Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Worlds of wonders

Summer holiday to me equals long days and nights spent reading books - on a blanket on the grass, in a lawn chair, inside on the couch, and finishing in my bed in the middle of the night.

Being on holiday in the States has been no different, especially with all this unexpected rain we have had here in Georgia. Instead of visiting the library, 2nd and Charles has been our go-to for reading material. This amazing bookstore in Augusta sells mostly second hand books (and music, comics and more), and you can sell books back to them, so in the end, you can end up spending very little money at all.

If you have paid any attention to my reading list at all, you might have noticed a slight change in genre the past year or so. Since I started dating Mike, he has recommended a lot of fantasy and science fiction literature I wouldnt think of myself. I read The Lord of the Rings for the first time almost 15 years ago, and re-read it several times after that, but never really got more into that world, until now...

Elantris, Harry Potter, and The Name of the Wind are some of the books I have read this year. And what strikes me most with these stories is the amazing creativity of the authors. Not only are they coming up with a story line, they create whole worlds with peoples, languages, landscapes and cultures. There is mystery and magic, and many unexplainable things. But maybe this can make us realize the mysteries of the world we live in? Like Chesterton describes it in Orthodoxy:

“Fairy tales say that apples were golden only to refresh the forgotten moment 
when we found that they were green. 
They make rivers run with wine only to make us remember, 
for one wild moment, that they run with water.” 
― G.K. Chesterton

Why are green apples less impressive than gold? Running water, twinkling stars, and how trees bloom in the spring, isn´t it all sort of magic?  I sure don´t understand it all! The magical worlds of books and fairy tales may seem illogical, much in the same way as the Christian Gospel:

 “In the fairy tale, an incomprehensible happiness rests upon an incomprehensible condition. 
A box is opened and all evils fly out. 
A word is forgotten and cities perish. 
A lamp is lit and love flies away. 
An apple is eaten and the hope of God is gone.”
― G.K. Chesterton

Perhaps this, to a certain degree, can explain why fantasy fiction is so captivating. Because many of these epic stories in worlds of wonders, with heroes fighting evil, they echo God´s great story of redemption of mankind, and our hope of eternal life.  

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