Archives For November 22, 2013

Recently finished re-watching Band of Brothers and The Pacific mini series. What I enjoy about these series versus Hollywood propaganda war films is the realism and the open ended message being conveyed. They focus more on the unit and individual soldiering experience rather than try to hammer home their geo-political stances of “all conflict is futile” and “there are no causes worth fighting/dying for.” Due to over-saturation I have not read much about the World War II era in quite some time, but I plan to do so soon. I acquired many fascinating books in particularly concerning Nazi Germany and of course Hitler. I should be clear up front that I in no way agree with the social darwinistic aspects of the movement nor do I agree with many of the later military strategies being employed. But anytime you have elements of fervent nationalism it is interesting to study. After all, how can you defiantly state someone like Hitler is evil unless you read Mein Kampf for yourself? Remember that all things outside of religion aren’t so black and white. 

吾士无余财,非恶货也。无余命,非恶寿也。(If our soldiers are not overburdened with money, it is not because they have a distaste for riches; if their lives are not unduly long, it is not because they are disinclined to longevity.)

Sun Tzu, 孙子兵法 Sunzi Bingfa (The Art of War) 

‘I read novels with the utmost pertinacity. I look upon them–I look upon good novels–as a very valuable part of literature, conveying more exact and finely-distinguished knowledge of the human heart and mind than almost any other, with greater breadth and depth and fewer constraints.

Patrick O’Brian, The Nutmeg of Consolation

The Christian idea of marriage is based on Christ’s words that a man and wife are to be regarded as a single organism – for that is what the words ‘one flesh’ would be in modern English. And the Christians believe that when He said this He was not expressing a sentiment but stating a fact – just as one is stating a fact when one says that a lock and its key are one mechanism, or that a violin and a bow are one musical instrument.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

What is a Myth?

November 22, 2013 — Leave a comment
  1. It is extra-literary. 
  2. The pleasure of myth depends hardly at all on such usual narrative attractions as suspense and surprise.
  3. Human sympathy is at a minimum. We do not project ourselves strongly into the characters. We feel indeed that the pattern of their movements has a profound relevance to our own life, but we do not imaginatively transport ourselves into theirs.
  4. Myth is always in one sense of the word “fantastic.” It deals with the impossibles and preternaturals.  
  5. The experience may be sad or joyful but it is always grave. Comic myth is impossible.
  6. The experience is not only grave but awe-inspiring. Its as if something of great moment had been communicated to us.