Ink and Fairydust Managing Editor Neri Preslin Submissions/Proofreading Editor Ellianna Mitchell
Assistant Editor Amanda Dominick Graphics Editor Shaylynn Rackers Column Editor Ciara Zaketti Proofreaders Megan Dominick, Marie Jeanette, Ciara Zaketti Contributers Neri Preslin, Ellianna Mitchell, Eulalia Hogers, Kevin Derby, Liliana, Allison DeWolf, Mirriam Neal, Michael Keats, Brianna Boyce, Courtney McCullough, Ciara Zaketti, Bethany McGean Cover Artwork Mary Sullivan Illustrators Mary MacArthur, Mary Sullivan, Shaylynn Rackers Photographers Emily Rounds, Elizabeth Hausladen, Neri Preslin, Shaylynn Rackers. Stock images: stock.exchng. and public domain photographs Graphics Assistant Mary Grace Dostalik Submissions Assistant Marie Jeanette ---
Questions and comments should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org Back issues and more information can be found at inkandfairydust.com All articles are the property of their respective owners and cannot be copied or redistributed in any way except for brief, properly cited citation. All photographs, artwork, and graphics are the properties of their respecitve artists and may not be reproduced without specific permission.
by Neri Preslin and Ellianna Mitchell
Odds and Ends The Great Secret Christ in Mythology by Eualia Hogers
On American Mythology by Kevin Derby
Dianthe by Liliana
by Allison DeWolf
Following the King by Kevin Derby
A Choice of Weapons by Miriam Neal
I&F Fiction Contest
4 5 6-7 10-11 12-13 14 15 16-17 18
MARCH/APRIL 2012 theme: mythology
19 Meet the Staff 20-21 Myth in Sports 24 I&F Book Review 25 I&F Movie Review 27 Dear Fairy Godmother 28-29 Iliad Parody 30-31 The Boy Who Lived 32-33 Till We Have Faces 34 A Lesson from Homer by Michael Keats
by Brianna Boyce
by Courtney McCullough
by Daisy Willofroste
MARCH/APRIL 2012 Ink and Fairydust is a free emag full of faith and creativity. It is run entirely by teens and young adults and is published bi-monthly. www.inkandfairydust.com
by Eulalia Hogers
by Ciara Zaketti
by Bethany McGean
by Kevin Derby
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Dear Ink and Fairydust Readers, Happy Easter! I can’t wait for you to dive into our mythology themed issue. Aside from amazing articles, we have incredible illustrations provided by our graphics staff. Shaylynn has once again outdone herself and I couldn’t be more pleased with the finished product. We have tons of exciting news packed into this issue. We’re announcing our first ever fiction competition(page 18) as well as the dates for this year’s Reginacon (page 9)!!! I can’t wait for you guys to see what’s in this issue. Happy reading! ~ Neri Preslin Managing Editor
Dearest Readers, To say that I am proud to present this issue to you isn’t putting it in strong enough terms. Whenever I sit down to write one of these notes, I am reminded of just how many people it takes to put something like this together. Our authors impress me with their creativity and intellect, while our illustrators and our graphic designer continue to blow me away with the beautiful designs they create. Every issue seems to be more gorgeous than the last—when I didn’t realize there was even room for improvement! My proofreading team works hard each issue, and I’m grateful for their help. With this issue, I’m also very pleased to introduce Marie Jeanette, my Submissions Assistant. Marie has been a loyal member of the proofreading team, as she will continue to be, and I’m excited to see what insights she will have for us. I’m confident that she will help Ink and Fairydust continue to grow. But of course, I&F would be nothing without our readers. Every time an issue is viewed, every new subscriber, and every note we receive from you helps encourage us to continue. Thank you. ~ Ellianna Mitchell
Submissions and Proofreading Editor
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THE GREAT SECRET
Christ IN MYTHOLOGY
Dragons, phoenix, centaurs, unicorns: myths abound with such wondrous creatures. Many of them are used as theological symbols, representing the hidden secrets of good and evil that surround us. by Eulalia Hogers
adly, much of literature and folklore tends to give more attention to the evil creatures, the haunting and terrifying images of dragons in the West, trolls in the North, and Medusa and the Minotaur in the south. There is a whole plethora though, of good and holy creatures, often forgotten, which help us understand the mysteries of God, and especially of Christ His Son. “Let us consider that wonderful sign [of the resurrection] which takes place in Eastern lands, that is, in Arabia and the countries round about. There is a certain bird which is called a phoenix.” First Epistle of Pope Clement The Phoenix, or the Firebird, originated in Asia, but was adopted by early Christians as one of their symbols. The story says that only one Phoenix exists in the entire world, and that every 500 years it builds itself a nest which becomes a pyre as the magical bird ignites and burns itself and the nest to ashes. But, when the old Phoenix has died, a new one is born from the ashes of its forefather. Because of the nature of its death and rebirth it was said to
represent the resurrection of Christ and of all mankind. The unicorn, a more wellknown creature, is also a holy symbol. It became a symbol of purity due to its legend, which said that the untamable beast would become as gentle as a lamb when it laid its head in the lap of a virgin, and to its spotless, white coat. It is also used, on a more theological level, to represent Christ. The Savior, though the mighty Son of God, strong as the wind and vast as the sea, became a meek infant when Incarnated in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Another story, best represented in a set of Medieval tapestries, is The Hunt of the Unicorn. Again, the unicorn is tamed by a virgin. In His meekness He is caught by a band of hunters, caged and killed, but then appears again, alive and well, beneath a pomegranate tree. The Hunt of the Unicorn is often thought to be Christ’s Passion and death, and the pomegranate tree, a symbol of fertility, could symbolize the new life we all have in Christ. “Myriad desires, hotter than fire or scald, fastened mine eyes upon the shining eyes, that from
the Gryphon never loosed their hold.” Purgatory, Canto XXXI The poet Dante Alighieri made use of another Christ figure of Mythology, the Gryphon. The Gryphon is a flying creature of medieval and classical literature with the body of a lion and the wings and head of an eagle. The eagle, that flying, soaring lord of the skies is meant to represent the divinity of Christ. While the lion (as we Narnia fans know) is the lord of the earth and represents Christ’s sacred humanity. The two together make a complete symbol of Christ’s two natures in one Divine person. Myths, like all stories, are a message of the deeper, more significant meanings in life. The creatures of myths show us the nature of the beings that belong to that strange but awesome world of the spiritual life beyond our limited human sight. Some are terrifying and evil, and warn us of the spiritual dangers that surround us. But some, like the Phoenix, Unicorn, and Gryphon explain the mysteries of our faith and the blessed nature of our Redeemer. 7
modern fairy tales novels for teens by Regina Doman
SHEALYNN’S FAERIE SHOPPE pictured: guitar string earrings
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REGINACON 2012 Ink and Fairydust began as a small newsletter run by the teens on the Fairy Tale Novels Forum-- the fan forum of Regina Doman and her modern fairytale book series. Every year, she coordinates a “Fairy Tale Fan Festival”-- called ReginaCon by her fans. It’s always a blast!
Hear ye! Hear ye! Mark your calendar, for the date of ReginaCon 2012 has been announced! Who: You! Where: Minooka, Illinois When: July 12-16th (Thursday-Sunday) What: Come meet Regina Doman, fellow fans of the Fairy Tale Novels and participate in skits, talent shows, a themed dance and more!
Details and registration forms can be found at
it must be conceded that all of them know where they are While Tolkien certainly wrote myths for England, he
reflecting on their lives there
did not necessarily write myths
drive the Hobbits through many
from England. Tolkien generally
of the perils they face.
rejected the Arthurian legends
Not surprisingly, some
and preferred to craft his own,
writers have attempted to mine
though he certainly drew from
American pre-history to create
other sources. A good deal of
mythological worlds. Most of
Middle Earth can be seen in the
them are not very successful.
Nordic and Germanic myths.
There a handful of exceptions
Despite being born in
from. Memories of the Shire and
of course. While his reputation
South Africa, Tolkien moved
is certainly on the decline and
to England and, when there,
his poems are unpopular with
maintained a sense of being
many English professors, Henry
home. Whatever one thinks of
Wadsworth Longfellowâ€™s The
the Hobbits in Middle Earth,
Song of Hiawatha continues to
evin by K
The superheroes are generally from American the U.S. In the very funny The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette have its followers. The epic poem
Break, Steven Sherrill sets the
even shows up in current fantasy
monster from Greek mythology
novels. British writer Michael
in a modern American setting.
Moorcock, of all people, even
There are certainly
included hints of The Song of
distinctive American voices
Hiawatha in his The Skrayling
in literature but even the best
Tree, which brought his iconic
characters, creations and
creation Elric to pre-Columbian
stories are not myths. Still,
while the U.S. may not have
There are other attempts
a King Arthur or a Hercules,
to create a fantasy mythology
there are somewhat distinctly
with a distinctly American flavor.
American mythical figures
For more than twenty years,
who appear on page and screen
W. Michael Gear and Kathleen
and even Broadway shows--
O’Neal Gear have written books
the superheroes. The likes of
on Native Americans which try
Superman and Batman are not as
to blend history with a touch of
well established as say Perseus
fantasy. Neil Gaiman, best known
or Odin but they have survived
for his work on comic books,
for more than a half a century
offered American Gods, where
and their popularity is as intact
old European gods take root in
settings. While Metropolis can’t be found on a map, Superman has roots deep in Kansas, the center of the American heartland--the place that produced Eisenhower and reminds us that there’s no place like home. Peter Parker grew up in Queens and New York has loomed large in the five decades of Spiderman comics. The superheroes try to protect society and inspire us. While nobody will confuse Aquaman or Captain America with El Cid or Sir Lancelot, the superheroes are--for the moment at least--one of the strongest mythological creations currently flourishing in America even as the likes of Paul Bunyon, Pecos Bill, John Henry and Hiawatha head to the sidelines.
Dianthe came into the world unkno wn, and Few kno w the tale of her birth. Her name means “Flo wer of the Gods.” No w, I will tell you the sto r y and ho w it came to be. Once,
when Hermes was guiding souls down to underworld, he looked down and saw at the edge of the river Styx, growing on the banks of the river of death, a pale purple flower that was struggling to burst into bloom. Though it seemed at the point of fading, Hermes saw great beauty in it and kissed the brave flower’s tender petals. Then, Hermes continued about his task and missed what came about next. The flower started to tremble and light began to seep though the petals. When it seemed it could hold no more, the bud burst into bloom and from the outspread blossom a figure stepped out. She was tall and lithe and opened her purple eyes to peek out from behind her short raven black hair. This was Dianthe. Dianthe was a goddess who was known for her wandering ways and devil-may-care attitude. She spent little time on Olympus with the other gods, and preferred to wander the earth and seek out humans with her favored traits to reward. A bit of a trickster and a gambler, Dianthe was the goddess of dreams, gambling, and illusions. Her form was that of a beautiful maiden who, due to her shortly cut hair, tall stature, and well-muscled figure, could sometimes masquerade as an exceedingly fair youth. She was fair of skin, with violet eyes that seemed to look right through you. For the first few years after her “birth,” she wandered throughout
by Liliana 12
illustrated by MarySullivan
the Mediterranean, walking from town to town, gambling, and having a good time. She stayed nowhere long and in each village she left there were tales of dreams that came true, streaks of luck at dice or cards, and of visions in the night. The gods noticed these strange events and Hermes was sent to find the cause. He took up the character of a wandering minstrel and followed the stories to catch up with the source. One night he came to a small village and went to the tavern. There he asked for room and board in exchange for his playing. Then Hermes entered the common room and began to play his flute, and all were amazed at his skill. But in the back of the room there was a group of people gathered around a table. After playing a few songs, Hermes went to see the cause of the gathering. At the center of table there was a dice game, with one of the players taking all comers and doubling most of the bets. The player was a beautiful woman with bright purple eyes and unusually short hair. She was dressed in a simple black tunic that was held by silver clasps and a belt. Her only weapon was a small knife clipped to her belt. Sitting down, Hermes joined in the gambling, slowly but steadily advancing his wagers until it was only him and the woman dicing for a large pile of gold and silver pieces. The rolls began to match each other and neither could win. At last, when Hermes was tossing the dice one more time, he seemed to see a snake crawl down his hand and his throw went off. It was snake eyes. He had lost. The snake had disappeared and the woman collected her winnings and got up
to leave. Hermes was convinced this was whom he sought. He followed her into the street, caught up to her, and said, “You have good luck, stranger, may I ask whence you come?” “You may, but I can give you no answer. I know neither from where myself, nor my luck, come.” “Have you thought of traveling to the Oracle at Delphi to find the answers?” “Indeed I have, and that is where I am bound, but travel is slow and dicing keeps me well enough.” “What if I said I could take you there this very night?” “I would call your bluff, for only a god could do as such, and ask what price you ask for this service?” “No price and it is no bluff. Do you trust me?” “Only a fool trusts everyone, but only a fool trusts no one, so we are all fools if we live long enough. Take me there, then, stranger. What is life without a gamble?” So taking her hand he put on his winged sandals and took her to the Oracle, while the whole time the woman did not so much as flicker an eyelash. At last standing in front of the Oracle, she placed her question, and the answer was not what she expected. “It is not often gods come before me seeking the answers, but a daughter and father is not so infrequent. You are Dianthe. You are the daughter of Hermes, born of a flower.” Puzzlement showed in Dianthe’s face, and Hermes was
amazed. Dianthe turned to Hermes and with a bemused look said, “A god I called you to be, but my father? What make you of this? For the Oracle cannot lie and that being so, it seems you know more of me than I do.” Hermes had remembered the flower as the Oracle spoke and began to explain what he could surmise to his daughter. She took it all with thoughtfulness in her eyes, and when he had finished mused, “Am I to join the gods then? Strange as it seems, I do not wish to. Man entertains me and his simple ways I enjoy. I wish to stay with him and see what comes of him and his foolish ways. One day maybe you will see me walking up to Olympus and when that day comes, pour the wine and ready your dicing cups and perhaps I will join you among the clouds.” Then she left and continued her rambling, but on occasion she did, indeed, visit Olympus to dice with the gods. 13
flavors auce cream s d n a s r e pepp with bell photographed and devoured by Leah Machado
As spring and summer arrive, lighter meals are in order! I made this recipe with some friends recently and it disappeared very quickly. It’s easily modifiable- add other fresh veggies or cheeses if you’d like! I also think it would be excellent with small pieces of chicken or sausage. When making pastas, the kind of pasta you use is key. Because this is a hearty cream sauce, I wanted to use a pasta that would hold the sauce and flavor inside. You don’t have to use rigatoni, you could also use penne, elbow macaroni, or even bow tie pasta. I’d like to stress the importance of reading through the entire recipe before beginning to cook…. in this recipe, you’ll need to multitaskmaking a roux and chopping peppers- or else your sauce will get too thick! Or, you can do what I did, and have a friend help you. That’s more fun, anyway! 14
2 bell peppers, sliced 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 2 T butter 1 T flour 1/2 cup milk 1 pound rigatoni (or other pasta) 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese grated parmesan cheese 4 T chopped fresh basil salt and pepper Boil water and add rigatoni. Cook to al dente (approximately 7-10 minutes), or until firm but tender. Drain Melt butter in a pot and add garlic. Make a roux by adding flour a tiny bit at a time and stirring until fully incorporated. (You may need more or less flour) When butter and flour are bound together, slowly add milk little by little, again until fully incorporated. Let mixture simmer and thicken slightly. Sprinkle grated parmesan to taste (I like about ½ cup, but it’s totally personal preference). Salt and pepper to taste. Meanwhile, cover the bottom of a sauté pan with water and add sliced peppers. Let them cook until they are tender. Add to cheese sauce. Cube fresh mozzarella and add to sauce and peppers. Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melty. Pour over pasta, add basil, and toss gently to coat. Serve with warm bread.
book reviews by Kevin Derby
Speculative fiction writers, whether they dabble in fantasy or sci-fi, are supposed to be original and creative. They must offer readers unique worlds as well as fascinating characters and exciting plots. However, few genres have as many writers who stick to hackneyed ideas and cliches as fantasy does. The author of the Fire From Heaven trilogy--Dr. Russell Kirkpatrick, with a PhD in Geography--is able to escape that to some extent as he is a much better creator of worlds and landscapes than most writers in the genre. Kirkpatrick’s skill is even reminiscent of Frank Herbert, who used his background as a reporter covering the ecology beat to shape the classic Dune science fiction series. But as helpful as Kirkpatrick’s background is in shaping worlds, it only goes so far to redeem Across the Face of the World which is the first volume of the trilogy. The chief problem with Across the Face of the World is Kirkpatrick is telling us a tale we have heard several times before. An unlikely group of heroes takes on a dark lord in his tower who
is the personification of evil and has re-awoken after centuries. If this sounds familiar, it’s for the simple reason that J.R.R. Tolkien and legions of fantasy writers have been using the same plot for more than a half a decade. Even worse, Kirkpatrick offers little in the way of character development and the lead, who is supposed to be the hero of the saga, is not a very strong or compelling character. Despite these severe flaws, the book was not a total failure. Kirkpatrick is excellent in creating a new world, shaping its boundaries, features and distances. This skill in creating a new world redeems the book to some extent. Kirkpatrick’s academic background leads to some of the strongest and most memorable parts of the book. There are some excellent maps included and the book, unlike too many fantasy stories, shows that not all cultures are the same. There is a temptation to dismiss Kirkpatrick and simply note that he is more concerned with shaping a world instead of creating characters and telling a story. It may be telling that, in an interview at the end of Across the
Face of the World, Kirkpatrick admits that he enjoys sci-fi books more than fantasy. There are some strong Christian motifs and it not surprising to see Kirkpatrick, in the same interview, praise the works of C. S. Lewis. Kirkpatrick is a solid enough craftsman of sentences and assembled an interesting and detailed world. As a geographer and an anthropologist, Kirkpatrick has few equals among fantasy writers. But plot and characters matter--and it is where Across the Face of the World is sorely lacking. If he could come up with an interesting plot and developed characters, Kirkpatrick has the makings of an excellent fantasy novelist. There is enough potential here to contemplate picking up the second book in the trilogy--but not enough to make this book a must read. 15
by Mirriam Neal
Part One: A Choice of Weapons
If you are writing a fantasy story, then you know the importance of weapons. They are absolutely essential. And they’re essential not simply because they provide a character with a way of defending themselves, but because the weapon a character has shows a great deal about his character. “The pointy end goes in the other man!” The sword has been a fantasy staple since the genre began. In our minds, a sword conjures up visions of epic battles between good and evil. They can be ornamental (jewels and prophecies for a hero, or perhaps a skull and dark symbols for a villain). A hero might wield a hand-and-a-half sword, one that can be used with one hand or both. It isn’t too heavy or too long, but still looks impressive. Yes, the hand-and-a-half sword is my favorite. However, say you have a hulking fellow; perhaps a Viking or an ogre. They would probably wield something a bit heftier, like a broadsword. Huge, crushing, and powerful – perfect for someone who relies on brute strength. And then, there’s the short sword. You wouldn’t see Frodo walking around MiddleEarth with the aforementioned 16
broadsword; he wouldn’t be able to lift it, much less wield it in battle! The short sword is perfect for someone small, who will be fighting in close quarters. But we’re not done yet; let’s not forget the rapier! Say you have a dashing character; someone who fights with a little flare, a little pizzazz. It could be either a man or a woman; but the rapier signifies elegance, cunning, and a razorsharp wit. “Did you just call me a liar?” Sometimes, there’s simply no room for a sharp weapon. One of my characters, Thalion, tends to get himself into tavern brawls. (He’ll say the other guy started it, but witnesses will tell differently.) When someone insults you, cheats you in a game, or maybe spills something on your shirt, you don’t pull out a sword and demand a duel. You jump up, throw something, and tackle the guy with your fists. In brawls, almost anything can be turned into a weapon. Chairs fly and smash against walls. Ale is something to throw in an opponent’s eyes, and the jug that carried it is perfect for smashing over someone’s head. Of course, brawling won’t work for every character. A character who gets himself into fistfights
has to have some substance to him. You won’t see a child or a lady getting themselves into a battle that requires greater strength. You also won’t see a well-behaved character getting into such a fight – at least, not by choice. “…And you have my bow.” Bows are very popular fantasy weapons, and it’s easy to see why. They have the ability to look ‘cool’ while still maintain a very medieval feel to them. Often, characters who wield bows are somewhat aloof – after all, their personality matches the weapon. Bows come in many wide varieties and are very diverse. Longbows, recurve bows, crossbows, compound bows – there are all sorts of possibilities. Bows tend to be graceful weapons, however, which is probably why they’re wielded by elves in many stories. They are excellent for someone who a.) doesn’t have the bulk to wield a sword, mace, etc. b.) doesn’t like to get in the thick of things or c.) has very keen eyes. (See? Perfect for elves.) “How did you do that?” “I aimed for the middle.”
Knives are just awesome; there’s no other way to put it. And there is absolutely no limit to the styles available. Daggers (for crafty, sneaky people). Bowies (for backwoods-types). Gutters (for hunters and trackers). And my personal favorite, throwing knives; for those really over-thetop-cool types. Think Trystam from “King Arthur.” A knife can enhance a person’s cool factor to the nth level. But a bulky character would be less likely to use them than, say, a woman or a scout/tracker-type. Knives are also perfect weapons for assassins, as they can be used for stabbing in close quarters, or throwing from farther away. “Give me a row of orc-necks and room to swing!” Sometimes, ya gotta do away with delicate weapons. There are some characters who like to fight, and they’ll want something effective and not too delicate. So what do you do? Hand them an ax! But now, you have to think: what kind of ax will
you give them? For Gimli, it’s a battle-axe and nothing else. The mess he leaves in his wake isn’t pretty, but it’s definitely effective. But take Will Scarlet, for example. He’s a carpenter, therefore he uses a hatchet. It’s a little neater and in keeping with both his character and his occupation. But axes aren’t the only weapon good for characters like this: pickaxes, warhammers, and maces also work well for those who want to get in the thick of it. “Is this all ya got?” I’ve barely scratched the surface on weapons. There are so many more kinds out there, I can’t even begin to tell you, though I’ll try. Shurikens, a.k.a. throwing stars, are perfect for sneaky and deadly attacks. Nunchuks, for someone skilled in martial arts. Mace and chain for a particularly nasty bite. Poison, for people who don’t like to get bloody. Darts, spears, perhaps even guns (rifles, pistols, tiny little up-the-sleeve guns, machine guns, you name
it) if your fantasy is urban or Steampunk. Don’t like anything in the arsenal above? Use your imagination! One of my characters, Eristor, is an elf – but he would probably sneer at Legolas and call him a name or two. Bitter, scarred, sarcastic and a little bloodthirsty to begin with, his weapons are something I invented called ‘kelehb sticks.’ He wears two of them crosswise on his back. They’re about two and a half feet long, and each end is decorated with a double-sided blade. They’re perfect for throwing, spinning, close-combat, you name it – and he guards them with an ever-watchful eye. (Don’t try and steal them, borrow them, or even touch them without his permission if you like being alive. Believe me, I know.) The weapon your character chooses to have says worlds about them, so be wise when picking. Don’t simply choose something for them, let them choose; let them tell you what they want. Trust me. They’ll know.
FICTION CONTEST SHORT STORY / ART / POETRY
ANNOUNCING THE FIRST INK AND FAIRYDUST FICTION COMPETITION!
TO ENTER 1) Be a subscriber
(email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our list)
Have you ever wanted to have a poem, short comic, or short story published?
2) Email your piece to
Now’s your chance!
your preferred method of contact, the name you wish to appear under the title of your work, and a short bio.
We are accepting submissions in all three categories!
FINAL DEADLINE: JULY 31, 2012
subject line: Fiction Competition
Short stories must include in some way the Christmas carol “Ding Dong Merrily on High.” Be creative! Short stories: 2.400 words or less. / Comics: one 8.5 X 11 page or less. / Poetry: 1,200 words or less. Age range: teen to young adult (around 13-25) First place winners in each category will have their entry published in a special Nov/Dec 2012 issue of Ink and Fairydust. 2nd and 3rd place winners will recieve a special mention.
Submissions will be judged by three of our authors and illustrators. I&F witholds the rights to all first prize works until the release of the Nov/Dec issue in which they will be published. You may submit once per category. You are only eligible to win in one category.
Spread the word! Email your friends and family to let them know about the I&F Fiction Competition!
Meet a Member of the I&F Staff: Amanda Dominick Assistant Editor
What are three things everyone should know about you? 1. I am Catholic and I mean it. 2. I am secretly a Time Lady who has lost her TARDIS 3. I am introverted, not shy or incapable of socializing. There is a difference!
interviewed by Neri Preslin
What are the last five books you’ve read?
Quick! Your life depends on finding a pointless youtube video. Your first thought is...
Mokingjay, Love in Time of Cholera, The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, and The Well of Lost Plots
“They’re taking the Hobbits to Isengard!”
If you could meet any famous person alive today who would it be?
What’s your favorite saying?
( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE-1RPDqJAY )
Pope Benedict XVI... and then I think Benedict Cumberbatch and Matt Smith
“It’s a job never started that takes the longest to finish” and, “________ (bowties/fez/stetsons) are cool.”
What are your current obsessions?
Give us a quick bio of yourself!
Doctor Who and Sherlock
I have a number of interests... the first among these is talking with my very own Prince Charming! After that, I enjoy reading and have ever since I could first figure out what those strange characters on pieces of paper meant. I also enjoy web design, graphic arts and writing - both creative, poetic and non-fiction. (Yes, I am one of those bizarre creatures who actually got enjoyment out of writing papers for school). I also enjoy photography; my favorite subjects are my boyfriend when he’s not paying attention, and my siblings when we dress up and do photoshoots.
What movie are you most looking forward to in 2012? The Hunger Games Do you believe the world is actually going to end this year? Nope. The Mayans were actually counting down to “The Hobbit”, being released in December. Its 11:11-- what’s your wish? That travel through time and space were possible.
Check out Amanda’s tumblr at: http://amandabethrose.tumblr.com/
Myths in Sports
by Michael Keats 20
It’s hard to place myths in a modern setting. For myths and legends to be accepted and to last, there has to be a sense that men
timers maintained that Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell were even better. With the apparent help of chemical
and women were greater a long time ago. We
substances, Barry Bonds shattered Hank Aaron’s
see it in American politics, where we all now
career home run record. With all of his legal
vote for the lesser of two evils, while honoring
problems, he will have a hard time making the
the politicians of the past with monuments and
Baseball Hall of Fame. Bonds certainly will
memorials on the Washington Mall. We even
not be as remembered as fondly as the legends
see it in music, as most people agree that the
and myths of the game like Willie Mays, Joe
current singers and musicians are not as great
DiMaggio, Babe Ruth, and Lou Gehrig.
as the Beatles, Elvis, or Sinatra, who, in turn,
Few sports in America have suffered the
were not as great as the likes of Beethoven and
declines in popularity of boxing. Very few people
can name the Eastern Europeans who currently
We certainly see that in sports. Every
share of the world heavyweight title. The champs
great athlete is compared to the legends of
certainly are not as legendary as Mike Tyson
the past and usually found lacking. Before
was--and Tyson was not as mythical as the likes
his personal life came unraveled and before
of Mohammed Ali, Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis,
he suffered a major injury, Tiger Woods was
Jack Dempsey and Jack Johnson.
the rare contemporary athlete who could
Even football, clearly the most popular
conceivably have been seen as the greatest his
sport, suffers from the same problem. As great as
sport has ever seen. Now he will have a hard
Tom Brady and Drew Brees are, they are not the
time catching up to Jack Nicklaus to win the
legends that Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw and
most major championships ever.
Johnny Unitas were.
Woods at least came close. I can’t say that about most of the best athletes of our times. Kobe Bryan and LeBron James are
That’s part of the mystique of legends. Men were always greater “back in the day”. They performed legendary accomplishments back in
both very talented. Neither of them are as great
their day. We may have legends among us--but
as Michael Jordan was. Even Jordan had his
it will take decades and maybe even centuries to
detractors who kept insisting Larry Bird and
Magic Johnson were better. Some of the old 21
Abandon by Meg Cabot reviewed by Brianna Boyce What does it mean to be truly dead? This seems to be the question that novelist Meg Cabot is trying to answer in Abandon, a thrilling cross between classical Greek mythology and a contemporary story of young love, and the first book in a new trilogy. All 17-year-old Pierce wants is to return to normal after her “near death experience,” but normal is hard to achieve when someone is trying to get you as far away from that as possible. Pierce’s life of late has been filled with hardships. She just barely survived death, went through huge problems at her old school, and her parents recently divorced. After the divorce she agreed to move with her mom to a small island off the coast of Florida, where she encounters John Hayden: A guy she’s not entirely sure she wants to see, but can’t necessarily keep away from. After all, it is rather hard to forget a guy you met in the underworld. Pierce tries hard to start over. In her new school she desperately tries to fit in but quickly realizes that this is easier said than done. Pierce is placed with the dreaded “D-Wingers;” a section of the school specifically designed for students with severe issues. In Pierce’s case this happens to be anger management. Right off this puts her at a disadvantage. It’s bad enough being the new girl already classified as one of the “freaks,” but on top of that the boy she met while dead absolutely refuses to leave her alone. Pierce originally met John as a little girl at a funeral. Ever since then he’s been watching her, protecting her, though she is oblivious of this until much later in the book. As the plot unfolds, it delves 22
deeper into the mystery of the underworld, its keeper, and death itself. At the end you’re left wondering about these things, as well at what will happen next with Pierce and John. The contemporary take on the classic Persephone myth is truly wonderful. It goes beyond most modern retellings of classics, and brings the story to the reader on a more personal scale. This first book in a new series brings the reader to an understanding of what it may have been like for Persephone in her myth with Hades. At the close of it all you can’t help but wonder what the fates have in store for this seemingly star-crossed couple. This deviation from Cabot’s previous novels is interesting indeed. The darker plot twist is a different path from other books she has written, such as The Princess Diaries and Airhead. While those novels seem to have a bit more of lighter attitude, Abandon appears to have a more serious tone. Cabot also seems to be deterring from her normal main character acting as the nerdy, smart girl that everyone hates, to a beautiful, used-to-be popular, rich girl gone off the deep end. Meg Cabot has really done an excellent job in her portrayal of the characters and of the myth itself. The book, while a little predictable in certain areas, is nonetheless an extraordinary work of fiction. All in all, Abandon is a novel that will leave you begging for more.
Thor reviewed by Courtney McCullough I personally have never been a huge fan of the superheroes stuff, and one of the worst superheroes ever is the big blond idiot known as Thor. I love Norse Mythology, but the superhero character is only loosely based on the god of thunder from all the old stories, and is continually screaming weird things like “For Odin!” or “I am the god of thunder!” while he swings his ridiculous hammer in the cartoon versions. When the 2011 movie came out, I thought “Yeah, that’s like at the bottom of my list of movies to see.” But I have brothers who were bound to watch it someday, and a few friends said it wasn’t that bad, so I decided to give it a chance. I was very skeptical going into it, but was pleasantly surprised by how much actual Norse Mythology was included in the story line. The movie begins with a war between the Asgardian warriors and the Frost Giants of Jotunheim. Jotunheim is one of the nine worlds in Norse cosmology myths, connected by the world tree, Yggdrasill. Odin, the king of Asgard, defeats the Frost Giants and takes their source of power, the Casket of Ancient Winters. This artifact doesn’t show up in Norse Mythology. The film then skips forward several years to the coronation of Thor, Odin’s first-born son. The ceremony is interrupted when the Frost Giants, who’ve been mysteriously quiet for the time in between, show up and try to retrieve the Casket. They fail to regain possession of it, but Thor is angered by their attempt and decides to confront the Frost Giants with a few friends of his; the Warriors Three and Lady Sif. Sif is somewhat based on the Norse goddess of fertility, harvest, etc. who is the wife of Thor in Mythology. In the movie she is represented more as a tomboy friend of Thor’s and doesn’t have any real romantic interest in him or anything. The Warriors Three, Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg, are also gods in the old Norse Myths, but play very different roles in Marvel’s version of things. Thor’s brother, Loki (a well-known character
in mythology as the god of mischief), also tags along. The six of them manage to re-start the war between the two realms, and Odin is greatly angered by his son’s reckless actions. He strips Thor of his godly powers and banishes him to Midgard, or Earth, another of the nine realms. Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, is sent to Earth with him, but is enchanted so that only the worthy can wield it. Mjolnir is a classic weapon carried by Thor in Norse Mythology, and was supposedly made in a contest between Loki and Svartalfar Sindri to see who could make the most magnificent things for gods and goddesses of Asgard. Thor tries to get his hammer back, but can’t lift it as he hasn’t done anything to make him worthy of it yet, so he resigns himself to exile as a mortal on earth, and starts to fall in love with Jane Foster, an astrophysicist who finds him and tries to help him. Meanwhile in Asgard, Loki discovers that he is really the son of the king of the Frost Giants, Laufey. In the Norse Myths, Loki is the son of Laufey and Farbauti, but the part where Odin ‘adopts’ him is just used in the Marvel comics stuff. Odin falls into a deep sleep from all the stress, and Loki becomes king. He offers Laufey a chance to kill Odin and retrieve the Casket of Ancient Winters, and sends a huge automaton to pursue Thor’s friends when they travel to earth, trying to find Thor and get him from exile so he can do something about the situation at home. After watching the movie, I looked up a lot of my favorite Norse Myths, and though there were tons of differences in the film version of things, there were also an unexpected amount of similarities. Overall, I didn’t totally regret seeing it.
a greek myth retold by Megan Dominick
“Pandora was modeled by Hephaestus in the likeness of Aphrodite. He carved her out of a block of white marble, made her lips of red rubies, and her eyes of sparkling sapphires. Athena breathed life into her and dressed her in elegant garments. Aphrodite decked her with jewels and fixed her red mouth in a winning smile. Into the mind of this beautiful creature, Zeus put insatiable curiosity, and then he gave her a sealed jar and warned her never to open it.” A long time ago in a land far away, there lived a man named Hephaestus and his wife Aphrodite. They lived near the smithy where Hephaestus worked. One day Zeus, who was the head of the land where Hephaestus and Aphrodite lived, gave their beautiful daughter, the curious Pandora, in marriage to a man named Epimetheus. Epimetheus lived in a different land than Pandora and her parents, but that land was ruled by Zeus as well. Epimetheus brought Pandora to his house where they lived together. In that house there was a closet where it wasn’t supposed to be, and Zeus told her to never open the closet. Though she had many people come to see her, Pandora could not help but wonder what could be in the closet. One day her curiosity got the better of her, and she opened the closet door to have a peek at what was in there. When she opened the door, Scolding, Slander, Vanity, Greed, Lies, Fibs, Deceit, Despair, Accusation, Envy, Distrust, Old Age, Gossip, Scheming, and Drudgery, which were known as the miseries, pushed past her and went out of her house and into the world. Shutting the door again, just in time to keep Hope in the closet, Pandora was horrified at what she had caused. After Pandora realized what she had done, she went to a window and saw all the miseries hitting and biting the people, making them hurt others as well. People started being wicked instead 24
of being good. Seeing the wickedness that had come into the land, Zeus decided that all who lived in that land needed to be killed, so he drowned them in a large flood. But only one man, named Deucalion, who lived in the land, was still good. Deucalion’s father, Prometheus, had displeased Zeus, and he was kept in chains in the mountains. Deucalion often visited Prometheus in the mountains. Prometheus could see the future, and he saw the flood that was coming. He instructed his son on what to do. Prometheus told Deucalion to build an ark, and after it was finished, Deucalion boarded it with his wife, Pyrrha. When they were safely on board the ark, it started raining very hard for several days. On the last day the rain stopped, and the water slowly started to dry up. After the water had completely dried, Deucalion and Pyrrha walked about, looking at the land. As they walked, they came upon a temple. When they entered, they offered a prayer of thanks for their lives being spared. Since Zeus was in charge of the land he felt sorry for them and he told them how to make a new race of people: throw rocks. Once they had done that, a new race of people appeared. The new set of people were able to stand against the miseries that had stayed safe during the flood, that Pandora had, in her curiosity, let out of the closet.
Sit back for a moment and think of everything you know about Arthurian legends. Unless you’re unusually well versed in them, you’re probably thinking of the most famous names, like Lancelot, Gawain, or Percival, and know a few stories to go with each. Yet there’s one name that almost everyone knows: Arthur’s queen, Guinevere. She has only one common story, and it’s a story she isn’t even the main protagonist of; Sir Lancelot is. In fact, the more you look for her in the legends, the more Persia Woolley’s conclusion seems to be spot on: In Arthurian lore, Guinevere is at best an enigma and at worst a two-dimensional scapegoat. Woolley claims it was her reason for choosing Guinevere as her subject, rather than the usual Merlin or Arthur. The book starts at what could be safely considered lore’s most uncharted spot, Guinevere’s childhood, and extends to shortly after her marriage to Arthur. As the story watches Guinevere mature from a rowdy nine-year-old girl to the polished young woman of sixteen, it constantly lends itself to foreshadowing. Everything from her odd interest in Helen of Troy to the fact that her parents were eloped lovers points to her eventual downfall. Yet this Guinevere isn’t going to be the fated scapegoat of lore. This Guinevere is certainly impetuous, but at the same time she’s intelligent and level headed. Actually, the personality Woolley develops for the heroine is well suited for the one she gives Arthur. It’s not a perfect match, but it is close enough to make you wonder why a marriage between the two of them wouldn’t work. Woolley makes this case further by even shrinking down their age gap, from what could be in some legends as much as fifteen years down to a measly three. Child of the Northern Spring is the first book of a trilogy, and it will be interesting to see how
Woolley will orchestrate that breaking of their relationship plausibly in the next two books, Queen of the Summer Stars and Guinevere: The Legend in Autumn. The one thing that really sets Child of the Northern Spring apart from most other Arthurian literature, though, is that it’s historical fiction. It’s one of the book’s strongest points, as the author shows off her research of the time period and pieces together what could in the original legends be very confusing familial relations into a neat political network. Yet, at the same time, the ‘historical-fiction’ aspect is one of the more troublesome parts of the book, for the simple reason that the original mythology relies heavily on magic. Woolley attempts to solve this problem by appealing to Druidism, but unfortunately that only makes it worse. One could perhaps ignore it, except that much of the book toys with the tension between pagans and Christians; and because the book is told from Guinevere’s perspective, herself a pagan, it leans on the Druid’s side. Woolley tries to be neutral, and Guinevere’s prejudices against Christians are all very natural for a pagan to have, but when the author begins preaching mutual religious acceptance, one has to wonder if her intentions aren’t so much basic Christian charity as they are moral relativism. However, the story is only a third of the way through, and it will be curious to see what happens when the tables turn and undeniably Christian magical happenings, like the Holy Grail, occur. There is an intense kiss scene and a few references (most of them within marriage) that, depending on maturity, younger readers should be wary of. Also, there’s love scene toward the end of the story (again, between a married couple) that can, and probably should, be skipped altogether. 25
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Dear Fairy Godmother By Daisy Willofroste
Dear Fairy Godmother,
Dear Fairy Godmother, I’ve been talking to a young man through different social networks and chat—and I know he’s who he says he is. Every time we talk he either makes me laugh like crazy or think deeply about important issues like theology. We talk sometimes for hours, and I love every minute of it. And while he’s first and foremost a friend, I fall in love with him more with each conversation. Sometimes I think he’s interested in me too and would like to meet me, and other times I feel like he sees me as just an “internet friend.” I desperately don’t want our friendship to be ruined…at the same time I don’t know how long I can handle this emotional roller coaster. I need help so very much! Signed, Hopeless Maiden in Love
Dear Maiden, Ah, love. What a glorious, confusing, and frustrating feeling. Two things about your note make me cautious. First, he has not been straightforward about his feelings. If he is interested in you, mature and ready for a relationship, and is the kind of man you deserve, he won’t leave you wondering about his feelings. Second, you have not interacted with him in person. People aren’t the same online, even if it’s unintentional. Although his character traits may come through in both places, his personality off the screen could be very different than what you’re witnessing on it. Step back. If you need to, take a day or two away from him. Spend the time you would have spent talking to him, praying. God knows our hearts better than anyone, and He’s just waiting for us to seek His help. It sounds like you are close to him. If after time away you still feel you want to meet, mention it to him. Find a day when you and some (perhaps mutual) friends can meet. Take it slowly. If more is meant to happen, it will— in time.
I’m lonely. I have a big family, but there aren’t any girls my age in my neighborhood, so I don’t see my friends very often. Even just one or two people to spend time with would help. Sometimes I think my books are my best friends! What advice can you give me? What advice can you give me?
Lonely Lover of Books
Dear Lonely, From your letter I gather your friends are quite far from you—or at least far enough to make it difficult to see them. I know that has to be hard for you, and I am sorry. As wonderful as books are, we know they are no replacement for friends. For one thing, they just ignore you when you try to talk to them. How rude! Siblings make wonderful playmates. My brother is my best friend—and not only because saying so saves other friends from that awkward moment of ‘sorry, I like [different friend] better than you.’ (Though that is a perk!) He’s been through everything with me, and vice versa. Your siblings have, too, so in your quest to find new faces, take some time with them as well. Still, everyone needs time with their own friends sometimes. When it isn’t possible to see those friends, perhaps it’s time to make new ones. I’m not an advocate of replacing friends, but it’s always good to add to the number. Are there clubs in the area you could join? People at church you haven’t yet spoken to? Neighbors you don’t know yet? Don’t be afraid to befriend people older or younger than you; sometimes they make the greatest friends.
Fairy Godmother is here to help!
Email your questions to email@example.com 27
a classic piece of literature translated into a hip, modern, English by Eulalia Hogers.
A long time ago in an era far far far away from the Christian one....
city after me.
Achilles: You’ll regret this!
Trojans: We’ve been had!
Random Greek Person: Where am I? Who am I? What am I doing here?
Agamemnon: NEVER! (To self) This is probably a REALLY bad idea, but my kingly nature will not permit me to back down!
Thetis proceeds to Mount Olympus
Homer: The story is in In Media Res*. You’ll have to catch up as you go along. In short: You are in Troy, here to kill Trojans. Your name is insignificant but may show up on Literature exam somewhere in the 21st century. Random Greek Person: Neat! I can do this!
Zeus: You must go attack the Trojans noooww.
Odysseus: Does this mean it’s my turn to be the hero? Homer: Not yet....
Random Greek Person: Great, its the battlefield!
Random Greek Person: So why is everybody fighting each other? Patroklos: That’s the Greeks for you. Priest Person: Give me back my daughter or face the wrath of Apollo! Agamemnon: EEEEEEK!!! Take her then! I’ll just nab a new girl from one of my soldiers... Aggie steals Brysies from Achilles Achilles: Give me back my girl!
Patroklos: No, its camp.
Achilles: Fine! Then I’m going to quit and go sulk in my tent until you come groveling to me!
Thetis: Agamemnon insulted my son! Make him suuufferrr!
Achilles: That mean King hurt my feelings, mom! Thetis: My poor baby! High on a mountain... gods: Even though we are all gods and most of us are related, we all chose different sides. Athena: I’m with the Greeks. Troy: But you’re supposed to be my protector!!!! Athena: Yeah, but my wicked stepsister is on your side. Besides, the Greeks named their capital
Sleeping Agamemnon: I... must... go... attack the Trojans... now. Awake Agamemnon: We’re going to go attack the Trojans now even though they are well prepared and we are tired and this is probably just about the worst thing we could do right now, because my dream said so! Achilles: I won’t be there! Odysseus: I’ll be the super, heroic guy! Diomedes: Nope, I will. Odysseus: Hrm. Agamemnon: Arm the ships! Epically huge catalogue of ships.... Random Greek Person: That...
Hektor: Die Achilles! *stabs Patroklos*
Epic battle #1 ensues...
Patroklos: Wait! I think you are slightly confused! *dies*
Agamemnon: That was ok, but it would be nice if Achilles came back... Odysseus: We’ll bring him some presents to make him feel better.
Odysseus: Can I pleeease save the day?!?! Homer: No Odysseus: grrr.....
Sulking Achilles: I like the presents, but I still won’t fight. Odysseus: Ok, Diomedes and I will go do some ninja, nighttime, stealth fighting.
Greek camp... Achilles: My best friend is dead! I must avenge him! I must fight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Agamemnon: Finally!
Epic battle #2 ensues... Agamemnon: We are seriously losing and the gods won’t leave us alone! gods: Currently, we are actually under orders from Dad not to interfere. Just wait till he lifts the ban, then it will get interesting. Patroklos: Well, I’d love to stay and sulk with you old pal, but I’d rather go fight... Sulking Achilles: Ok, just don’t steal my thunder. Patroklos: Can I borrow your armor? Achilles: Sure. Epic battle #3 ensues...
Thetis: My son, there is a prophecy that you will die if you kill Hektor. Homer: That’s what makes it a tragedy.
WAHAHA! *dies* Achilles: Yeah, mom said something about that.
Greek Camp... Ghost of Patroklos: Will you please bury me now? Priam: Can I have my son’s body? Achilles: Yes, and yes. Odysseus: Great, a happy ending! Now, I have a plan! It involves a horse! We’ll use it to get inside... Homer: Actually, everybody already knows about that, so we’ll just pass by it and move on to the next epic. Odysseus: Nooooooooooooo!!!
Epic battle #4 ensues...
Homer: It shall be called the Odyssey...
Achilles: Die Hektor!
Hektor: You got to know when to hold em...know when to walk away...and when to run!
Homer: ...and tell the story of a Trojan war veteran who faces crazed sorceresses and maneating monsters as he hopelessly wanders home.
Athena: Stop! In the name of the law! Hektor: Huh? Achilles: DIE HEKTOR! Hektor: I die, but so will you!
Odysseus: Derp. * “In the Middle”, meaning the narrative begins in the middle of the story.
image courtesy of wikipedia photographer Thermos
THE BOY WHO LIVED: a Timeless Hero by Ciara Zaketti
“You had accepted, even embraced, the possibility of death, something Lord Voldemort has never been able to do. Your courage won.” These words, spoken by Dumbledore to Harry in the final installment of the Harry Potter series, show what appeals to audiences about “The Boy Who Lived.” His courage and self-sacrifice align him with modern ideals of heroism, elucidated in Jesus’ mantra that “no greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his friend” (John 15:13). But the heroism of Harry Potter also crosses into the realm of ancient heroism. Harry is a bridge between ancient ideas and modern ones: a perfect marriage of two distinctly different cultural archetypes. After the murder of his parents by the dark wizard Voldemort, Harry was left in the care of his “Muggle” aunt and uncle. (“Muggle” is the word that witches and wizards use to refer to ordinary, non-magical people.) Albus Dumbledore and Rubeus Hagrid, two men who will play crucial roles in Harry’s journey, left Harry in their care. The first book then jumps ahead “nearly ten years” to when Harry is about to turn 11 years old. The Boy Who Lived has been living a life of discomfort and mistreatment at the hands of his aunt and uncle. “I admit there’s something strange about you, probably nothing a good beating wouldn’t have cured— and as for all this about your parents, well, they were weirdos, no denying it.” Harry’s adventure begins with a call back into the magical world, just as many Greek heroes had to answer a call. Harry’s call comes in the form of various letters, which his uncle kept from him. Eventually, Rubeus Hagrid arrives on Harry’s doorstep, and explains the truth: how Harry’s
parents died, that they were a wizard and witch, and that Harry himself is a wizard. “Harry—yer a wizard.” He explains that Harry is to go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He also explains how it was Voldemort who killed his parents, and that Voldemort tried to kill Harry, which explains how Harry got the scar “shaped like a bolt of lightning” on his forehead. This scar is the remnants of a “Killing Curse” that Voldemort inflicted on Harry when he was a baby. The curse rebounded, and Voldemort destroyed himself. Harry was left alive, parentless, and with nothing but a lightning-shaped scar to remind people of that woeful night. Nobody knows—until the seventh book—why Voldemort and Harry both survived the attack. It is Hagrid who guides Harry to the threshold of adventure. This is shown in various ways. The first is his trip with Hagrid to Diagon Alley to buy supplies for school. Harry’s entrance into Diagon Alley is his first immersion back into the magical world. The second is when Hagrid takes him to Gringotts, the wizards’ bank run by goblins. Third is his arrival at Platform 9 ¾, where the Hogwarts Express picks up the students who are attending Hogwarts. It is often likely that the hero will face tests after this initial crossing. Harry indeed faces many tests after he arrives at Hogwarts. Joseph Campbell, who created a diagram of a hero’s journey, defines one of these tests as “brotherbattle.” Harry’s own experience with “brother-battle” comes in various forms. First, he dislikes Draco Malfoy, a classmate and fellow wizard. Draco is Harry’s brother inasmuch as Draco and Harry are both wizards. They dislike each other from the moment they meet, and the
two become rivals in both school and in sports. Harry and Draco are enemies for the rest of the series. Campbell also outlines the need for the hero to have “helpers.” Harry has multiple helpers along the way, but two in particular are with him the entire time: Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Harry and Ron become friends right after they meet on the Hogwarts Express. Harry and Hermione also meet on the Hogwarts Express, but they initially dislike each other. By the end of book one, they are best friends as well. Harry, Ron, and Hermione quickly become an inseparable trio who always watch out for each other. These friendships help Harry through many, many other tests (six more books worth). It is in the seventh and final book that Harry’s hero journey comes full circle. Harry’s “elixir” is introduced, he goes into “flight,” there is a “threshold struggle,” a “threshold guardian,” and a “resurrection/return” (all terms from Campbell). Harry’s “elixir” comes in the form of the Elder Wand. The Elder Wand would be an invaluable asset to have in the fight against Voldemort, and Harry knows he will need extra help in this fight. Part of Harry’s “flight” involves searching for the Elder Wand, but he is focused on finding and destroying Voldemort’s Horcruxes, which prevent Voldemort from ever truly dying. Voldemort split his soul into pieces and placed the pieces inside an object, so if anyone tried to kill him, there would still be pieces of his soul alive. Harry, Ron, and Hermione spend many months traveling, simultaneously searching for Horcruxes and avoiding Voldemort and his Death Eaters, while knowing that, eventually,
Harry would have to face Voldemort. “Neither can live while the other survives.” Harry’s “threshold struggle” happens in his penultimate faceoff with Voldemort. Harry needs to die in order for Voldemort to be destroyed once and for all. What was not said in the first book is explained in the last, and Harry walks calmly to his death. “‘Harry Potter,’ he said very softly. His voice might have been part of the spitting fire. ‘The Boy Who Lived.’” This is still a threshold, the threshold between life and death, between heaven and earth. Harry crosses the threshold and meets its guardian: Albus Dumbledore. “Harry [. . .] You wonderful boy. You brave, brave man.” At this juncture, the “threshold” and “return” become irrevocably entwined. Harry has the choice of staying at this threshold, or returning to earth. Harry is being called to something beyond giving up his life for his friends: living for them instead. “By returning, you may ensure that fewer souls are maimed, fewer families are torn apart. If that seems to you a worthy goal, then we say goodbye for the present.” Harry’s return is literally a resurrection, but he also returns with the Elder Wand, of which he is
As most fairytales end, so does the Harry Potter series and that is with a mix of good and bad. It is not through death that Harry saves those around him, but through life. Giving one’s life is truly noble, but sometimes the noblest act of heroism is to live, courageously accepting and embracing the pain, disappointment, and sacrifices that must ultimately follow that decision. It is not the literal death that is important, but the figurative one, where that person denies him or herself for the sake of another. Harry’s journey is in perfect alignment with the “hero’s journey” as denoted by Campbell, but his story is also poignant to modern minds. Harry is a timeless hero, not only because he was willing to die, but because he was willing to live. He is, after all, The Boy Who Lived. Works Cited Campbell, Joseph. “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.” Princeton University Press, 2008. Princeton, NJ. Print. Rowling, J.K. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” Scholastic Inc. New York, New York, 2007. Print. Rowling, J.K. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” Scholastic Inc. New York, New York, 1997. Print. 31
till w In high school, I rediscovered the Chronicles of Narnia. As I reread the novels a myriad of times, I wanted to read more by C.S. Lewis. Instead of picking up Mere Christianity or The Screwtape Letters, I wandered the fiction section of my local library and discovered one of his lesser known works—Till We Have Faces. The cover claims it is a myth retold and the story within is a retelling of Cupid and Psyche. Although I was familiar with the myth via Edith Hamilton’s adaptation, Lewis’ story appeared to be more than just a mere re-telling or adaptation. His version clearly possessed a greater depth, but, at that time, I wasn’t sure what it meant. I tried asking my friends who read a lot of Lewis’ works if they had read Till We Have Faces. Their answers were always the same—no one else had read it. Years later, on my second reading, I found a group of people who had read the book—mainly my English Novel class; we were discussing it. Finally, I was not alone in my discovery of this story and now you don’t need to feel alone either.
we have faces
by bethany mcgean
When asked which of his books he like best, Lewis replied “Now, the answer w[oul]d. be Till We Have Faces and Perelandra,” though he does admit, “I think it much my best book but not many people agree.” Despite Lewis’ fondness for it, Till We Have Faces remains one of his least known works of fiction. Why is this? I believe it is because Faces must be read on a deeper level. It is a story of layers. As you unfold the layers, the story becomes an argument against modernist literature and a tale about Divine love. If we can grasp at least some of the subtext, we can better understand the entire text of the story. Summary Till We Have Faces begins with Orual, the elderly queen of Glome, recounting the story of her life so she might form an argument against the gods. During her childhood, Fox, a slave from the Greeklands, tutored Orual and her sisters,
Redival and Psyche. He taught the girls Greek philosophies and rationality, although Redival rarely paid attention to the lessons. Their father had little to do with his daughters, so Orual took over the role of mother to the much younger Psyche while mostly ignoring Redival. Psyche is beautiful, sweet, and kind. After a time, the peaceful existence of Orual, Psyche and Fox is disrupted as Glome falls on hard times. Plague, famine, and the threat of war drives the people to believe the gods have turned their backs on Glome. In the meantime, Psyche’s compassion drives her to help the people as much as she is able. Her beauty and compassion cause the people to compare her to Ungit, the main goddess of Glome. As the disease continues to spread, the tide turns against Psyche. The priest of Ungit casts lots to find out who is responsible for the misfortune facing Glome. The final lot lands on Psyche and she must become the Great Offering to save Glome. At this offering she will either
be devoured by or married to (or both at once) the Brute, which is to say Ungit’s son and god of the Mountain. Psyche goes willingly because she believes “The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing—to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from…my country, the place where I ought to have been born…. For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back. All my life the god of the Mountain has been wooing me…. I am going to my lover.” After the Great Offering, Orual travels to the Mountain twice to find her sister. On her first trip, Orual finds Psyche. Enthusiastically, Psyche tells Orual of her rescue and subsequent marriage to the god; she shows her sister the amber palace where she lives. Orual does not believe her sister’s story and does not see the amber palace. The night before she heads back down the mountain, Orual sees a glimpse of the amber palace, but refuses to admit this to anyone, particularly herself.
Orual takes her second trip to the Mountain in order to prove to Psyche that her stories are just make believe and that she is not married to the god, but a beast or a criminal. The god commanded Psyche never to look at him and only comes to her in the darkness, therefore, Orual decides, Psyche must take a lamp and reveal the true form of her husband. Psyche refuses because she loves her husband, but Orual threatens to harm herself if Psyche will not do as Orual tells her. Manipulated into doing as her sister commands, Psyche takes the lamp and uses it that evening to reveal her husband’s identity. He is as Psyche said, the god, and because she disobeyed, she must leave him and wander the world. The god also punishes Orual. He proclaims, “Now Psyche goes out in exile. Now she must hunger and thirst and tread hard roads. Those against whom I cannot fight must do their will upon her. You, woman, shall know yourself and your work. You also shall be Psyche.” Not long after her return home, the king dies and Orual becomes queen. Her reign is a just and enlightened period, but Orual can never forget her anger at the gods for taking her “beloved” sister from her. She questions the gods and writes
her story as “proof” against their injustices. During the second part of the book, Orual finally finds her answers. Density The multiple layers of subtext renders Till We Have Faces a challenging read. To truly understand the novel, it helps to read slowly, taking in every thought—every word—and examining it carefully. I found myself often needing to reread a passage to understand what was being said. At times, if I put the book down in the middle of a chapter, upon picking it back up, I needed to reread the chapter from the beginning. This can make reading Till We Have Faces feel like a daunting task, but it is worth it in the end. With the exception of the Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis’ other works of fiction (primarily The Space Trilogy—Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength) are also dense reads. With this said, each of these books are definitely worth the challenge to read. Also, the more you read and reread books of this density, you become better at reading and better at understanding them.
Modernity Throughout Lewis’ lifetime, much of the literary works and studies would have emphasised a modernists reading of literature. The main school of thought would eventually give way to post-modernism. For simplicity’s sake, I will give a brief overview of modernism and post-modernism. For the modernists, the majority of the human institutions (such as religion, government, economics, family, et cetera) could no longer offer truth or hope. If any “institution” possessed the possibility of “truth” it would be science, but even science failed as often as it succeeded. In the end, modernism was often hopeless because it lost faith in finding the answers. Like most philosophical movements, post-modernism serves as a contrast to modernism. At this point, post-modernists gave up on finding a single truth. No institution could provide truth because truth was unknowable. When Lewis wrote Till We Have Faces, he created an argument against the modernist viewpoint without falling into the post-modernist trap. Psyche believed in an amber palace and a divine lover that others could not see. Her faith gave
her the strength and courage to embrace her destiny. In contrast to Psyche’s belief, Orual refused to believe. Instead, she sought to change Psyche’s perspective and when she could not, she found the gods unjust and railed against them. Like the modernist, Orual sought truth through philosophies and science. While she became a just queen, she found no justice in the gods. As she closes the first part of her story and concludes her argument waiting for the gods to answer, she states, “I say, therefore there is no creature (toad, scorpion, or serpent) so noxious to man as the gods. Let them answer my charge if they can . . .. But will not all the world know (and the gods will know it knows) that this is because they have no answer?” In the second portion, Lewis provides the gods’ answer. He shows that answers can be found if one is willing to strip oneself of masks, prejudices, and selfishness and face the truth. Orual finds her answer and learns, “The complaint was the answer. To have heard myself making it was to be answered . . .. I saw well why the gods to not speak to us openly, nor let us answer. Till the word can be dug out of us, why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”
If we remember that Lewis is showing his modernist contemporaries that it is possible to discover truth, then we can find a deeper appreciation of this work. Divine Love Not only did Lewis write a defence against modernism, Till We Have Faces reveals the triumph of Divine Love. Throughout the novel, Orual is looking for love. She believes she loves Psyche more than anyone else in the world, but when Psyche leaves, Orual’s love is proved to be devouring, manipulative and selfish. She does not wish to share Psyche with anyone else. It is her false love that drives her hatred of the gods. In opposition to Orual’s false love, Psyche’s loves runs deep and genuine. Her love expands as she finds more to love. Lewis best describes the process of Divine Love through the story in a letter. He wrote, “Divine Love gradually conquers, first, a Pagan (and almost savage) soul’s misconception of the Divine (as Ungit), then, shallow ‘enlightenment’ (the Fox), and, most of all, her jealousy of the real God, whom she hates till near the end because she wants Psyche to be entirely hers.” In the second part of the book, Orual finally
learns the destructive nature of her “love” and comes to embrace the true nature of Divine Love. Since the earliest days of humanity, people have crafted myths to explain things they could not understand. From the mysterious ways of nature to the phenomenological and eschatological questions of existence, people sought answers by giving power to gods and goddesses. In this same tradition of creating stories to explain the unknown, C.S. Lewis retold the myth of Cupid and Psyche. Through this story, the reader is opened to the truth of Divine Love. __________
1. Lewis, C.S. C.S. Lewis Letters to Children. Ed. Lyle W. Dorsett and Marjorie Lamp Mead. New York: Touchstone, 1985. 95. 2. Lewis, C.S. C.S. Lewis Letters to Children. Ed. Lyle W. Dorsett and Marjorie Lamp Mead. New York: Touchstone, 1985. 73. 3. Lewis, C.S. Till We Have Faces. New York: Harcourt, 1956. 75-76. 4.Lewis, C.S. Till We Have Faces. New York: Harcourt, 1956. 173-174 5. Lewis, C.S. Till We Have Faces. New York: Harcourt, 1956. 249250. 6. Lewis, C.S. Till We Have Faces. New York: Harcourt, 1956. 294. 7. Lewis, C.S. C.S. Lewis Letters to Children. Ed. Lyle W. Dorsett and Marjorie Lamp Mead. New York: Touchstone, 1985. 107.
by Kevin Derby
hree thousand years after Homer first sang of the adventures of Achilles, Odysseus, and Hector, the western world still hears distant strains of the old bard’s lyrics. The Iliad and The Odyssey are more than mythological tales: they are the foundation for western literature. Their influence has shaped our literature, our stories, and our dreams, for centuries. Even historians have gotten in on the action. Shelby Foote’s three volume history of the American Civil War has been called, by more than a few reviewers, an “American Iliad.” Charles Roland named his study of the Civil War An American Iliad. Robert Penn Warren, a scholar of both ancient literature and American history, called the Civil War the “Homeric period” of our past. Some writers have compared Robert E. Lee, the South’s leading general, to Hector--the brave and noble Trojan warrior fighting for a bad cause--and Ulysses S. Grant, the North’s best commander, to Achilles for plowing ahead despite the high casualties. The same analogy has been transferred to World War Two-with German commander Erwin Rommel in the role of Hector. Homer’s story is all around us, even though we are doing our best to mess it up. In too many cases--from James Joyce’s Ulysses to the dreadful movie Troy released in 2004 and starring Brad Pitt-modern books and films that try to echo Homer attempt to drive the divine out of the story of the Trojan War and its aftermath. The story makes no sense without the Greek pantheon--Zeus, Ares, Athena, Aphrodite and all the rest--causing the war and prolonging it. Homer does not offer us Christian tales of course, but there are moments when some lessons from the Bible can be reinforced. Take the end 36
of The Iliad. Having lost his closest companions, Achilles has just killed Hector and dragged his body around Troy. Agamemnon, Achilles’ commander, demands that his best warrior eat and rest up. Achilles refuses. The great warrior has turned his back on being human. Only when Priam, the king of the Trojans and the father of Hector, breaks through the Greek lines to plead for his son’s body does Achilles relent and accept his humanity. Priam kisses the hands that slew his son and reminds Achilles of his own family and humanity. Old Priam and Achilles fall into each other’s arms and weep, a moment of shared humanity despite the chaos and evils of war. Ye shall be as gods. It’s what the serpent tells Eve in the Garden of Eden. That type of logic drives humanity to build the Tower of Babel as they hope to become equal to God. Pharaoh, like a host of rulers before and since, accepts that he is a god which leads to disaster to his nation in Exodus. More than a thousand years later, Jesus confronted the same type of thought from those who worshiped the Roman emperor--Tiberius in the time of Christ--as a god. It’s what, according to John Milton in Paradise Lost, Satan accepted when he led the rebellious angels against God. Even today in a host of science fiction books and films--like some of the Indiana Jones films-we are warned that we are not equal to God and we never should aspire to be. As Homer continues to shape our culture, we need to be reminded of that important lesson--even as the movies and some writers try to whitewash it.
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