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Re: Digest Number 122

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  • Stolzi@xxx.xxx
    In a message dated 9/17/99 11:11:09 AM Central Daylight Time, ... It sure does. I had no objection to the anti-Christian content, I just thought (unlike Joe)
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 17, 1999
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      In a message dated 9/17/99 11:11:09 AM Central Daylight Time,
      jchristopher@... writes:

      > In short, the novel
      > raises interesting questions that apply to your letter.

      It sure does. I had no objection to the anti-Christian content, I just
      thought (unlike Joe) that GHOST COUNTRY was a perfectly =terrible= piece of
      writing!

      Tot homines, quot sententiae, says this owl,
      Mary S
    • Robert and Jane Bigelow
      Ye all-- I am inspired to read _Ghost Country_. Such inspiration is one of the chief reasons I joined this list, and that I remain. Jane the Equal
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 20, 1999
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        Ye all--

        I am inspired to read _Ghost Country_. Such inspiration is one of the
        chief reasons I joined this list, and that I remain.

        Jane
        the Equal Opportunity Skeptic

        At 11:12 AM 9/17/99 -0500, you wrote:
        >From: Joe Christopher <jchristopher@...>
        >
        >Edith--
        >
        >The answer you received from Steve is probably OK from the point of view of
        >the discussion here, but I'd like to take it the discussion in a different,
        >adult direction. C. S. Lewis, in "Shelley, Dryden, and Mr. Eliot," has an
        >interesting comment: "For my own part, I do not believe that the poetic
        >value of any poem [let us add fiction] is identical with the philosophic;
        >but I think they can differ only to a limited extent, so that every poem
        >[fiction] whose prosaic or intellectual basis is silly, shallow, perverse,
        >or illiberal, or even radically erroneous, is in some degree crippled by
        >that fact." Lewis is at that point discussing Shelley's "Epipsychidion,"
        >which he believes flawed, but he goes on to praise highly the last act of
        >_Prometheus Unbound_ as a great statement of a universal myth. Now then, an
        >application. I thought one of the best fantasy novels last year was Sara
        >Paretsky's _Ghost Country_. I don't know a thing about Paretsky's religious
        >beliefs, but the novel itself is both pagan and anti-Christian; the fantasy
        >element, when it appears, takes the form of a goddess enacting, with pagan
        >emphases, Christ's life. But it is a well-written novel--thus good
        >artistically. As a Christian, I regret (1) the satiric portrayals of
        >Christians, (2) the encouragement of sexual license (the goddess is a
        >fertility goddess), and (3) the parody of the life of Christ. But I don't
        >regret reading the novel. Intellectually, I suppose one could say that (1)
        >the satire of Christians is sometimes deserved; (2) most of the citizens of
        >this country are not Christians (or Jews or Moslems) in any meaningful way,
        >and there is no reason to expect them to live by Christian (etc.) sexual
        >standards (nor do Christians always, being fallen); (3) the parody speaks to
        >the power of the prototype, as Lewis argued that pagan myths of corn-gods,
        >etc., foreshadowed the Christian story. (I mentioned the sexual standards
        >of Christians, Jews, and Moslems because I know what they are; I don't know
        >enough to use the example of Buddhists, for example.) But I think the novel
        >is an interesting case because it is so clearly two things: both
        >anti-Christian in several ways and very well written, with good
        >characterizations, etc., even with some healthy psychological growth of
        >characters outside of Christian terms. (Someone may jump on my use of
        >"healthy" but there's additional maturity for one character and a finding of
        >human love for two others. I think many Christians would agree that, within
        >strictly human terms, the developments are healthy.) In short, the novel
        >raises interesting questions that apply to your letter. To what degree does
        >the content of a literary work affect our _final_ judgment of that work?
        >
        >Thanks for opening the can of worms--
        >Joe
        >
        >>Message: 22
        >> Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1999 17:42:32 -0700 (PDT)
        >> From: Edith Louise Crowe <ecrowe@...>
        >>Subject: Neopagans
        >>
        >>This is a can of worms I may be sorry I opened, but the Mythopoeic Society
        >>is a literary organization, not a religious one. I would hate to think a
        >>portrayal of a real neopagan disqualified a fantasy novel from
        >>readability. I'm not a Christian, nor a neopagan either, but I've cetainly
        >>enjoyed fantasy novels from both those perspectives.
        >>
        >>Edith Crowe
        >>
        >>
        >
        >
        >>The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
        >
        >
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