Myth, allegory, fantasy and censorship
- On Mon, 04 Jun 2012 00:21:07 +0200, Troels Forchhammer
>SH, Sunday, 6 May 2012, "Orthodox Christianity and fantasyliterature/>
><http://preview.tinyurl.com/ccct3rn>Thanks for the mention, but I think this misses the main point of the debate,
>Steve Hayes refers to Orthodox Christian bloggers discussing whether
>Orthodox Christians ought to read fantasy. I am reminded of
>Strider's comment in /LotR/: 'If simple folk are free from care and
>fear, simple they will be, and we must be secret to keep them so.'
>This represents a position that I cannot agree with: if the only way
>to keep people 'in place' is to keep them ignorant, then you are
>using your authority to censor their knowledge as a means of
>dominating them, and this, in my eyes, can /never/ be good. I would
>instead teach them to recognize the temptation of evil: sometimes it
>is a difficult lesson to learn (as Boromir would come to realize),
>but it is to me far preferable to any kind of domination through
which is not about "domination through censorship".
The question here is "Should Orthodox Christians read....", not "Should
Orthodox Christians be prohibited from reading."
It turns out that several people (including me) misunderstood what the
original poster (Lily Parascheva Rowe) was really getting at. She wasn't
referring to the works of the Inklings themselves, but rather the works of
imitators and spinoffs, and especially those that glamorised vampires,
werewolves and the like.
And along those lines I once forced myself to read Anne Rice's "Interview
the vampire", which several people had commended. I found it boring but
persisted to the end, just to be able to say that I had read it, and that my
dislike of the book did not arise from prejudice, but from actually reading
I don't want to read other books like that, though they are quite popular,
because reading them is a form of self-torture. I would likewise say that
books are not edifying for Orthodox Christians to read, but that is not
"domination through censorship", but a simple statement of fact.
The indicative should not be mistaken for the imperative.