Mark A. Carter
 

CURSE: the Carter Curse or pe cursian

World famous Canadian Science Fiction novelist Mark A. Carter explains why he places a pseudo-druidic, Old English curse, also known as the 'Carter Curse' or 'pe cursian' at the end of his novels.

PE CURSIAN

Latost cuman pe cursian.
Maeg pas hwa durran tellan pe
ancien wegs oppe pe halig words
be stricen blind bi pe godas ond
bi eten on life, ofer pe periode aef on wice,
be mapas, wryms, ond other laze formes.

I decided to place a curse at the end of my novels for three reasons: to dissuade plagarists from using my intellectual property; out of a sense of tradition, (see Revelation 22:18-19 for the curse at the end of the King James Version of the Holy Bible; and, because a sub-theme of curses and the power they evoke runs throughout my stories. And, oh, what the Hell, I did it for the fun of it. For those of you who don't comprehend Old English or Middle English for that matter, here is the curse in translation:

THE CURSE

Last comes the curse.
May those who dare tell the
ancient ways or the holy words
be struck blind by the gods and
be eaten alive, over the period of a week,
by maggots, worms, and other lower forms.

It's really not that different. For those of you who wonder where I got it from, it's the end of a larger work. Whose work? Well, it's part of a longer poem, a psuedo-druidic sacrificial rite, that I wrote while studying Old English and Middle English in fourth year of university in, oh my God, has it been that long ... 1979?

Whether you are superstitious or not, curses are out there. I, for one, as illogical as it seems, believe that great energy is held in curses and that they can indeed alter our destiny. Many of you have written to me commenting on the curse that Hephzibah places on the Hebrews and upon the Romans during the crucifixion scene, near the outset of Hephzibah of Heaven.

"I place a curse upon you, and your people, for all time," said Hephzibah. "You who were once the chosen people are now the cursed people for killing the Son of God. May you be hated by all, and never know peace."

Hephzibah watched Longinus, as he defiled the body of her beloved. In her anger, she cursed his line, his army, and his empire.

Bless you all for telling me that her curse was justified and she should not have been punished. But, then I wouldn't have had the premise for part of my story. Some of you also marveled at how her curses have come true. You asked me whether I had a crystal ball. Alas, the only crystal ball I had was my imagination, an intuitive and an educated understanding of human nature; and probable impossibilities and improbable posibilities courtesy of Aristotle and his Poetics that were used to manipulate the willing suspension of disbelief of my readers. It is all part of the magic of Historical Fiction that I wove into the crucifixion scene. But thank you nonetheless.

Now you know.

from the imagination of Mark A. Carter - novelist

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