Archive for May, 2007

On Holy Images continues, with more interesting stuff — including a spirited defense of tradition.

Part 2B


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Pastoral Care continues with a look at people who never do good things, and people who start but don’t finish them.

Chapter 34


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Against Heresies continues, as St. Irenaeus argues that God didn’t make humans perfect from the beginning for perfectly good reasons.

Chapter 38


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The Worm Ouroboros continues, as Lessingham and the martlet are temporarily forgotten and the actual story begins. An annoying ambassador arrives at court, just in time to ruin the party.

Chapter I (cont.)



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The Worm Ouroboros continues as Lessingham the dreamer and his guide, the martlet, come to Lord Juss’ court at Galing. (You’ll find this part very reminiscent of Dunsany. Feel free to skip this portion of the chapter if you’re not a big fan of framing devices — but you might want the martlet’s introductions, so you’ll know who the main characters are.)

At this point, let me explain a couple of quirks. When Eddison sets the story on the planet Mercury, he’s not talking the actual planet. Rather, he’s using it for its symbolic associations with mercuriality. (C.S. Lewis later did similar things in his space series, and so did his bud Williams.) The inhabitants of Demonland, Witchland, and Goblinland are all pretty much humans; they apparently bear these names as remnants of Eddison’s juvenilia about this world. He was too stubborn to change the names he came up with as a little kid, or he’d lived with them too long for them to seem strange. (In other words, don’t give up on Eddison before he’s even started, just because the man has some odd naming quirks. Eddison has quirks much weirder than this, as you will soon see!)

This I will promise you: The Worm Ouroboros is absolutely nothing like the Extruded Fantasy Products we constantly see released today. It’s not influenced by J.R.R., D&D, WoW, or any other acronym; so it will surprise you. And that is why I like pre-Tolkien fantasy.

I: The Court of Lord Juss.


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The Worm Ouroboros begins with “The Induction”. Lessingham the dreamer is also the framing device of other Eddison novels. You can skip him, if you like, as he disappears within the first couple of chapters. (I rather like him now, but he used to annoy me mightily.)

“Les Barricades Mysterieuses” by Couperin can be heard here.

“The Induction”


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The Worm Ouroboros, originally published in 1922, has risen into the public domain under US copyright law. Since nobody else is reading an audiobook of it, I guess it’s up to me.

What I’m calling the opening credits include the book’s dedication, the opening quote from “Thomas the Rhymer”, and the table of contents.

Opening Credits


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The Lani People continues, as Kennon and Copper start working on the escape plan.

Chapter 16


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Gerusalemme Liberata continues. King Aladine of Jerusalem and the Soldan Solyman fall back to the Tower of David, and Argantes and Rinaldo finally keep tryst.

Book 19A


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Utopia, the great early science fiction novel by the sainted and knighted Thomas More. If you haven’t read it, you should give it a listen. But if you think he’s being totally serious and describing a perfect society, you’re missing the point! 🙂

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The Dark Night of the Soul continues, as we begin Book II. We learn about the Dark Night of the Spirit and the imperfections it needs to root out.

Book II, Chs. 1-2


UPDATE: Bad link fixed. Sorry ’bout that.

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Fatherless Fanny continues, as we learn her parents’ story.

Ch. 28: A Mournful Story


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Constance Dunlap continues, in a tale of crook vs. crook.

“The Embezzlers”


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On Holy Images continues, as St. John Damascene begins to clarify and enlarge his teachings on images, as requested by the original treatise’s readers.

Part 2A


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Pastoral Care continues with a look at those who constantly repeat the same little sins, and those who are so diligent in avoiding little sins that they easily fall into big ones.

Chapter 33


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