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Forum LockedThe Once and Future King

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Colchis View Drop Down

Joined: 07-Aug-2004
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    Posted: 03-Oct-2004 at 21:09
I'm sure some of you here are acquianted with T.H. White's The Once and Future King, a classic work in its own genre. I recently read this book again for my Arthurian Literature class where we look at a wide variety of works from the Mabinogion to Le Morte D'Arthur and History of the Kings of Britain to the Crystal Cave. I want to share my favourite quote from the book, The Once and Future King which pretty much sums up my utopia in just one paragraph:

Quote "He remembered his lesson from the badger. He remembered Lyo-lyok and the island which they had seen on their migration, where all those puffins, razorbills, guillemots and kittiwakes had lived together peacefully, preserving their own kinds of civilisation without war -because they claimed no boundaries. He saw the problem before him as plain as a map. The fantastic thing about war was that it was fought about nothing -literally nothing. Frontiers were imaginary lines. There was no visible line between Scotland and England, although Flodden and Bannocburn had been fought about it. It was geography which was the cause -political geography. It was nothing else. Nations did not need to have the same kind of civilisation, nor the same kind of leader, any more than puffins and the guillemots did. They could keep their own civilisations, like Esqimaux and Hottentots, if they would give each other freedom of trade and free passage abd access to the world. Countries would have to become counties -but counties which could keep their own culture and local laws. The imaginary lines on the earth's surface only needed to be unimagined. The airborne birds skipped them by nature. How mad the frontiers had seemed to Lyo-Lyok, and would to Man if he could learn to fly."

Feel free to share your thoughts, favourite parts or criticisms about the book. Even though it was initially thought for a younger audience T.H. White finished his work in a twenty year span, the first book being published in 1938; and the last one in 1958. Even though the first of the four books is written in a very light manner the rest of his work gets darker and darker -relevant to the world affairs at the time, chiefly the World War II- and one can easily follow his pattern of thought. Needless to say White was a pacifist, even more so after living through those times and he makes the story of King Arthur a very unexpected one; though not less enjoyable for sure.
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Dawn View Drop Down

Joined: 02-Aug-2004
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dawn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Oct-2004 at 14:29
It was a very long time ago that I read it and I can't say it was my favorite version of the story. I remember thinking that it was for a younger audience and that could be why I didn't like it as much as others.  
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