A little too sci fi crossed with Ayn Rand for me...the plot was weighed down with all the philosophy and reflection. That said, some of the philosophyA little too sci fi crossed with Ayn Rand for me...the plot was weighed down with all the philosophy and reflection. That said, some of the philosophy was really interesting.
Some quotes I liked:
"The explorer who will not come back or send back his ships to tell his tale is not an explorer, only an adventurer; and his sons are born in exile" (89)
"The strangest thing about the nightmare street was that none of the millions of things for sale were made there. They were only sold there. Where were the workshops, the factories, where were the farmers, the craftsmen, the miners, the weavers, the chemists, the carvers, the dyers, the designers, the machinists, where were the hands, the people who made? Out of sight, somewhere else. Behind walls. All the people in all the shops were either buyers or sellers. They had no relation to the things but that of possession." (132)
"Music is a cooperative art, organic by definition, social. It may be the noblest form of social behavior we're capable of. It's certainly one of the noblest jobs an individual can undertake. And by its nature, by the nature of any art, it's a sharing. The artist shares, it's the essence of his act." (175)
"There are souls...whose umbilicus has never been cut. They never got weaned from the universe. They do not understand death as an enemy; they look forward to rotting and turning into humus." (185)
"If you see a thing whole, it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives...But close up, a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. You need distance, interval. The way to see how beautiful the earth is, is to see it as the moon. The way to see how beautiful life is, is from the vantage point of death." (190)
"Time goes in cycles as well as in a line...time has two aspects. There is the arrow, the running river, without which there is no change, no progress, or direction, or creation. And there is the circle or the cycle, without which there is chaos, meaningless succession of instants, a world without clocks or seasons or promises." (223)
"He had been groping and grabbing at certainty, as if it were something he could possess. He had been demanding a security, a guarantee, which is not granted, and which, if granted, would become a prison." (280)
"If it is the future you seek, then I tell you that you must come to it with empty hands. You must come to it alone, and naked, as the child comes into the world, into his future, without any past, without any property, wholly dependent on other people for his life. You cannot take what you have not given, and you must give yourself." (301)
"They had both suffered from it, and suffered a good deal, but it had not occurred to either of them to escape the suffering by denying the commitment. For after all...it was joy they were both after - the completeness of being. If you evade suffering you also evade the chance of joy. Pleasure you may get, or pleasures, but you will not be fulfilled. You will not know what it is to come home." (334)
"Fulfillment...is a function of time. The search for pleasure is circular, repetitive, atemporal. The variety seeking of the spectator, the thrill hunter, the sexually promiscuous, always ends in the same place. It has an end. It comes to the end and has to start over. It is not a journey and return, but a closed cycle, a locked room, a cell. Outside the locked room is the landscape of time, in which the spirit may, with luck and courage, construct the fragile, makeshift, improbable roads and cities of fidelity: a landscape inhabitable by human beings...Loyalty, which asserts the continuity of past and future, binding time into a whole, is the root of human strength; there is not good to be done without it." (335)...more
I read the audiobook read by Jim Dale...loved it! The story is just like you remember it, but Mr. Barrie has one quirky sense of humor. I couldn't helI read the audiobook read by Jim Dale...loved it! The story is just like you remember it, but Mr. Barrie has one quirky sense of humor. I couldn't help picturing him as Johnny Depp in Finding Neverland....more
Ya gotta love any book that lists you by name in the acknowledgments...but aside from that I really did enjoy this bit o criticism by my esteemed frieYa gotta love any book that lists you by name in the acknowledgments...but aside from that I really did enjoy this bit o criticism by my esteemed friend/mentor/professor Matt Dickerson. A must-read for all Tolkien enthusiasts....more
Obviously I'm biased toward the authors, but this was definitely a good read. Dickerson and O'Hara were really cohesive, too, and you couldn't tell (oObviously I'm biased toward the authors, but this was definitely a good read. Dickerson and O'Hara were really cohesive, too, and you couldn't tell (or I couldn't) who was writing which parts.
I'd have to say my favorite chapters were the ones on modern fantasy - Philip Pullman, Ursula LeGuin, and J.K. Rowling. This is where the author's worldviews, somewhat more subtle up to this point, came out full force and either praised or dug holes in the underlying moral lessons of these books. I definitely do the same thing as I read fantasy, and it was nice to see someone take written stock of the reasons I find myself liking some things more than others. Basically I like a story that reflects - but isn't an allegory of - THE story.
There was also some good background, mostly from Tolkien and Lewis' non-fiction writing, that defined myth, fantasy, and fairy tale and discussed why they are so important....more