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Re: [mythsoc] Re: Growing Up from mainstream

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  • Kim
    ... I re-read the series every year, usually around the holiday season, but I have never received this impression about Good and Evil from it. I don t remember
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 14 8:58 AM
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      At 10:17 AM 8/11/00 +0000, you wrote:
      >Message: 3
      > Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 08:10:21 -0500
      > From: Steve Schaper <sschaper@...>
      >Subject: Re: Growing Up from mainstream
      >
      >At 8:39 AM -0400 8/10/00, Diane Joy Baker wrote:
      > >
      > >I remember reading and enjoying the *Dark is Rising* series (though not as a
      > >kid) and am curious about your take on the "ethically objectionable" parts.
      >
      >I seem to recall that the last book in the series taught that there
      >was no more difference between good and evil than the purple and
      >green Drazi, and that Jesus Christ would not return, ever. Maybe a
      >bit much for a children's book?


      I re-read the series every year, usually around the holiday season, but I
      have never received this impression about Good and Evil from it. I don't
      remember any mention of no return of the Messiah, either. The concepts of
      good and evil were around long before Christianity, and that is certainly
      part of the theme of the series. What Will and the rest of the Old Ones do
      for humanity is to rid the world of evil *magic*, but the evil that humans
      do is still present in the world, and individuals must take responsibility
      for their own actions, whether good or evil--surely a lesson worth teaching
      in these passing-the-buck days, eh?

      And I have never seen these as just *children's books*. Just because a
      book's lead characters are children, doesn't mean that it is necessarily a
      book for children (only) or to be read by children (only).Besides, Will
      turns eleven in THE DARK IS RISING, and spends time growing up throughout
      the series. And the other children, some older than Will, one his age, and
      one younger, have certainly undergone a process of maturity by the end of
      SILVER ON THE TREE.

      As for all this being a bit much for a children's book, it would depend on
      the maturity of the child who might read the book, I should think. If the
      objection is to the subtle paganism in the series, well, there are other
      religions besides Christianity, and it is a good idea in our multi-culture
      society to teach children some religious tolerance.

      Kim
    • ERATRIANO@aol.com
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 14 9:17 AM
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        << And I have never seen these as just *children's books*. Just because a
        book's lead characters are children, doesn't mean that it is necessarily a
        book for children (only) or to be read by children (only).Besides, Will
        turns eleven in THE DARK IS RISING, and spends time growing up throughout
        the series. And the other children, some older than Will, one his age, and
        one younger, have certainly undergone a process of maturity by the end of
        SILVER ON THE TREE. >>


        I was uncomfortable with one place where Will observes how the priest (who I
        believe is frozen in time at the moment) is misled.

        There are other books by Susan Cooper which I have also enjoyed, and I think
        Will is in one of them. _Seaward_ may be the title I am trying to remember.
        I didn't enjoy her books as much this last time around. My loss.

        Also I really enjoy Lloyd Alexander, who apparently is more prolific than I
        realized when I was reading and rereading the Taran books. When I looked for
        him in my currently local library, there were a lot of other titles there as
        well. I love the Taran books. Should I read his other titles?

        And Evangeline Walton's treatment of the Mabinogion was wonderful. I am
        trying to get all of them for myself, so I can reread them again. Hope they
        are as good this time around. And MacAvoy's Trio for Lute. And perhaps
        Judith Tarr's The Hound and the Falcon (but I've only read that once, so it
        doesn't count). And McKillip's Riddlemaster of Hed.

        I am waiting for my kids to get old enough for me to read them the real
        Mowgli books, not the Disney aberrations. Recently I found a story I'd never
        read before, "In the Rukh," I believe it was called. I'm a little nervous
        that Kipling (and Burroughs) may seem suddenly dated, reading them now as an
        adult with other things to compare them to.

        Lizzie
      • Christine Howlett
        I am waiting for my kids to get old enough for me to read them the real Mowgli books, not the Disney aberrations. Recently I found a story I d never read
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 14 9:44 AM
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          I am waiting for my kids to get old enough for me to read them the real
          Mowgli books, not the Disney aberrations. Recently I found a story I'd
          never
          read before, "In the Rukh," I believe it was called. I'm a little nervous
          that Kipling (and Burroughs) may seem suddenly dated, reading them now as an
          adult with other things to compare them to.

          Lizzie


          *****
          I am not the least bit sure that 'dated' is bad - in children's books as
          well as adult books. This is something that C.S. Lewis touched on when he
          wrote about the value of a wide reading that covers not just current
          scholarship but goes back to the church fathers and the scholastics and
          every other period of history. I think children *need* to gain an
          appreciation that every other generation did not think or talk or write like
          this generation. They need to get a feeling that history is about people
          who are both like and very much unlike us in critical ways. Reading books
          from different periods is the only way to get a true appreciation. I read
          Kipling in my teens - my parents had an entire set - and was fascinated by
          the cultures he was describing. I did not find him bigoted and still am
          distressed at some people reading him this way. I always thought that he
          had real feeling for the people he was talking about, whether they were
          Indians or English privates. And of course he saw people through the lens
          of his time and place. So did Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Aquinas, and C.
          S. L. and C.W.

          Christine
        • ERATRIANO@aol.com
          In a message dated 08/14/2000 12:45:26 PM Eastern Daylight Time, chowlett@erols.com writes:
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 14 10:07 AM
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            In a message dated 08/14/2000 12:45:26 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
            chowlett@... writes:

            << I am not the least bit sure that 'dated' is bad - in children's books as
            well as adult books. >>

            I should have said "distractingly dated," perhaps? And I agree with your
            comment on Kipling. Wholeheartedly.

            Lizzie
          • Sophie Masson
            Yes, the other Lloyd Alexanders are beautiful, he uses myth very well! Incidentally I m delighted that both Lloyd Alexander and Philip Pullman have written
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 14 6:39 PM
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              Yes, the other Lloyd Alexanders are beautiful, he uses myth very well!
              Incidentally I'm delighted that both Lloyd Alexander and Philip Pullman have
              written some very nice cover quotes for the American editions of my fantasy
              novels _Carabas_ and _Malkin_. There issomething very special for me, in
              Lloyd's case, of having a writer you have admired and loved from childhood
              writing nice things about your own books!
              Sophie Masson
              Author site:
              http://members.xoom.com/sophiecastel/default.htm

              -----Original Message-----
              From: ERATRIANO@... <ERATRIANO@...>
              To: mythsoc@egroups.com <mythsoc@egroups.com>
              Date: Tuesday, 15 August 2000 2:14
              Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: Growing Up from mainstream


              ><< And I have never seen these as just *children's books*. Just because a
              > book's lead characters are children, doesn't mean that it is necessarily a
              > book for children (only) or to be read by children (only).Besides, Will
              > turns eleven in THE DARK IS RISING, and spends time growing up throughout
              > the series. And the other children, some older than Will, one his age, and
              > one younger, have certainly undergone a process of maturity by the end of
              > SILVER ON THE TREE. >>
              >
              >
              >I was uncomfortable with one place where Will observes how the priest (who
              I
              >believe is frozen in time at the moment) is misled.
              >
              >There are other books by Susan Cooper which I have also enjoyed, and I
              think
              >Will is in one of them. _Seaward_ may be the title I am trying to
              remember.
              >I didn't enjoy her books as much this last time around. My loss.
              >
              >Also I really enjoy Lloyd Alexander, who apparently is more prolific than I
              >realized when I was reading and rereading the Taran books. When I looked
              for
              >him in my currently local library, there were a lot of other titles there
              as
              >well. I love the Taran books. Should I read his other titles?
              >
              >And Evangeline Walton's treatment of the Mabinogion was wonderful. I am
              >trying to get all of them for myself, so I can reread them again. Hope
              they
              >are as good this time around. And MacAvoy's Trio for Lute. And perhaps
              >Judith Tarr's The Hound and the Falcon (but I've only read that once, so it
              >doesn't count). And McKillip's Riddlemaster of Hed.
              >
              >I am waiting for my kids to get old enough for me to read them the real
              >Mowgli books, not the Disney aberrations. Recently I found a story I'd
              never
              >read before, "In the Rukh," I believe it was called. I'm a little nervous
              >that Kipling (and Burroughs) may seem suddenly dated, reading them now as
              an
              >adult with other things to compare them to.
              >
              >Lizzie
              >
              >
              >
              >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
              >
            • ERATRIANO@aol.com
              In a message dated 08/14/2000 10:12:15 PM Eastern Daylight Time, smasson@northnet.com.au writes:
              Message 6 of 6 , Aug 15 4:31 AM
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                In a message dated 08/14/2000 10:12:15 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
                smasson@... writes:

                << There issomething very special for me, in
                Lloyd's case, of having a writer you have admired and loved from childhood
                writing nice things about your own books! >>

                Wooo, yes I should think, like a dream. I am a fantasy art fan as well, and
                hope that there can be gratification there as well, although I can't help but
                fear how often authors wince at the covers. So, are your books out there in
                the chain bookstores?

                L.
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