France? In the old parts of the cities you expect St. Dominic to show up, debating non-violently with a heretic.
Everything I’ve read about Innocent III convinces me that he was the kind of guy who literally could not sit still, and his only possible redeeming feature was that the Borgias were worse. As far as I know, he never used poison on his enemies. But I try to give the Devil his due, and be fair to all the characters. The tragedy is that he thought he was doing the right thing, much as we thought making Indian kids “white” in boarding schools was good for them, as we committed genocide on their parents across this continent. Having both white and Native American blood, I can see both sides. Am also part Gypsy, and would have been strung up or burned as a witch in other times. Add the Jewish and Catholic sides, plus being an artist and an intellectual, Hitler would have put me at the top of his list.
Derek was great to publish the event among his network, and I had a great talk with him at the reading. Sorry you couldn’t make it. I do plan tp give others in the Puget Sound area, but am not sure when. Hope to meet you next time, and if you deign to get The Witch’s Hand, from either amazon, barnes and noble, my publisher All Things That Matter Press, or a signed copy from me, do let me know what you what think of it. ($16.99/print, $5.99 kindle or nook) Thank you.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *