Feast of Fools


The following is reposted as a public service.

Branch opening, Exhibit, and Carnival Masquerade
January 5th, 2008
12-6pm SLT
HG Wells Memorial Branch Library,
Caledon Wellsian

The Caledon Library announces two gala events to mark the opening of its newest branch,
the H. G. Wells. Memorial Library in Caledon Wellsian.  A masked street party on January
5 will celebrate the opening of the Library and its inaugural exhibit on the New Orleans

Voyages to Imagination:  A Carnival Masquerade

The roadway along the northern shore of Caledon Wellsian will be host to a festival of masking, mumming, music,and dance from 12 noon to 6 pm SLT on January 5th, 2008,  a date traditionally observed as the festival of Twelfth Night.

Marking the end of the Christmas season and the start of the Carnival season, Twelfth
Night, the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany in the Christian liturgical calendar, has
traditionally been a time of merriment and mischief-making befitting the brief and topsy-
turvy reign of the Lord of Misrule. The Library is pleased to invite all of Caledon’s citizens
and friends to our Twelfth Night festivities; a most hearty invitation is extended to those for whom Caledon is yet unknown, that they might discover the pleasures of this fabled land.

Masking is most courteously and heartily encouraged for this event Appropriately festive
music will be supplied by the able music conjurers of Radio Riel, and an assortment of
seasonal refreshments will be offered. Opportunities will be offered for public dancing, as
well as more private forms of entertainment, equally traditional in this season of misrule and upending, as the spirits move.


“Butterfly of Winter”: Visitors to the New Orleans Carnival.

An exhibit at the H.G. Wells Memorial Branch Library, Caledon Wellsian
Twelfth Night Through Easter Sunday, Two Thousand and Eight.

“Carnival is a butterfly of winter whose last real flight of Mardi Gras forever ends his
glory..” (PerryYoung, The Mystick Krewe)

In the years following the American Civil War, moods of reconciliation and discovery swept
the country.  Writers of “local color” fiction and travel narratives filled the periodical press
with stories of exotic climes and distinctive cultural practices that deepened and complicated the fragile spirit of national unity.

No city in the United States was more exotic and distinctive than New Orleans and no
moment better demonstrated her distinctiveness than the Carnival season, nestled in the
Christian liturgical calendar between  the Chrismas feast culiminating in Twelfth Night and
the onset of Lent as Ash Wednesday dawned.  The climax of Carnival was Mardi Gras (Fat
Tuesday) celebrated across the Gulf Coast, but with particular fervor and intention in the
Crescent City.

To celebrate the opening of the newest branch of The Caledon Library, an exhibit will be
mounted in the H. G. Wells Memorial Library in Caledon Wellsian, beginning on January
5.  This exhibit, curated by Mr. Rudolfo Woodget, will highlight the distinctive features of
the New Orleans Carnival in the nineteenth century, as reported by visitors to the city.
Illustrative material from periodicals of the era will be augmented by a collection of texts
from visitors, and opened up to the understanding of visitors by Mr. WoodgetÕs own
knowledge of the Carnival in later years.

Visitors to the exhibit may anticipate learning sundry colorful facts about the origins of the
New Orleans Carnival, its masquerade balls and secret societies, including accounts of
masked revelers on Mardi Gras, of scandalous intrigues, and of the rumored infatuation of a Russian Grand Duke and an American show-girl.

The H.G. Wells Memorial Branch of the Caledon Library will house a collection of
materials with the theme of travel, adventure, and exploration, whether across the geography of the spinning globe, or that of the unbounded lands of the imagination.. Readers are invited to come investigate the 19th century’s notions of the Art of Going, in accounts of journeys both real and imaginary.

The building housing the Wells Memorial Library has been designed  for The Caledon
Library by Miss Serra Anansi, noted architect and designer (http://inperpetua.blogspot.com/) and founder of Winterfell, a darkly mythic region with special ties to the Independent State of Caledon.  Miss Anansi’s remarkable building celebrates the expansive curiosity of Mr. Wells’ most imaginative voyages of imagination and offers a warm and comfortable space for telling and re-telling
stories at voyage’s end.

1 Comment

  1. Hope I can make part of this, then. Sounds wonderful.

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