Remembering Days of Reading Past – Day 18 NaBloPoMo

Hi everyone,

A very quick post today as I’m on the home stretch with my last online university assignment and playing catch up with some discussion posts I missed while I was sick. As some of you might recall, this unit is Writing for Children and Young Adults and it’s been another excellent undergraduate level exploration. I’ve learnt a lot!

One of the discussion post questions was especially provocative. We were asked to think back to adolescence and talk about a book or series that really resonated with us. Of course, for me and many others in the unit, our first thoughts were to Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, while for others it was C. S. Lewis’ Narnia stories, which while excellent in their own right, I have always found somewhat “vanilla” and a little too preachy for my tastes. (Having said that, I still think Lucy Pevensie is one of the best heroines in contemporary children’s literature!)

I found my self remembering T. H. White’s dark and somewhat forbidding retelling of the Arthurian legend in The Once and Future King series. This is all the more fascinating because I haven’t read these books since I was in early high school – around 40 years ago!

Even though I couldn’t recall everything that happened in the four books, the overall feelings I gained from them remain to this day. I particularly loved the first book, The Sword in the Stone, which introduces the very old and absent minded Merlyn, who is living backwards through time, and Wart, the inquisitive and innocent adopted son of Sir Ector.

Now I want to read them all again, to see if the magic is still there – or if my memory has embellished it.

It also made me think about the profound effect that particular books can have and the amazing power of words on the human psyche.

“Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity”
Hermann Hesse

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