(8/28/02 5:54:15 pm)
| Finding "The Gentlemen" redux|
I've been searching back through this board for threads I've missed, and I found the one where someone asked for the origin of "The Gentlemen" who come into town and steal hearts, and was told that there seems to be no such tale.
But there is. In Jamaica, the tale of the Blackheart man is used
to scare children. He's supposed to be a man who cuts out the hearts
of children, particularly young girls. I believe that Olive Senior
(whose work has received hon. mention in one of Ellen D. and Terri's
annual horror and fantasy anthologies) has written about the Blackheart
man in one of her short stories, and singer/songwriter Bunny Wailer
created a song about him. Lyrics are here: hjem.get2net.dk/sbn/bunny/blkhart.txt
And here's something I can't at all verify, but Caribbean tales come from all the nations that make up the Caribbean. It's sometimes possible to get a feel of where a story might have originated. I can't tell you why I think this, but all the versions of the Blackheart Man that I have read have the feel of something with English/European roots. So, in looking for the root of the tale, one might have more luck looking under "Blackheart" than "The Gentlemen." Pure conjecture on my part; a preliminary google didn't bring anything up.