A Fish Tale

This past holiday weekend, I played the role of a herring. Yep, the small fish of the North Atlantic Ocean and Baltic Sea. A freelance editor I know who writes and edits for our Visual Geography Series (VGS) is also a filmmaker. She makes films on all kinds of topics. One of her recent films, for example, is a modern telling of the Greek myth about Orestes. Her version was inspired by Jean-Paul Sartre’s play The Flies, which is based on the same tale. (Are high-school French classes still reading Sartre?)

Remember Orestes and his sister Electra? They contrive a terrible, murderous plot to avenge the death of their father, Agamemnon, at the hands of their mother, Clytemnestra, and her lover, Aegisthus. (The John Singer Sargent oil, below, shows Orestes pursued by the Furies after killing Clytemnestra.)

108px-Singer_Sargent,_John_-_Orestes_Pursued_by_the_Furies_-_1921My freelance filmmaker connection is currently working on a Christmas film inspired by a proverb about herring that she discovered while working on an upcoming VGS title. I played the role, complete with head gear and shiny duct tape scales, of a singing herring (one of many).

We at Lerner tend to think of VGS as a purely functional series, great for students who need solid, dependable facts for writing their country reports. But it turns out it’s also a series that inspires some of us to creative acts of fancy. Who knew?

Here’s hoping your Thanksgiving was as much fun as mine. Check in next week for more from TFCB.

(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons, photographic reprodution of Orestes Pursued by the Furies, John Singer Sargent, 1921)