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Reading Maketh a Full Man...

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Currently reading

The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature (Canto)
C.S. Lewis
Boys and Girls Learn Differently!: A Guide for Teachers and Parents
Michael Gurian, Terry Trueman, Patricia Henley
Ambition and Survival: Becoming a Poet
Christian Wiman
Deep River: The Life and Music of Robert Shaw
Keith C. Burris
Daring, Trusting Spirit
John De Gruchy
The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church
John Thavis
The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia
Orlando Figes


Phantastes - George MacDonald I read this book first in 1984. I did not understand it. I thought I would read it again, and perhaps being a bit better educated I would understand it better. I think I need to read it again in about 20 years.I love C.S. Lewis. C.S. Lewis credits the writing of George MacDonald with converting his imagination, years before his intellect or conscience was similarly converted. Lewis considered MacDonald his master, and even writes him into his book, "The Great Divorce", as a wonderful teacher. So if Lewis liked MacDonald and thought so highly of him, I am eager to understand and think so as well.Unfortunately, I really don't understand the book! It is like a huge mystical set of fairy tales, with shadows and behind-the-scenes stories that must mean something... but unfortunately I don't know what!In brief, Anodos, the main character, is transformed from this world into the land of Fairy. He has adventures, trials, temptations, and battles in the land of Fairy. What any of these adventures mean is difficult to say, either as individual adventures, or as one big huge adventure. In the end, ***SPOILER ALERT**** Anodos dies in a battle. However, his death in the land of Fairy merely transforms him back into the real world. So he lives the rest of his life using what he learned (I wish I knew what that was?) in this life.One wonderful quotation that I've always loved is this.... "I knew now, that it is by loving, and not by being loved, that one can come nearest the soul of another, yes, that where two love, it is the loving of each other, and not the being beloved by each other, that originates and perfects and assures their blessedness. I knew that love gives to him that loveth, power over any soul beloved, even if that soul know him not, bringing him inwardly close to that spirit, a power that cannot be but for good, for in proportion as selfishness intrudes, the love ceases, and the power which springs therefrom dies. Yet all love will, one day, meet with its return. All true love will, one day, behold its own image in the eyes of the beloved, and be humbly glad."So, someone read the book please, and share your thoughts on it!