Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

I read this book when I was young, and there is a song in it that has lingered in my mind for years. It came to mind for some reason after I heard Playing Rapunzel sing last month, and I reread the book to find the song again...

"I've learned so many things from life that some were even true
My teachers all were passing wise and strange"

This is a book about growing up. An orphaned child is succoured by strangers, taught (what might as well be) magic by a master (who might as well be a) wizard, and launched on the Universe to practice his art. He falls in love, is bereaved and betrayed, seeks revenge, and discovers the universe is not as he had believed it to be. His art is spinning, at the highest level of mastery, the web that connects all the planets and starships of the civilised universe. The language of the book is rich, lush, clotted and allusive, reminiscent of work by Tanith Lee, or more recently M John Harrison (there is a particular passage where the hero travels through a spaceport and boards a starship that had me wondering whether Harrison had read this book, so strong were the similarities to the language and spaceport of Nova Swing). Knowledge is assumed; cultural references remain unexplained; names and costumes carry meanings that are better understood by the classically educated; and the tarot has power. I did not always understand what was happening, so indirect is some of the narrative, and I am still not sure what happened at the end. But I do understand that the new adult must leave childhood behind and go forth to his lifetime's work with all his old certainties stripped away.

It was a very strange reread for someone trying to work out whether the world works the way I think it does.

That's all.

(Don't know why the song on this website, but here it is: http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/newcomers-recovery/101609-life-while-being-out-there.html - is there anyone out there who might feel like setting it to music? I'd love to hear it sung)


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
7th Nov, 2008 12:00 (UTC)
M John H
7th Nov, 2008 12:22 (UTC)
Thank you - corrected.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Caroline M

Latest Month

October 2017