I’ve been using the Portable Fortitude Playing Cards on my daily card blog, but one of the reasons I bought it was to explore different authors.
I already had Lynda Barry’s book What It Is, and when I saw her in this card deck it convinced me there was something deeper to this deck. After receiving the cards I purchased Barry’s latest book Picture This which is similar but talks about art and creativity rather than creative writing.
After seeing Eduardo Galeano, a Uruguayan author, in this deck, I received a used copy of the book Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone by Galeano, and several people he discusses in that book are depicted in the Portable Fortitude deck. As well, he covers Hildegard of Bingen, one of my favourite people in history, and the Roman healer and philosopher Galen who had some interesting things to say about wellness.
From page 64-65 of Mirrors Eduardo discusses Galen’s advice to patients who were ill by nature to change their habits. Health and illness are ways of life and your habits can often decide that. I found that a revelation. I might type that out and put it up on one of my walls.
Another interesting fact that came to light on page 243 of this book is that Heinrich Göering, the father of the infamous Nazi Hermann Göering, operated a concentration camp in Namibia in 1904 where two men did medical experiments on black captives. These two men were responsible for training Joseph Mengele, so the precedent for concentration camps was far deeper in German culture than one might realize; it didn’t just pop up in the mid-thirties.
Hypatia is discussed on page 74 and also pops up in the Portable Fortitude cards as does Walt Whitman (page 230.) There are too many details and asides to note here and the book really needs to be read from front to back so that you get the connections as he’s written them, but it is worth a read. I’m going to try and find affordable copies of the three books in his Memory of Fire trilogy. I have The Book of Embraces on order from my library so am keen to get that too.
Considering how frivolous people sometimes view collecting card decks, I wanted to point out how interesting another person’s world view through art and literature can be, and how that can positively affect your life. Card decks are always worth a look-see, and this one has fuel for the eye with beautiful artwork plus fuel for the mind.
You never know what the impetus will be for new discovery and excitement in life.