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Re: [mythsoc] Re: A Landscape with Dragons

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  • Jonathan Michael Reiter
    Yes, I believe the Chinese, and Japanese... I am not sure about that, but I will go looking, for sure about that... Jonathan Michael Reiter jmr ... From:
    Message 1 of 15 , Aug 28 6:56 AM
      Yes, I believe the Chinese, and Japanese... I am not sure about that, but I will go looking, for sure about that...
      Jonathan Michael Reiter
      jmr
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: David Emerson
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sunday, August 27, 2006 10:30 PM
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: A Landscape with Dragons


      >While I disagree strongly with O'Brien's conclusions, I must come to
      >his defense that the book was much more nuanced than that. Yes,
      >O'Brien is an extremely conservative Catholic, but his argument is
      >that certain symbols can never change in meaning, so a dragon is
      >always evil and that anyone who tries to make a dragon good is wrong
      >and committing sin.

      Well, he's got two assumptions there that are open to question. One, that symbols never change meaning, and two, that dragons are evil. Call me a heretic if you like, but aren't there ancient cultures in this world who view dragons as wise and good?

      emerdavid

      ________________________________________
      PeoplePC Online
      A better way to Internet
      http://www.peoplepc.com





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Lezlie
      ... I have to admit that I don t entirely agree with this (and, some modern Jungian scholar-practitioners don t either). Once, dragons in the west were
      Message 2 of 15 , Aug 28 9:08 AM
        >
        > jef.murray wrote:
        >
        > > Symbols for a particular culture largely _don't_ change
        > >meaning...Jung's life work underscored this. And regarding
        > >other cultures, O'Brien is basically dealing with occidental
        > >tradition and myth, which consistently (until the 20th century)
        > >depicted snakes and dragons as evil.
        > >

        I have to admit that I don't entirely agree with this (and, some
        modern Jungian scholar-practitioners don't either). Once, dragons in
        the west were associated with the symbols of Kingship (re: the
        Arthurian Cycle, and also: Charlemagne). At some point in the Middle
        Ages, they became a symbol of "carnal knowledge" and of greed and
        "avariciousness" -- as per: the Seven Deadlies. (A medieval scholar
        could probably pinpoint the exact manuscripts, heraldic devices,
        illuminations, references and et. al., and tell us the years when this
        change occurred.) My sense is that there has always been a split
        between the ecclesiastical writings on dragons and the folk lore itself.

        The symbol has changed in modern times, possibly due to the many
        current writers & artists in fantasy who have jointly created a
        powerful, mysterious, paradoxical creature of fire and air over a
        rather long period of time. Some of those writers have delved very
        deep into the myth and lore concerning the long history of dragons and
        their cousins, and should not be discounted lightly.

        There also seems to be a mingling of East and West in the changing of
        the dragon as a symbol. (As we all realize that Eastern dragons are
        very different than Western ones.) One wonders just what Jung would
        write about it were he alive today -- as he had something to say about
        just about everything, an essay (at the very least) I'm sure. <gentle
        smile> .

        Lezlie
      • jef.murray
        Yes, but we both know, Mike, that dragons are deceptive. _Looking_ benevolent is is not at all the same as _behaving_ in a benevolent fashion ;-) Jef ... about
        Message 3 of 15 , Aug 28 11:54 AM
          Yes, but we both know, Mike, that dragons are deceptive.
          _Looking_ benevolent is is not at all the same as _behaving_
          in a benevolent fashion ;-)

          Jef



          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Mike Foster <mafoster@...> wrote:
          >
          > Many readers, including quite possibly Lewis & Tolkien, would know
          about
          > Kenneth Grahame's -The Reluctant Dragon-, and those familiar with Jef's
          > art know he does quite good representations of rather benevolent
          dragons
          > as well: parenthetical observation.
          >
          > Mike
          >
          > jef.murray wrote:
          >
          > > Symbols for a particular culture largely _don't_ change
          > >meaning...Jung's life work underscored this. And regarding
          > >other cultures, O'Brien is basically dealing with occidental
          > >tradition and myth, which consistently (until the 20th century)
          > >depicted snakes and dragons as evil.
          > >
          > > Regarding the notion that anyone trying to make a dragon
          > >good is "committing a sin", I think that overstates O'Brien's
          > >case. He suggests that trying to change the meaning of traditional
          > >symbols confuses and can be hurtful, especially to children. This
          > >is consistent with a pre-modern mindset, which suggests that there
          > >_is_ such a thing as tradition versus "all things being relative".
          > >All O'Brien is doing is pointing out the same things that virtually
          > >any European would have told you prior to about 100-150 years ago.
          > >
          > > And, like Tolkien and Lewis, O'Brien would largely consider himself
          > >pre-modern in outlook, and quite proud of it(!).
          > >
          > > Jef
          > >
          > >
          > >--- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Emerson <emerdavid@> wrote:
          > >
          > >
          > >>>While I disagree strongly with O'Brien's conclusions, I must come to
          > >>>his defense that the book was much more nuanced than that. Yes,
          > >>>O'Brien is an extremely conservative Catholic, but his argument is
          > >>>that certain symbols can never change in meaning, so a dragon is
          > >>>always evil and that anyone who tries to make a dragon good is wrong
          > >>>and committing sin.
          > >>>
          > >>>
          > >>Well, he's got two assumptions there that are open to question.
          > >>
          > >>
          > >One, that symbols never change meaning, and two, that dragons are
          > >evil. Call me a heretic if you like, but aren't there ancient
          > >cultures in this world who view dragons as wise and good?
          > >
          > >
          > >>emerdavid
          > >>
          > >>________________________________________
          > >>PeoplePC Online
          > >>A better way to Internet
          > >>http://www.peoplepc.com
          > >>
          > >>
          > >>
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
          > >Yahoo! Groups Links
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Mike Foster
          Never laugh at live dragons was one of the first proverbs Bilbo coined, after all. Mike ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          Message 4 of 15 , Aug 28 11:58 AM
            "Never laugh at live dragons" was one of the first proverbs Bilbo
            coined, after all.

            Mike

            jef.murray wrote:

            > Yes, but we both know, Mike, that dragons are deceptive.
            >_Looking_ benevolent is is not at all the same as _behaving_
            >in a benevolent fashion ;-)
            >
            > Jef
            >
            >
            >
            >--- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Mike Foster <mafoster@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            >>Many readers, including quite possibly Lewis & Tolkien, would know
            >>
            >>
            >about
            >
            >
            >>Kenneth Grahame's -The Reluctant Dragon-, and those familiar with Jef's
            >>art know he does quite good representations of rather benevolent
            >>
            >>
            >dragons
            >
            >
            >>as well: parenthetical observation.
            >>
            >>Mike
            >>
            >>jef.murray wrote:
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >>> Symbols for a particular culture largely _don't_ change
            >>>meaning...Jung's life work underscored this. And regarding
            >>>other cultures, O'Brien is basically dealing with occidental
            >>>tradition and myth, which consistently (until the 20th century)
            >>>depicted snakes and dragons as evil.
            >>>
            >>> Regarding the notion that anyone trying to make a dragon
            >>>good is "committing a sin", I think that overstates O'Brien's
            >>>case. He suggests that trying to change the meaning of traditional
            >>>symbols confuses and can be hurtful, especially to children. This
            >>>is consistent with a pre-modern mindset, which suggests that there
            >>>_is_ such a thing as tradition versus "all things being relative".
            >>>All O'Brien is doing is pointing out the same things that virtually
            >>>any European would have told you prior to about 100-150 years ago.
            >>>
            >>> And, like Tolkien and Lewis, O'Brien would largely consider himself
            >>>pre-modern in outlook, and quite proud of it(!).
            >>>
            >>> Jef
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>--- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Emerson <emerdavid@> wrote:
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>>>While I disagree strongly with O'Brien's conclusions, I must come to
            >>>>>his defense that the book was much more nuanced than that. Yes,
            >>>>>O'Brien is an extremely conservative Catholic, but his argument is
            >>>>>that certain symbols can never change in meaning, so a dragon is
            >>>>>always evil and that anyone who tries to make a dragon good is wrong
            >>>>>and committing sin.
            >>>>>
            >>>>>
            >>>>>
            >>>>>
            >>>>Well, he's got two assumptions there that are open to question.
            >>>>
            >>>>
            >>>>
            >>>>
            >>>One, that symbols never change meaning, and two, that dragons are
            >>>evil. Call me a heretic if you like, but aren't there ancient
            >>>cultures in this world who view dragons as wise and good?
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>>emerdavid
            >>>>
            >>>>________________________________________
            >>>>PeoplePC Online
            >>>>A better way to Internet
            >>>>http://www.peoplepc.com
            >>>>
            >>>>
            >>>>
            >>>>
            >>>>
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
            >>>Yahoo! Groups Links
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>
            >>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
            >Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Berni Phillips
            From: Matthew Winslow ... Most likely his own books. He has several several novels out, which I ve seen in Catholic bookstores (and
            Message 5 of 15 , Aug 28 1:14 PM
              From: "Matthew Winslow" <bluewoad@...>
              >
              > For O'Brien there is some redeemable fantasy,
              > but that list is extremely limited. I haven't read the book in a
              > number of years, so I can't recall what he found redeemable.

              Most likely his own books. He has several several novels out, which I've
              seen in Catholic bookstores (and nowhere else). I read his FATHER ELIJAH:
              AN APOCALYPSE, which was at least better than the LEFT BEHIND books.

              Berni
            • Diane Joy Baker
              Actually, it s one I d like to read. ... From: Matthew Winslow To: MythSoc Sent: Sunday, August 27, 2006
              Message 6 of 15 , Aug 28 8:31 PM
                Actually, it's one I'd like to read.

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Matthew Winslow" <bluewoad@...>
                To: "MythSoc" <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Sunday, August 27, 2006 11:39 PM
                Subject: [mythsoc] Re: A Landscape with Dragons


                > On 27 Aug 2006 07:21:31 -0000, John wrote:
                > > Has Michael O'Brien's A LANDSCAPE WITH DRAGONS: THE BATTLE FOR YOUR
                > > CHILD'S MIND (previously published as A LANDSCAPE WITH DRAGONS:
                > > CHRISTIAN AND PAGAN IMAGINATION IN CHILDREN'S LITERATURE) been
                > > discussed on this list before? And if so can somebody point me toward
                > > that discussion? Just got a copy, but don't want to bore folks if
                > > it's already been thoroughly hashed out before I joined the list.
                >
                > John,
                >
                > I don't recall it being discussed here.
                >
                > Jonathan Michael Reiter wrote:
                > > > Haven't heard of it before, but from the updated title, I take it
                this is one of those fundamentalist "fantasy is anti-Christian" screeds??
                > >
                > > That would be about right.
                >
                > While I disagree strongly with O'Brien's conclusions, I must come to
                > his defense that the book was much more nuanced than that. Yes,
                > O'Brien is an extremely conservative Catholic, but his argument is
                > that certain symbols can never change in meaning, so a dragon is
                > always evil and that anyone who tries to make a dragon good is wrong
                > and committing sin. (Dragons, of course, being related to serpents,
                > whom the Bible depicts as symbols of evil, not to mention the evil
                > dragon from Revelation.) For O'Brien there is some redeemable fantasy,
                > but that list is extremely limited. I haven't read the book in a
                > number of years, so I can't recall what he found redeemable.
                >
                > --
                > Matthew Winslow
                > mwinslow@...
                > www.xreal.org
                >
                > Currently Reading: The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
                >
                >
                > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > --
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