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Phantastes by George MacDonald

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

Re: Phantastes by George MacDonald

Postby wondawomen » 17 Jul 2009, 20:41

Because CSL was so moved by Phantastes, I recently ordered it and began to read. At first it was enchanting; then so difficult to read at a spead that I am used to! But I continue to read it little by little. I am only on chapter 13. Now I think of it as sweets that you must patiently eat slowly. But the main character, Anodos, is making me so angry. He goes where he is told not to and gets a very naughty shadow. One post is saying the shadow is Satan. Maybe so! Then Anodos breaks the little fairy's globe. I am waiting for him to learn a lesson. The book may be changing my life a little because I am making a fairy garden in my back garden!
We love, because He first loved us.1John4:19 NASB
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Re: Phantastes by George MacDonald

Postby Tuke » 18 Jul 2009, 16:33

wondawomen wrote:.... But the main character, Anodos, is making me so angry. He goes where he is told not to and gets a very naughty shadow.
This is a standard form of enchantments.
Then Anodos breaks the little fairy's globe. I am waiting for him to learn a lesson....
MacDonald fans are always blessed for such patience.
"The 'great golden chain of Concord' has united the whole of Edmund Spenser's world.... Nothing is repressed; nothing is insubordinate. To read him is to grow in mental health." The Allegory Of Love (Faerie Queene)

2 Corinthians IV.17 The Weight of Glory
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Re: Phantastes by George MacDonald

Postby wondawomen » 20 Jul 2009, 20:22

Today's story is the princess in the mirror. I saw this on a twilight zone or something similar. Then off he went touching the marble statue and going into the queen's room even though it was posted not to. Very interesting.
We love, because He first loved us.1John4:19 NASB
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Re: Phantastes by George MacDonald

Postby wondawomen » 01 Aug 2009, 13:17

O.K. I finished Phantastes and now I am reading Lilith. My husband tried to read it and asked if they had LSD back then. I have decided to make this a George MacDonald summer with breaks for non fantasy. I am saying things to people that make sense to me but to no one else. I know they are thinkin, "She has gone over the edge and is talking about fairies like they are real." However, the end of Phantastes gave a wonderful picture of death. I now think of the earth as a nourishing, warm, place. The main character did learn a life lesson after all.
We love, because He first loved us.1John4:19 NASB
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Re: Phantastes by George MacDonald

Postby Kanakaberaka » 01 Aug 2009, 14:14

wondawomen wrote:O.K. I finished Phantastes and now I am reading Lilith. My husband tried to read it and asked if they had LSD back then. ...


"A Voyage to Arcturus" by David Lindsay gave me the same impression as well. It's the book that inspired some of C.S. Lewis' images found in "The Screwtape Letters" and of course, his Space Trilogy.
so it goes...
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Re: Phantastes by George MacDonald

Postby deadwhitemale » 10 Oct 2009, 14:11

I read parts of Phantastes and Lilith years ago. I think I first read the chapter of Phantastes called "The Tale of Cosmo" in an anthology of short works of fantasy in 1989. In that book it was re-titled "The Woman In the Mirror." When I re-read parts of Phantastes online much more recently that was the part I looked for first, for it had left a strong impression on me. The other part of Phantastes I can recall fairly well is the part where the narrator discovers and kills a werewolf-like monster, and is himself killed in the act by the creature's worshippers, and in the next chapter he describes his own death and burial. This also made a strong impression.

Lilith I believe I first tried to read about 1989 or 1990. I think I just skipped around in it, but, as with Phantastes, certain parts and pieces of it stand out. Certain lines have stuck with me as well, such as "I could not sleep without my dead," and "Cut me off this hand, so that I may sleep," or something like that.

Unfortunately, my memory does not work as well as it used to. This is not the fault of the books. I should really re-read them both in a more disciplined, systematic way, from beginning to end.

DWM
"It is when we try to grapple with another man's intimate need that we perceive how incomprehensible, wavering, and misty are the beings that share with us the sight of the stars and the warmth of the sun." -- Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim(1899?)
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Re: Phantastes by George MacDonald

Postby Kanakaberaka » 11 Oct 2009, 02:37

I read MacDonald's Lilith a number of years ago. I am not certain about whether of not the title character is supposed to be the same Lilith from Hebrew mythology or someone else. Does anyone here know more about her?
so it goes...
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Re: Phantastes by George MacDonald

Postby deadwhitemale » 12 Oct 2009, 04:57

Well, yes, I think she pretty much is -- but somewhat, subtly "re-imagined," as they like to say now. However, do not be deceived: she is by no means the heroine of the piece.

DWM
"It is when we try to grapple with another man's intimate need that we perceive how incomprehensible, wavering, and misty are the beings that share with us the sight of the stars and the warmth of the sun." -- Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim(1899?)
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