In search of a wizardIn 'Finding Merlin: The Truth Behind the Legend of the Great Arthurian Mage,' Adam Ardrey condemns long-ago chroniclers for their motives but is like a sleuth in tracking ancient details.Think of your favorite movie Merlin: Was it Sam Neill's Tolkienesque version (see photo) or was it "Excalibur's" Nicol Williamson, with that unforgettable steel skullcap? How about Stephen Dillane's blue-faced portrayal in the 2004 box office disappointment "King Arthur"? (The movie didn't disappoint me, Keira Knightley was in it.) Adam Ardrey would have none of them, and very little of all the other Arthuriana that's out there -- not T.H. White's "The Once and Future King," not Tennyson's "Idylls of the King," Thomas Malory's epic, "Le Morte D'Arthur," not even Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Mists of Avalon."The author of "Finding Merlin: The Truth Behind the Legend of the Great Arthurian Mage" (The Overlook Press: 384 pp., $24.95) would say that any adult interested in these inventions must be emotionally trapped in junior high. Oh, and they've probably also participated (at least once) in one of those silly medieval warfare reenactments. Excuse me while I adjust my chain-mail pants. And yet, above his clear distaste for the popular versions of this legend -- and he doles out plenty of this in his new book -- there is a fascinating question which he pursues with zeal: Just who was Merlin, really?The answer Ardrey's book provides is that the real Merlin was something of a scientist and Druid leader who helped the Scots and Britons fight off the Angles in the aftermath of Roman occupation. For his efforts, though, Ardrey says Merlin's contributions were written out of early English chronicles or, when he is found, he is reduced to an insulting form -- a wildman or a madman of some kind... [Read More]
Monday, November 24, 2008
[This review is by Nick Owchar of the LA Times. I have not yet read the book, but I do have a slight interest.]
Friday, November 21, 2008
I love this comic strip. Scott Kurtz penned a truly fine homage to Bill Watterson's "Calvin and Hobbes". Click the image to see it full size, or use the following link to view the strip on Kurtz' website: PvPonline » Archive » Let’s Go Exploring
Friday, November 14, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Here's the nickel summary of the story: Man spots rarely seen bird -- a burrowing owl. Tells other nearby birders who repeatedly flush the oul into the air so it could be seen. Within hours, the burrowing owl is torn apart by a hawk. Afterward, Robert Hughes, the man who first spotted the owl and sent an alert to others, wrote: "The sad truth is that we birders may very well have been responsible for the demise of the burrowing owl." Well, give that man a gold star and call him Captain Obvious! If this is how folks are appreciating local wildlife, I'd feel a lot better if they just ignored it. Full story at ChicagoBreakingNews.com: Birders wonder if they contributed to owl's death I recommend reading the comments as well.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
I've been a bit quiet here, and I do apologize for not keeping up with the blog. In lieu of writing some updates of my own, I point you to two collections of posts over at MetaPagan. First up, chronologically that is, would be a lovely set of Samhain poetry and traditions collected from across the web and MetaPagan contributors. Second, a sampling of Samhain stories. These stories are a welcome respite from the "usual annual glut of mainstream news stories that crop up this time of year". Enjoy!