Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Of Nightmares, Novalis, and the North Wind

A few years ago, my friend Jenn gave me a book about some famous Christian fantasy writers called Christian Mythmakers. Until recently, I'd only read the chapters on Lewis and Tolkien, but a few weeks ago I began at the beginning, only to discover two authors I've neglected to appreciate: George MacDonald and G.K. Chesterton. Oh, I've read excerpts here and there, maybe some quotes or stories, but I am sad to admit that I have not read any of their works in their entirety. The author, Rolland Hein, has made me appreciate the depth (and breadth) of their works, and caused me to add a few more to my stack of "must reads." He has also made me appreciate the solid theology behind their profoundly imaginative creations:

"George MacDonald's achievement lies in his accomplishing a consistent and coherent system of thought derived from the best of these traditions from Calvinism and romanticism. His muscular intellectualism is evident in his published sermons. His mythopoeia demonstrates an imaginative reach towards Truth, achieving a splendid literary consummation" (Hein, 52).

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