Displaying items by tag: carl gustav jung

I was delighted to be asked by Waterstones Bookshop to be a guest contributor to their blog- and here it is. Strange things have been happening since I embarked on my second novel, Vixen... read on!

Coincidence and synchronicity

Was Rosie Garland really being stalked by foxes because she'd just finished writing a book called Vixen- or was something else going on?

When Alex Allden, designer at HarperCollins, showed me Lindsey Carr's remarkable painting of a fox in a tree and suggested it as a cover for my forthcoming novel Vixen, I knew it was perfect.

That's when it started. Since then I've noticed foxes wherever I go – appearing in cathedrals, airports, pubs and museums; on ink cartridges, matchboxes and dashing across supermarket carparks.

I have no idea what's happening, if indeed anything is. I am not superstitious. My grandmother was so bitten by its bug she could barely walk up a flight of stairs without hanging on to a rabbit's foot, which put me off at an early age.

But there is so much foxiness going on. Logically or not, it feels like more than coincidence. As Auric Goldfinger remarked to James Bond, "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action".

Maybe coincidence is different to superstition. After all, Albert Einstein said "coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous" (The World As I See It) and he knew a thing or two about how the universe works. Conversely, Vladimir Nabokov remarked how "a certain man once lost a diamond cuff-link in the wide blue sea, and twenty years later, on the exact day, a Friday apparently, he was eating a large fish - but there was no diamond inside. That's what I like about coincidence" (Laughter in the Dark).

I noticed the first outside the post office (sending a copy of my first novel The Palace of Curiosities to the USA). Browsing a craft stall, I was presented with a woodcut of a fox on a village green. How pretty, I thought, buying a set of vulpine greetings cards. What a coincidence when I've just finished a book called Vixen.

It escalated. After performing in York with my band The March Violets, I took a detour to visit Beverley Minster. On the north wall was a medieval carving of a fox disguised as a pilgrim. Standing on its hind legs, flashing its fangs in a broad smile and brandishing a hefty staff (for self-defence of course).

I needn't have gone as far afield. Manchester Cathedral boasts two wonderful fifteenth-century carvings of foxes: one teaching its cubs to read and the other poring over a book. After 28 years of living in this fair city I didn't know they existed (call myself a medievalist? I should hang my head in shame).

It's not just up north. A Hampshire pub surprised me with a Victorian etching of foxes dressed in pink hunting jackets, seated at a table groaning with roast pheasant and grinning slyly as they toast each other, joking about huntsmen tumbling into ditches.

It occurs to me that I'm not tripping over 'straight' representations. All my sightings (and these are a tiny selection) are of trickster foxes, camouflaged and hoodwinking foolish humans. None of them are what they ought to be. Which, 'coincidentally', are some of the themes of Vixen.

Are sly foxes really dogging my footsteps? Is it all a load of old cobblers or is it connected in some way to the imminent publication of my novel? Carl Gustav Jung would have said yes. In the 1920s he coined the word synchronicity to describe what he called "temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events." To put it in (slightly) simpler words: synchronicity is the experience of two or more events as meaningfully related, where they are unlikely to be causally related.

Hmm. Perhaps I should call my next novel 'Finding Viking Treasure in the Garden'. Sadly, I don't think it works that way.

They aren't done with me yet. A couple of weeks ago I landed in Seattle and headed for the information stand to grab a city map. Amongst the brochures was a museum guide with a cover image of Jenny Andersen's enchanting 'Fox Spirit Travelling with the Human Soul'. So - if I am being followed by foxes, they are the most benign of guardians. Even if I don't believe in coincidence, maybe it believes in me. I have decided to enjoy their benevolent appearances.

As for synchronicity, I'll leave the last words to The Red Queen; my favourite character in that under-rated book on quantum physics, Alice Through The Looking Glass.
'I don't understand you,' said Alice. 'It's dreadfully confusing!'
'That's the effect of living backwards,' the Queen said kindly: 'it always makes one a little giddy at first -'
'Living backwards!' Alice repeated in great astonishment. 'I never heard of such a thing!'
'— but there's one great advantage in it, that one's memory works both ways.'
'I'm sure MINE only works one way,' Alice remarked. 'I can't remember things before they happen.'
'It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,' the Queen remarked.

Rosie Garland, for Waterstones.com/blog

Click to go to Carl Jung site

Click for Lindsay Carr's artwork, Morpheus

Click to see Jenny Andersen's Fox Spirit artwork

Click to go to Waterstones blog

Published in News

News and Events

  • 'Because goddess is never enough' - a new film-poem!
    'Because goddess is never enough' - a new film-poem!
    ‘Because goddess is never enough’ – revealing the new film poem, made in collaboration with filmmaker Jane Glennie.

    Absolutely thrilled to announce this new film poem – created over 2021 in collaboration with amazing filmaker Jane Glennie. Inspired by the life of dancer and choreographer Tilly Losch, the film explores notions of erasure, strategies for persistence and the centrality of creative expression for the life of a woman in perpetual motion.

    We are delighted with the reception the film is receiving! A list of film festivals is below.
    AND there’s a ‘Book of the Film’!

    'Because Goddess is Never Enough (Peculiarity Press, 2022)
    Available from Blackwell’s (Waterstones, Amazon, etc)
    https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/Because-Goddess-Is-Never-Enough-by-Rosie-Garland-Jane-Glennie/9781912384167

    Flick through the book here –
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/zzDN5KKbUccqPZsQ7

    Film festivals & events 2022 that have selected & featured 'Because Goddess is Never Enough'

    Moving Poems May 2022
    'Because Goddess is Never Enough' – selected as one of ‘the best poetry films on the web’
    https://movingpoems.com/2022/05/because-goddess-is-never-enough-by-rosie-garland/

    Fringe Arts Bath Festival 27 May - 12 June 2022
    Bath’s annual free festival of visual arts
    'Because Goddess is Never Enough' – selected for WORDPLAY programme
    https://www.fringeartsbath.co.uk/festival-2022
    https://www.fringeartsbath.co.uk/wordplay

    Tranås at the Fringe International Arts Festival 2-9 July in Tranås, Sweden
    'Because Goddess is Never Enough' – selected for the LIVING FEMININITY programme.
    https://www.atthefringe.org/film-program-2022

    Women X Film Festival 2-4 September in Darlington, UK.
    'Because Goddess is Never Enough' - Honourable Mention
    https://riannepictures.com/womenx

    Women Over 50 Film Festival
    'Because Goddess is Never Enough' – nominated for Best Experimental film, selected for the AT MY CORE programme
    https://wofff22.eventive.org/films/62e15892943cb70054a692d9
    https://wofff.co.uk/2022/08/wofff22-films-announced-find-out-more-about-our-fantastic-official-selections/

    Athens 10th International Video Poetry Festival 28 September - 1 October 2022
    'Because Goddess is Never Enough' – screened 29th September within 'Feminist Struggles' programme
    https://theinstitute.info/?p=5226

    HOME Manchester, Filmed Up 28th September 2022
    ‘Because Goddess is Never Enough’ selected for Filmed Up programme.

    https://homemcr.org/event/filmed-up-sep-2022/

    The Feminist Film Festival, Bucharest, 13-16 October 2022
    'Because Goddess is Never Enough' – Official Selection
    https://filmfreeway.com/TheFeministFilmFestival

    Sunderland Shorts Film Festival October 17th, 2022
    'Because Goddess is Never Enough' – selected for the Art & Experimental Films programme
    https://filmfreeway.com/SunderlandShorts

    Zebra Poetry Film Festival, Berlin 3-6 November 2022
    'Because Goddess is Never Enough'.
    We are very proud to be selected for Zebra, the oldest and largest international festival of poetry films.
    https://filmfreeway.com/ZEBRAPoetryFilmFestival
    https://www.haus-fuer-poesie.org/en/zebra-poetry-film-festival/home-zebra-poetry-film-festival/

    Still Voices Film Festival, Ireland 9-13 November 2022
    'Because Goddess is Never Enough' – Official selection Experimental
    https://stillvoicesfilmfestival.com/

    Written on Thursday, 29 September 2022 09:41
  • Sept 2022 - The March Violets announce 5 CD boxset release!
    Sept 2022 - The March Violets announce 5 CD boxset release!
    Announcing the Novemeber 18th 2022 release of 'The Palace of Infinite Darkness'

    It's 40 years since The March Violets released our 1st 7" EP (seriously, FORTY).
    So it’s a great time to announce that this tasty 5 CD Box Set is now up for pre order from Jungle Records!
    The Palace of Infinite Darkness - In addition to all the singles plus all the extended versions, the box has six excellent BBC sessions, 23 tracks with 9 unreleased songs (also reissued as Big Soul Kiss 2LP yellow vinyl after a sold-out RSD release). Then there are two whole discs of unreleased demo sessions – one from the early period 1982-84 and another from 1985-87. Founder-member Rosie Garland recounts the band’s story in a 44-page booklet.
    Check out the link:
    https://smarturl.it/MV5CDbox

    Written on Thursday, 22 September 2022 12:19
  • June 2022 - Queer Poetry for The Arvon Foundation
    June 2022 - Queer Poetry for The Arvon Foundation
    Residential Writing Week: Queer Poetry

    A wonderful experience – for the first time, I co-tutored a residential writing week for the prestigious Arvon Foundation! It was such a thrill to work alongside inspiring co-tutor Keith Jarrett and electrifying guest reader Jay Bernard.
    A very special week. I won’t forget it.

    Monday June 27th - Saturday July 2nd 2022
    Totleigh Barton, Sheepwash, Beaworthy Devon
    https://www.arvon.org/writing-courses/courses-retreats/residential-writing-week-queer-poetry/

    Written on Wednesday, 21 September 2022 15:16
  • June 2022 - 100 Queer Poems anthology
    June 2022 - 100 Queer Poems anthology

    Thrilled and honoured to have my poem ‘Now that you are not-you’ featured in this groundbreaking new anthology!

    ‘Mary Jean Chan and Andrew McMillan's luminous anthology, 100 Queer Poems, is a celebration of thrilling contemporary voices and visionary poets of the past. Featuring Elizabeth Bishop, Langston Hughes, Ocean Vuong, Carol Ann Duffy, Kae Tempest and many more.

    Encompassing both the flowering of queer poetry over the past few decades and the poets who came before and broke new ground, 100 Queer Poems presents an electrifying range of writing from the twentieth century to the present day.’

    https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/445204/100-queer-poems-by-chan-edited-by-andrew-mcmillan-and-mary-jean/9781529115321

    Written on Wednesday, 21 September 2022 15:14
  • Jan 2022 - 'Why I Write Poetry' (Nine Arches Press)
    Jan 2022 - 'Why I Write Poetry' (Nine Arches Press)
    ‘Why I Write Poetry’

    I’m honoured – my essay ‘Don’t Fence Me In’ is included in this wonderful collection! (Nine Arches Press, ed Ian Humphreys)

    ‘What motivates poets in the 21st century? How do they find their voice? What themes and subject matters inspire them? How do they cope with set-backs and deal with success? What keeps them writing?

    In Why I Write Poetry twenty-five contemporary poets reflect with insight, wit and wisdom on the writing life, each offering their distinctive take on what inspires and spurs them on to write poetry. Also - individual writing prompts to help you create your own new poetry.’

    https://ninearchespress.com/publications/poetry-collections/why-i-write-poetry.html

    Written on Sunday, 23 January 2022 10:00