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Today's Stichomancy for Fiona Apple

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Myths and Myth-Makers by John Fiske:

diseases. A man who has hitherto enjoyed perfect health, and whose actions have been consistent and rational, suddenly loses all self-control and seems actuated by a will foreign to himself. Modern science possesses the key to this phenomenon; but in former times it was explicable only on the hypothesis that a demon had entered the body of the lunatic, or else that the fairies had stolen the real man and substituted for him a diabolical phantom exactly like him in stature and features. Hence the numerous legends of changelings, some of which are very curious. In Irish folk-lore we find the story of one Rickard, surnamed the Rake, from his worthless character. A


Myths and Myth-Makers
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau by Honore de Balzac:

deeds make mention that payment has been made, and notaries are obliged to declare that they have seen the money passed from the lender to the borrower. Roguin would be sent to the galleys if the law could get hold of him.

"According to my ideas," said the judge, "the lender ought to have sued Roguin for the costs and the caution-money; but it sometimes happens at the Cour Royale that in matters even more plain than this the judges stand six against six."

"Mademoiselle, what are they saying? Has Monsieur Roguin absconded?" said Anselme, hearing at last what was going on about him. "Monsieur said nothing of it to me,--to me who would shed my blood for him--"


Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Simple Soul by Gustave Flaubert:

Monsieur's old coats. All the things which Madame Aubain discarded, Felicite begged for her own room. Thus, she had artificial flowers on the edge of the bureau, and the picture of the Comte d'Artois in the recess of the window. By means of a board, Loulou was set on a portion of the chimney which advanced into the room. Every morning when she awoke, she saw him in the dim light of dawn and recalled bygone days and the smallest details of insignificant actions, without any sense of bitterness or grief.

As she was unable to communicate with people, she lived in a sort of somnambulistic torpor. The processions of Corpus-Christi Day seemed to wake her up. She visited the neighbours to beg for candlesticks and


A Simple Soul
The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad:

as it turned out, I was to have the care of his memory. I've done enough for it to give me the indisputable right to lay it, if I choose, for an everlasting rest in the dust-bin of progress, amongst all the sweepings and, figuratively speaking, all the dead cats of civilization. But then, you see, I can't choose. He won't be forgotten. Whatever he was, he was not common. He had the power to charm or frighten rudimentary souls into an aggravated witch-dance in his honour; he could also fill the small souls of the pilgrims with bitter misgivings: he had one devoted friend at least, and he had conquered one soul in the world that was neither rudimentary nor tainted


Heart of Darkness