Friday, September 24, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
So, I've decided to compile a list of things that I have been asked to read by LU professors that might be considered "controversial" to those of delicate constitutions. Just, you know, for future reference. And to shamelessly retain my point of view that one can read writings of controversial nature without becoming corrupted. And sort of to justify my love of supernatural novels. But I digress.
Anyway, my list starts off with Shakespeare's notable play, Macbeth. It features three witches that are called "The Weird Sisters" (sound familiar, my fellow Potter nerds?). Here's a notable quote from them:
Round about the cauldron go,
In the poisoned entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Sweltered venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' th' charmèd pot.
Also, my personal favorite:
Double, double toil and trouble,
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
So, clearly, very obviously, we are dealing with witchcraft of the blacker sort. Yet I am not filled with the sudden desire to fetch a poisonous toad, rip out its entrails, and toss them into a charmed cauldron. Why is this? The jury's out on the answer. I'm leaning towards the idea that since I know that Macbeth is only a story, albeit a remarkable one, I have no desire to imitate it. It's not real. Real magic would probably scare me half to death. I know this, but the idea of the supernatural continues to fascinate me. I think this is because, at our heart, we all want to believe in something stronger than us. I mean, God Himself is supernatural. By trusting in Him, we are placing our trust in a supernatural "Higher power."
In the Bible, there are people raised from the dead. The blind can suddenly see. The scientifically unexplainable happens. Supernatural. Something far greater than we are. The reason, I think, that witchcraft is a sin is because it is, in effect, a mere mortal attempting to gain the powers of the divine. Naturally, these powers are perversions. And the rest of humanity flinches away at the not-rightness of it all. So, on this level, I agree. The idea of real-life witchcraft scares the bejeepers out of me.
But literature exists on a completely different and separate realm of consciousness. People write from their desires, and the supernatural in these stories stems from the human desire to be unique, separate, different from the rest of the sea of unnamed human faces. Have you ever had a flying dream? I have. So when I read about a fictional person who can fly through magical means (such as Tinkerbell), my heart can soar along with them through their fictional landscape.
What I'm saying is that, in the alternate dimension of writing, anything is possible.
And as for me, reading about impossible things inspires and intrigues me. Unicorns, faeries, princes, damsels in distress...even wizards. (Can you say Merlin?!) And I'm not the only one who reads these things. It isn't that I think they're real. It isn't that I have a fascination with the occult. It is just that my mind loathes the reality it lives in, the day-to-day constraints that dictate what is and isn't possible. Fantasy authors break the mold, presenting extraordinary circumstances that happen to seemingly ordinary, human people. I can live vicariously through these characters, can experience what they do, through the pages of a book.
...so tell me, how can the innocent joy of thrilling literary tales be so wrong?