Stephen vs Charles

A TenStones Game

In this game, I was challenged by my friend Stephen O'Leary, a professor at the University of Southern California and the author of O'Leary, SD, *Arguing the Apocalypse: A Theory of Millennial Rhetoric* (OUP, 1994)... We met because of common interests via an Internet mailing list, but discovered to our pleasure that we live less than half a mile from each other...

The game was played using the "instant message" function of the on-line service that we both subscribed to at the time, while we were both going on about our usual seeking out and unloading of files around midnight, two nights in a row. The whole Game probably took about an hour or so of on-line time, including all the other stuff we were doing, so our moves were about six minutes apart on average (by way of contrast, the "Alexandria Festival" Games, played by e-mail, took three days on average between moves).

As you read this Game through, you'll see that my final move clearly proves I'm more interested in making a beautiful symmetry than in scoring a maximum number of points... so this isn't a "normal" contest Game, "played" -- as the phrase goes -- "to win"... and falls instead into the (to me much more interesting) category I like to think of as Prospero Games, in which aesthetics means more than competition.

Charles Cameron

Move 1: Stephen

Position 1: "Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angelic orders?" from Rainer Maria Rilke's *Duino Elegies*.

Move 2: Charles

Position 4, "It's an ill wind that blows no minds" (Malaclypse the Younger)

Move 3: Stephen

"There she blows!" --Melville (position 2)


Are you claiming any links here, Steve?


Ah yes, links. With my mind blown and all, I had forgotten links. Um, I thought I had a link between Rilke and Melville, but I forgot it. One link, between Malaclypse and Melville, on blowing. Or something.


Who the hell (!) is/was Malaclypse, anyway?


A priest of Eris, a master of the Discordian mysteries... Take your time, rethink the link between Rilke and Melville, and claim it.


Time? Who has time? i seek only escape from the pressure of a deadline... Since this is my first game, perhaps you will let me withdraw the move, and replace it with the following: "Blow, winds, blow!" -- Wm Shakespeare. Two links claimed: The mad scene from Lear links to Malaclypse quote (wind blowing) and to Rilke, in that the speakers are both in a state of extreme anguish. One cannot claim two links between two particular moves/spaces, correct? Such as a link between Lear and Malaclypse because of "wind blowing" and also because of madness?

Move 4: Charles

Oh but yes indeed one can, and you just did, and you succeeded therein. My turn. Position 3. The Bora. The Bora is the maddening wind that was blowing in Trieste that day, into the teeth of which gale our Rilke spoke those words you quoted on the cliff below the castle wall at Duino. In law, it is apparently considered sufficient reason to explain why a man kills his wife or friend... So I claim a link for Bora to Rilke for the wind, and another to Lear for the conjunction of winds and madness... Maddening Winds FYI include the chinook, pampero, tramontane, bora, scirocco, levanter, mistral, foehn, and our own santana or should that be santa ana?

Move 5: Stephen

You read my mind. I was searching for an Indian word for the wind that maddens... "Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad." In position 6. Three links claimed: to the Bora (madness), to Lear, and to Malaclypse.

Move 6: Charles

I was waiting to play in 6 myself! Nice move, nice links. My move in 10, no links claimed, but a beautiful symmetry observed: At the round earths imagin'd corners, blow / Your trumpets, Angells... (John Donne)

Move 7: Stephen

To position 5: "And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." -- Acts 2:2-4. Three links claimed: to the Bora, for the wind; to Malaclypse, for the wind was not ill, and their minds were surely blown; and to #6, for men thought they were mad.

Move 8: Charles

in position 8 "The dove descending" from TS Eliot, *Four Quartets*, "Little Gidding", iv.
The dove descending breaks the air
With flame of incandescent terror
Of which the tongues declare
The one discharge from sin and error.
The only hope, or else despair
Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre --
To be redeemed from fire by fire.

Links claimed: 4. 3 with position 5, because both describe (a) wind ("breaks the air" and "Rush of a mighty wind"), (b) spirit ("dove descending" and "Holy Spirit"), and (c) tongues of fire and speech... 1 with position 6 because Eliot is describing the incendiary bombs falling during WWII (a clear case of the "incandescent terror" of those "Whom the Gods would destroy")

Move 9: Stephen

I don't know why, but I started to get lost in contemplation at every possible move I thought of...sorry. um, in position 9, "Gotterdamerung." Sorry about the missing umlauts. Two links claimed... to position 10, in that I would argue that Donne's poem is an image of the Last Judgment, and to position 6, in that #9 represents a destruction wrought by the gods...

Move 10: Charles

In the 7th position I place Vaughan Williams piece "The Lark Ascending". I claim two links with 8: "dove" to "lark" and "descending to "ascending". And I trust that this move recovers the Game from that devastation which you have so recently visited on it, and answers with the song of a heedless bird those unheeding angels of your first move...


*Very* nice move. A beautiful symmetry on each side of the board, ascending right, descending left. By the way, I love Vaughan Williams. Do you know his Mass in G Minor? The Lark Ascending is *so* lush and of my favorite symphonic pieces....

Stephen vs Charles

Stephen O'Leary and Charles Cameron

a TenStones Game

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