This forum was closed on October 1st, 2010. However, the archives are open to the public and filled with vast amounts of good reading and information for you to enjoy. If you wish to meet some Wardrobians, please visit the Into the Wardrobe Facebook group.

George MacDonald's best fiction and best non-fiction

Plato to MacDonald to Chesterton, Tolkien and the Boys in the Pub.

Re: George MacDonald's best fiction and best non-fiction

Postby m-angel » 05 Jan 2009, 18:46

I just finished Phantastes, 20 years after I read it for the first time as a teenager.
I wonder if there is any writing about the meaning of the allegories in Phantastes. I have my own ideas about some of them, others don't seem to mean anything to me. In any case, I'm curious to know what other people think, although I always have in mind a certain author who was dismayed at a critic's interpretation of the "author's intention when he wrote this book".

Thank you
m-angel
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2009

Re: George MacDonald's best fiction and best non-fiction

Postby Sven » 05 Jan 2009, 21:34

Welcome, m-angel!

There has been a thread before about Phantastes, here. Feel free to post on that thread, or start a new one if you like. There are several people here that would probably enjoy a discussion of the book.
Rat! he found breath to whisper, shaking. Are you afraid?
Afraid? murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love.
Afraid! Of Him? O, never, never! And yet -- and yet -- O, Mole, I am afraid!
Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.
User avatar
Sven
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 2873
Joined: Aug 1996
Location: Greenbelt, MD, near Washington DC

Re: George MacDonald's best fiction and best non-fiction

Postby m-angel » 11 Jan 2009, 23:17

Thank you! I'll look in that link, and if I want even more information I'll start a thread, as you suggest.

M-Angel
m-angel
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2009

Re: George MacDonald's best fiction and best non-fiction

Postby Robert » 03 Mar 2009, 17:42

At the Back of the North Wind is without a doubt my FAVORITE book of all time. So I would have to recommend that. The Phantastes is my second, so that one as well.
[I am] Freudian Viennese by night, by day [I am] Marxian Muscovite

--Robert Frost--
questions
User avatar
Robert
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Jul 2004
Location: Under the stars and in the midst of things

Re: George MacDonald's best fiction and best non-fiction

Postby boink1 » 13 Apr 2009, 02:47

Some of MacDonald's realistic novels go into the preachy deep end, but this one is DEFINITLY worth the read.

MACDONALD, George (1865) Alec Forbes of Howglen. Hurst & Blackett London 900 p.

Do NOT bother with the pathetic "americanized" versions. Go back to the originals. It just takes a chapter or two to get used to the particular Scottish terms.

Well worth it.
boink1
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2008

Re: George MacDonald's best fiction and best non-fiction

Postby Larry W. » 13 Apr 2009, 11:21

My church library has the shortened versions of MacDonald's novels. I agree that it is usually better to read complete and unabridged versions of an author's books, but I'm afraid that most people in my church would have much difficulty reading a 900 page novel written in heavy Scottish dialect. So in this case I will make an exception. It was a good choice to purchase for the library to purchase the modernized editions since they are checked out and read more often than the longer versions. Much as I like MacDonald, I would have to agree with C. S. Lewis, who said that his "teacher" was a poor novelist but a supreme preacher. The shorter editions have helped to stimulate an interest in MacDonald, and perhaps some people will read the originals because they were introduced to him through the abridged editions. Reading MacDonald in the original books demands much time and patience-- a virtue that some but not all of us possess.

Larry W.
Larry W.
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 1721
Joined: Jul 2004
Location: Western Michigan

Re: George MacDonald's best fiction and best non-fiction

Postby nomad » 26 Aug 2009, 05:27

I really must read Lilith and At the Back of the North Wind. I just finished re-reading Photogen and Nycteris (Day boy and Night girl). It's one of my favorite short stories. It has a wonderful moral about working together, each one's strength supporting the other in their weakness. And it's more subtle than many of MacDonald's stories. I also very much enjoy his description of the night from Nycteris' point of view, and her discovery of the outdoors.

I also recently re-read The Cruel Painter, another of my favorites for quite different reasons. But it is also one of his less preachy stories. A little bit creepy, but with a great sense of humor.
member of the 2456317 club
"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best -- " and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.
User avatar
nomad
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 1102
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: I wish I knew

Re: George MacDonald's best fiction and best non-fiction

Postby Robert » 26 Aug 2009, 10:17

I must reread that one. I am certain I have read it, but fro some reason I am drawing a blank on the theme. Photogen and Nycteris was incredibly enjoyable; not just for its moral but also the description of night and day from the perspective of one seeing it for the first time.
[I am] Freudian Viennese by night, by day [I am] Marxian Muscovite

--Robert Frost--
questions
User avatar
Robert
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Jul 2004
Location: Under the stars and in the midst of things

Re: George MacDonald's best fiction and best non-fiction

Postby nomad » 29 Aug 2009, 03:36

I
Photogen and Nycteris was incredibly enjoyable; not just for its moral but also the description of night and day from the perspective of one seeing it for the first time.


I completely agree. I also enjoyed how MacDonald reversed the typical ideas of light vs darkness. A life in the light with no experience of shadows made Photogen proud and even cruel, whereas a life spent in darkness made Nycteris caring and sensitive. Of course, that may just be because Photogen's a guy and Nycteris a woman, but still, he didn't put them the other way round.
member of the 2456317 club
"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best -- " and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.
User avatar
nomad
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 1102
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: I wish I knew

Previous

Return to Inklings & Influences

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered members and 1 guest