Thursday, January 21, 2021

A true original …

… Why George MacDonald Matters |. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

After writing Phantastes, MacDonald was besieged with letters from readers who assumed that it was an allegory too subtle for them to grasp.  Like giving up and asking for the solution to a crossword puzzle, readers appealed to the author to send them the “key” for interpreting it. MacDonald wearily explained that there was no master key – that readers were free “to take any meaning they themselves see in it.” Once again, readers have long learned to accept such a state of things, but MacDonald is the one who made it possible.  It is hard to imagine a bewildering romp of a novel such as G. K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare (1908) were it not for MacDonald.

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