Tuesday, 27 March 2007

On Elves and Bloggers

I have to begin by apologizing for my first post, since so many people honoured me by reading it thus utterly nullifying the intention behind such verbose unforgivably bad writing. I began within the vortex of mental rambling, and somehow, though intriguingly this manifested as an actual blog in the virtual world (something I have till now avoided for fear of embarrassing myself), I never made it out of the spiral. I was both moved and dismayed, therefore, to find evidence of the attention of no less than four people on my newly birthed comments page. No doubt this is all due to my associations with a certain Queen of Noteworthy Lestatness, but I was humbled all the same. Thanks to everyone and their glaringly unearned notes of welcome.

'The Perilous Realm', as many probably will know, is a phrase from J.R.R. Tolkien, a term used by him to designate the 'shadowy marches' of the 'faerie story'. Anyone who knows anything of high fantasy will not attempt to affect an alienation from that country; they know its winds and the strange sun that reveals the treacherous potential for witchcraft beneath the thoughts of the most mediocre personalities. They know its wonder and its striking capacity for the ordinary, for the factual and for truth, something else entirely. It is, simply put, the mental landscape of our best and worst, floating within the gossamer veils that keep humankind, whether in conflict or harmony, in intimacy. The only place where culture, our most revealing inner demon, walks naked and unshamed. It is where I spend most of my worthy unwaking moments.

Recently, I have had a dangerous merging of the two worlds, which led I suppose inevitably to the uneasy creation of this blog. I registered for a preparatory Masters degree in children's fantasy literature, presuming both that I could wield the funny sword in the strangely invincible realm of postmodern academia and that I was ready for it. Let this be a warning to those who get into closets, pass through looking-glasses or simply sail into the western seas on undying ships and take with them the wily weapons of Literary Theory 701: this world is not is not for the faint of imagination. Your grasp of the Romantic and capacity for the wonderful must be truly strong.

A couple of days ago blogs seemed to answer my present need for the unwinding of spiralling thoughts of fancy. On the contrary, it would seem that I have to make sense.

Sunday, 25 March 2007

A Reason to Begin

Talking about it, myth I mean, the intrusive and eloquent inexplicability occurs, the thought of vague eternity, like the shadow of the angel when his wings spanned the sky and the young man whose vision endured the sight composed the steps down the arid hillock that gave birth to a destiny of man.

Myth I mean. When you are twenty-two, your consciousness shaped, suffused and still grappling with the nature of stories, and yet nothing of those incandescent dreams secretes into the white emptiness of your legacy, it speaks like the angel's trial: Do it! What it is, what you must. That is, what you must do in order to fit yourself into this vast lyrical soul you have prepared for yourself. Or have I got it wrong? And it is the soul that must be fitted into the self that has been created?

Last year I suggested to my English lecturer the idea that myth is only a story of status, narrative matter for the arbitrary casting in capital letters. The Story of Hercules and his Twelve Labours. A Long Expected Party. The Day We Went To See Titanic. Now I perceive what I ought to have then, the difference between legend and myth. One is without need of a vital living self, while the other is self waiting eternally for lifelessness in order to live forever.

When I think of this it all seems extravagantly bound up with Profound Things, but I digress precisely for that reason. I do not stray out of the Perilous Realm when my life is in danger, only when the realm is. The realm is my webbed eye, gossamer iris veiling the window to 'reality', with which great fantasy writers have pursued truth, and found in my oppinion, only the vitality of self. The coherency of a culturally based construction of self. And from where I sit, this does not seem good enough for me. It makes of youth, my only grace at the moment, old age. It makes of creation, in my case, dreams. And dreams are Salem's ghosts outside the realm of faerie.