I found this in my library, by accident, when I was feeling inspired by a theatre group with whom I'd been performing for the later weeks of this spriI found this in my library, by accident, when I was feeling inspired by a theatre group with whom I'd been performing for the later weeks of this spring. I was seeking books, theoretical - philosophical - anything - about community, the creation of community, its endurance, most of all its magic. (Don't look at me like that. It's a powerful, spiritual ... thing ... I was grappling with.)
This ethnography is about community at its heart, so I wasn't disappointed that way. The aspects of community that Carspecken explores in Lothlòrien were not entirely expected (by me), though: the roles of (many) spirituality(/ies), functionality of alternative democratic forms, the variability of "safety" in different kinds of societies ... it was a truly excellent read. I'm not describing this very well, because it's not the kind of work I typically find myself devouring, but c'est ça. Also, even if one can tell that Carspecken is emotionally attached to this place and its people, I think her writing stands up pretty well to a social scientist's standards of objectivity. Also-also, now I'm pretty curious about Paganism. Anyone more knowledgeable than I, do recommend some good books on it, if you'd be so kind.
One of the most 'magical' aspects of this book was its evocation of a REAL place, of the kind that most of us only dream about - a measured, open-minded description of a geographical-ideological space that IS magical, if anywhere in the sieve-lyzed world still is. (Excuse my wordplay. I've also been reading a lot of Atwood, on the side.) I hope I make it to Lothlòrien someday. And I hope to take Carspecken's reasoned, hopeful attitude to the concept itself of utopia in my mental-spiritual artillery, for a long time. It is needed....more
I can only conclude that Behn wrote this fine little novel in a similar spirit as that in which bored females today write fanfiction.
It's worth yourI can only conclude that Behn wrote this fine little novel in a similar spirit as that in which bored females today write fanfiction.
It's worth your while for several reasons:
1) It's easy to get through - being short and fairly action-packed; don't mind that every other paragraph is a description of Isabella's latest emotional state.
2) Hilarity will ensue - this tale's what-the-fuck factor really kicks up near the end and then, if you *were* finding it dull thus far, you won't any longer.
3) Overused capitals and archaic spellings are funny - yeah, they just are. "... for, suppose I should tell the fair Isabella, you dye for her, what can it avail you? What hope can any Man have, to move the Heart of a Virgin, so averse to Love? …"
4) Nothing is sacred - You will find the moralizing potential of this story left satisfyingly in the dust (or thrown into the River, if you please). I had the sensation of having met in Isabella a female, Restoration-period Oedipus: one whose character is so generally good and whose luck is so astoundingly bad that the pragmatic reader's left with no choice but to despair in the very concept of divine justice [deep breath] and at that rate, it oughtta be hakuna matata, baby, no point in putting yourself through the pain of … anything much. Certainly not Piety, Devotion, or other capital-V Virtues.
Aphra Behn is a writer ahead of her time, and she's good fun besides. Enjoy....more
So, I've read it. Now I just await SEEING it. One can't really judge a play until one has actually experienced it: the script on its own is such a tinSo, I've read it. Now I just await SEEING it. One can't really judge a play until one has actually experienced it: the script on its own is such a tiny piece of the art....more