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60281Re: [existlist] RE: The Ice Palace

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  • christopher arthur
    Jun 5, 2014
      On 6/5/2014 9:13 AM, josephson45r@... [existlist] wrote:

      Is it surprising that a small village like the story setting would not produce a more religious, perhaps Christian expression of their hopes and sadness with respect to Unn?  

      If Vesaas had included this element, he nevertheless described Siss' nearly inconsolable loss authentically. The vast, frozen, silent landscape; Siss' internal dialog, and the respect the adults had for her private grief were spiritually subtle. The absence of an overt Christian theme echoed throughout the frozen environment and marks the novel as existentialist.
      This was my feeling as well with respect to the absence that you mention, and I also agree on authenticity.  It gets me to thinking about another of my short books sitting on the shelf, and according to its back cover, that book is an "intensely symbolic teaching on how to traverse the stages of death without fear."   It is Tantric Buddhism, and admittedly I have problems comprehending it, but I suppose that I might try to consider Unn's passage through the labyrinthine palace towards death as something for comparison.   If there was anything supernatural suggested in The Ice Palace, I think that it might have been the complexity of the palace itself, but basically I am impressed with the simple, genuine treatment of psychological issues with Siss. 

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