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Hi! New! I recently checked out Rachel Carson's The Sense of… - Fairy Folklore and Research [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Fairy Folklore and Research

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[Sep. 22nd, 2005|08:23 pm]
Fairy Folklore and Research


Hi! New!

I recently checked out Rachel Carson's The Sense of Wonder. What a beautiful book.. Sorry this isn't very scholarly or mythological, but I think it nicely sums up the wonder instilled by the wee folk and the natural world, which, in the "real" world, I think are one and the same:

[on the subject of listening to nature & wild places]

“The game is to listen, not so much to the full orchestra as to the separate instruments, and to try to locate the players. Perhaps you are drawn, step by step, to a bush from which comes a sweet, high-pitched, endlessly repeated trill. Finally you trace it to a little creature of palest green, with wings as white and insubstantial as moonlight. […]
Most haunting of all is one I call the fairy bell ringer. I have never found him. I’m not sure I want to. His voice—and surely he himself—are so ethereal, so delicate, so otherworldly, that he should remain invisible, as he has through all the nights I have searched for him. It is exactly the sound that should come from a bell held in the hand of the tiniest elf, inexpressibly clear and silvery, so faint, so barely-to-be-heard that you hold your breath as you bend closer to the green glades from which the fairy chiming comes.”

“[I have always loved] the lichens because they have a quality of fairyland—silver rings on a stone, odd little forms like bones or horns or the shell of a sea creature […]”

“Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. Whatever the vexations or concerns of their personal lives, their thoughts can find paths that lead to inner contentment and to renewed excitement in living. Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”

OK, perhaps this belongs more in an ecological-type community than a fairy one, but I thought some of you might appreciate these quotations anyway. :)

I'll try to post something a little more intellectually stimulating soon!

[User Picture]From: misslynx
2005-09-23 12:27 am (UTC)
Well, I suppose it's technically off-topic, but at the moment I don't really mind because (a) it's been slow here, and (b) those quotes are really lovely. Besides, Rachel Carson was a biologist, wasn't she? So that would make her technically a scholar... :-) Even if that particular book was written more in a liminal space between biology and poetry.
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[User Picture]From: meadowsweetmoon
2005-09-23 12:33 am (UTC)
Sorry about the OT-ness! I don't know... I suppose I could try to make an argument about how it captures the spirit of the Romantic age, which was the peak of interest in myth and fairy tale of modern times, which sparked lots of nice poetry but also credible research into such areas... and... OK, yeah, it's off topic. Sorry :) I'll make amends soon!
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[User Picture]From: misslynx
2005-09-23 12:50 am (UTC)
No worries. Actually, the Romantic/environmentalist connection is an interesting one, and I think does tie in to some degree with the cultural impulses that have driven a lot of the recent historical interest in fairies. Neil Evernden, in The Natural Alien, has a chapter on the way that the term "romantic" is often used to dismiss environmentalism, but in fact might be not only more accurate than the critics realize, but also not necessarily a bad thing. And Ronald Hutton's made similar arguments about neo-paganism being rooted in the Romantic movement.
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