Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Cloudy again -- a little rain overnight. There are over a dozen Canadian Geese on the islands in Firehouse Pond, but no Goslings yet.

Funk Master Bernie Worrell at: Theater X-Net

Starring: Ida Rubinstein Belle Epoch Russian/Parisian beauty.
Read more about Ida in Sisters of Salome by Toni Bentley

Visit: Michael's Montana Web Archive
Theater, Art, Flash Gordon, Funky Music and MORE!
NEW! Spitfires of the Spaceways
Watch Dale Arden rescue Flash Gordon for a change!

Charity Alert: Keep that resolution in Springtime too! Click on The Hunger Site every day.

Sitemaster Sez: Italy wanted to see Natalia Kanounnikova, the ice skater. She was THERE, but that page contains a lot of previews of Spitfires of the Spaceways too.

Media Watch: Books today! I've been reading The Narnian: The Life And Imagination of C. S. Lewis by Alan Jacobs. I read a lot of Lewis during high school and college -- I was first impressed by his championing of Science Fiction before his death, then by his excellent Out of the Silent Planet, which I read when I was 16. He had a literary voice that was loud and clear, and an engaging personality that seemed to spring off the page. When I learned of his friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien, I sought out Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe, and was well paid by the experience. Through the prestige of Tolkien and Lewis I felt I had been "given permission" to explore children's books, fairy stories, and fantastic fiction -- my favorites were George MacDonald and William Morris, but there were other many others I enjoyed as well. I wasn't particularly fond of the rest of the Narnia series, but they led me to read the much superior efforts of E. Nesbitt.
Lewis' friend and fellow-Inkling, Charles Williams, wrote some dandy mystical thrillers -- Place of the Lion and All Hallow's Eve stand out for me. The latter book contains a further layer of interest, since a thinly-disguised Alistair Crowley shows up as the villian. Williams joined the Order of the Golden Dawn, and knew Crowley more than his Christian friends liked to admit.
C. S. Lewis' influence as a popular Christian apologist is still formidable today -- his expansive public character has outlived the real man two generations after his death, and his life is still controversial -- more so now, since almost everyone who knew him well is dead. (Christopher Tolkien was one of the Inklings after WWII, but he was at the meetings more as his father's friend than an intimate of Lewis.)
His literary executor, sad to say, claims more familiarity with the late Oxford don than is supported by facts, and has been accused of fraud by more than one scholar, but that is a whole other subject, and not part of Jacob's book. Neither are the upcoming Narnia movies.
Lewis' BEST novel is spiritual on one level, but very humanistic on another, as well as being a great fantastically heroic yarn -- Till We Have Faces; A Myth Retold, the ancient Cupid and Psyche story from the perspective of one of her sisters.

The Wedding of Psyche by late Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones -- not exactly C.S. Lewis' vision of the story (He set Till We Have Faces in Asia Minor sometime before the Hellenistic period), but a parallel take on this bleak tale of humans blighted by their contact with an all-to-real Divinity.

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