Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Madeleine L’Engle – Many Waters

About a week ago I finished Madeleine L’Engle's, Many Waters. It is the fourth book in the A Wrinkle In Time quartet, and I seem to recall that Ms. L’Engle added a fifth to the series, but can’t seem to track down where I read that.

I note that the age level for this book is 9 – 12, which kind of surprises me in that there is subtle and not-so-subtle sensuality in the story – I think when it does appear that it contributes to the story, especially considering that the nexus is the generation of Noah and the Flood – there isn’t anything in the story that isn’t in the Bible in terms of sensuality – in fact, it makes the Bible look tame. Just thought I’d mention this facet of what was an enjoyable read.

Regarding ages 9 – 12, perhaps L’Engle is like Lewis and Narnia in that you probably need to be young or old to appreciate it – otherwise you’re just too sophisticated to enjoy the beauty.

I love what Ms. L’Engle does with time and space in this series, and while she works with some assumptions in this story that rigid theological purists might have heartburn over (for example, she takes the approach that the “sons of God” of Genesis 6:2 were angelic-type beings – something over which reasonable people can disagree) – her assumptions work well within the story – she isn’t arguing theology, she’s taking us on an adventure.

Americans are often limited by the two great ponds on our east and west – the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Whereas my European friends and acquaintances are comfortable with traveling from nation to nation and language to language, we tend to be hesitant about engaging other cultures and isolated in our viewpoints. I wonder if that might be true for most of us in terms of thinking of time and space?

Biblical writers seem comfortable with moving from the beginning to the end and the in-between and then the end and then the beginning – they transition back and forth and touch down in their present with application – perhaps that’s a taste of eternity?

I won’t say anything more about the book lest the plot and the beauty of discovery be marred; but I do think I’ll keep my eye out for seraphim and try not to limit myself to 2010 A.D., or even to this upstairs office I’m in – I mean, you just never know what might occur at the next keyboard stroke.

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