Mar 11, 2012

The Monsters and the Critics

"Fantasy is a natural human activity. It certainly does not destroy or even insult Reason; and it does not either blunt the appetite for, nor obscure the perception of, scientific verity. On the contrary. The keener and the clearer is the reason, the better the fantasy will it make. If men were ever in a state in which they did not want to know or could not perceive truth (facts or evidence), then Fantasy would languish until they were cured. If they were ever to get into that state (it would not seem at all impossible), Fantasy will perish, and become Morbid Delusion.
For creative Fantasy is founded upon the hard recognition that things are so in the world as it appears under the sun; on a recognition of fact, but not a slavery to it. So upon logic was founded the nonsense that displays itself in the tales and rhymes of Lewis Carroll. If men really could not distinguish between frogs and men, fairy stories about frog-kings would not have arisen. 
Fantasy can, of course, be carried to excess. It can be ill done. It can be put to evil uses. It may even delude the minds out of which it came. But of what human thing in this fallen world is that not true? Men have conceived not only of elves (which, it is important to note here, Tolkien references as being the same as part of Faerie. In fact, the words apparently are derivatives of the same Latin base), but they have imagined gods, and worshipped them, even worshipped those most deformed by their authors' own evil. But they have made false gods out of other materials: their notions, their banners, their monies; even their sciences and their social and economic theories have demanded human sacrifice. Abusus non tollit usum. Fantasy remains a human right: we make in out measure and in our derivative mode, because we are made: and not only made, but made in the image and likeness of a Maker."

JRR Tolkien, On Faerie Stories

I'm beginning to realize that determining the "Christian post-modern" (if it could indeed exist) may be worth my academic time. I might finally have found a graduate school thesis. It is, for that matter, something which could be turned into a doctoral work. 

And I've come to realize that I revere J.R.R. Tolkien's work. He, C.S. Lewis, and J.K. Rowling stand quite distinct as writers of the Christian post-modern: reuniting meta-narrative with reality, as it were. Part of me wishes nothing more than to simply have a desk in the corner of a pub where I can write a great story (and drink great beer). I think, deep down, I always knew I would become a hobbit-esque academic storyteller. 

And that is how I feel about that. It's the academic in me finally admitting it needs to come out and stay out. 

Word of the Day: Panoply [1) Complete or impressive collection of things. 2) Splendid display. 3) Complete set of arms or suit of armour. Orig. 16th. C. = complete protection for spiritual warfare.]

Quote of the Day: "The Gospels contain a fairy-story, or a story of a larger kind which embraces the essence of all fairy stories." Tolkien

1 comment:

joyce said...

Nice hobbit face!?!
I like your hair!