Saturday, July 26, 2008

Memory and Dream

Memory and Dream
by Charles de Lint ©1994 HB ISBN 0-312-85572-9

Just finished full immersion in this intense piece of fantasy/ fiction, and let me tell you, it was a journey of magickal portents and discoveries. This tale focuses on an artist, Issy, who learns to use her artistic capacity to bring beings she calls numena here from the 'before' by way of her paintings. At the beginning of her career she is taken up and tutored by a famous painter who turns out to have some really bizarre quirks and habits. He teaches her how to use her gift and she brings forward at least a hundred numena, some human and some wonderfully strange mixtures of humanoid creatures with wild animal leanings. The story centers on Issy's relationship with her writer friend, Kathy, and a group of bohemian artist folk in her community. Isabelle's numena play a pivotal role in the tale and her world is enriched and made terribly complex by their presence. I felt completely drawn into the lives of these people and the art they both created and fostered in others. The Numena in the tale are both seductive and winsome.

I won't say more about the plot line, as it is an adamantine stone you should enjoy from the tip to the final uncovering.

In addition to this full-palette story, Charles de Lint also gives us another gem about the power of fantasy tales, with this quote from Kathy's journal in the book,
"…The real difference is that with fantasy – and by that I mean fantasy which can simultaneously tap into cosmopolitan commonality at the same time as it springs from an individual and unique perspective. In this sort of fantasy, a mythic resonance lingers on – a harmonious vibration that builds in potency the longer on considers it, rather than fading away when the final page is read and the book is put away. Characters discovered in such writing are pulled from our own inner landscapes – the way Issy would pull her numena from hers – then set out upon the stories' various stages so that as we learn to understand them a little better, both the monsters and the angels, we come to understand ourselves a little better as well."

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the Arts, Magick, and contemporary Folk Tales. Enjoy!

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Onion Girl

The Onion Girl by Charles DeLint ©2001
ISBN0-312-87397-2 1st Ed
A quote from this really thought provoking book written by Charles De Lint,
"People who've never read fairy tales, the professor said, have a harder time coping in life that the people who have.  They don't have access to all the lessons that can be learned from the journeys through the dark woods and the kindness of strangers treated decently, the knowledge that can be gained from that company and example of Donkeyskins and cats wearing boots and steadfast tin soldiers.  I'm not talking about in-your-face lessons, but more subtle ones.  The kind that seep up from your subconscious and give you moral and humane structures for your life.  That teach you how to prevail, and trust.  And maybe even love.  The people who have missed out on them have to be re-storied in their adult lives." pg 30HB edition
This tale is a whirlwind mixture of contemporary life in Canada and life in the Faerie Realm that many of these contemporary characters step in and out of during the course of this adventure.  A deep exploration of personal gnosis and magickal transformation, this story leads you into yourself and shows a new pathway to Faerie.