There’s so much labelled ‘great literature’ in the world that I’ve never sampled.
I have never read Hemingway, or Steinbeck (dipping into a ratted copy of Travels with Charlie we had around the house growing up doesn’t count)or Joyce.
I must be the only Pagan I know who has never read Tolkien. I tried, several times, with The Hobbit but I never made it past the first few pages and description of a hobbit’s toes.
Instead, I’ve read anything ever written by Robert Heinlein, starting at age six, and devoured Asimov and Clark to boot. Frank Herbert’s Dune series I still go back and read over.
The way I see it, those Great Authors deal with the present or the near past, and the Human Condition. The Science Fiction writers dealt mostly with the future, possible worlds still inhabited by Mankind, and still manage to have their say on the Human Condition.
I’ve long been fascinated by the possibilities inherent in being alive in the Universe.
What is it we’re capable of?
Where will our long (presumably) upward journey lead us?
What else will we find out there and around us in the way of other alternatives?
As a Pagan, I can clearly see that there are consciousnesses all about us, on this Earth, which we haven’t fully comprehended yet, let alone on other planets or, possibly, in the spaces between the stars.
It makes me an Optimist. Yes, with a capital Opt.
The human race is capable of the deepest horror and the brightest grace. Often, as Pratchett observes, the same individual is involved.
There are more people around today who comprehend our interconnectedness vis a vis the Cosmos than ever before – although it’s a pitifully small number, and very few are in positions of influence owing to the very nature of who they are.
I fervently believe that we’ll make it. Maybe it’s what I have to believe, but there it is.
Pic: Hecate/Anubis altar set for Kenya last night.