Monday, December 26, 2016

Finding truth in Faerie

ne reason to read Science fiction and fantasy is that they discuss themes and examples that relate to reality, but unlike reality or allegory, can be applied in many ways to see nuances.

So is the latest Star Wars about the revenge of the minorities who find themselves in thrall of the evil white men, or the revolt of the Trumpettes against the NWO/Clintons who want to rule them?

Is LOTR about Stalin and the bomb, or about capitalism's destruction of the environment in search for power over nature?

Put favorite analogue here (and shudder if you think Game of Thrones has an modern application... uh maybe Syria?).

Quote for the day comes from AlasNotMe blog, from Madeline L'Engle's book on time travel (with angels):

In the last chapter of A Wrinkle in Time, Mrs. Whatsit (a supernatural being, if you don't know) and Calvin, a young boy, argue about knowing the future.
 "I do not believe it. And the Happy Medium doesn't believe it, either."
"Can't she see what's going to happen?" Calvin asked.
 "Oh, not in this kind of thing." Mrs. Whatsit sounded surprised at his question. "If we knew ahead of time what was going to happen we'd be—we'd be like the people on Camazotz, with no lives of our own, with everything all planned and done for us.
(The children visited the land of Camazotz, where every action is perfect and controlled by a big brain).

So where does human freedom come into this?
How can I explain it to you? Oh, I know. In your language you have a form of poetry called the sonnet."
"Yes, yes," Calvin said impatiently. "What's that got to do with the Happy Medium?"
"Kindly pay me the courtesy of listening to me." Mrs. Whatsit's voice was stern, and for a moment Calvin stopped pawing the ground like a nervous colt. "It is a very strict form of poetry, is it not?" "Yes." "There are fourteen lines, I believe, all in iambic pentameter. That's a very strict rhythm or meter, yes?" "Yes." Calvin nodded. "And each line has to end with a rigid rhyme pattern. And if the poet does not do it exactly this way, it is not a sonnet, is it?" "No." "But within this strict form the poet has complete freedom to say whatever he wants, doesn't he?" "Yes." Calvin nodded again. "So," Mrs. Whatsit said. "So what?" "Oh, do not be stupid, boy!" Mrs. Whatsit scolded. "You know perfectly well what I am driving at!" "You mean you're comparing our lives to a sonnet? A strict form, but freedom within it?" "Yes." Mrs. Whatsit said. "You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. What you say is completely up to you."
I hear they are making a new film based on the book: one hopes they will do a better job of it than they did in the bland disney channel version, which lacked the awe and beauty themes.

a similar theme is found in Chuck Jone's cartoon from 1965, when chaos was seen as freedom (but fifty years later, we find it has led to chaos and destruction).

what is needed is both: a sonnet, or

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