Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Let's Read: The Once and Future King (Ch.12)
“But Morgan le Fay, although in her fairy shape she could not stand iron, still had the griffin. She had cast it loose from its golden chain, by a spell, the moment her castle disappeared” (112).
Uh oh! Morgan le Fay is our Saturday morning cartoon villain. How many times will she come back, dear reader? As many times as it is profitable? Do you really think something so trite will occur here, in an Arthurian tale? I don’t know. I think that’s sketchy…
“Robin Wood’s horn of silver began to blow…” (113).
Do I hear a porn parody?
Yeah, so it turns out now our embattled heroes must fight a griffin. Don’t worry: if you were anxious about too much excitement happening, it is over quickly with Kay placing a well shot arrow in its eye, killing it. Then, exhausted, our heroes rest.
“Kay and the liberated Dog Boy slept twitching beside him, looking alien and incomprehensible as people do when they are asleep…” (114)
I wonder if White has some repressed homosexual feelings that he wishes he could have expressed in his youth; just saying, there is a lot of youthful man-on-man moments.
But after they rest Robin Wood (*chuckle*) asks them if they desire any sort of reward for their participation in rescuing and monster slaying. Kay asks for the head of the griffin that he killed, so that it may be stuffed, while Wart asks for Wat, so that he may be healed by Merlyn; at first, Mr. Wood misunderstands Wart and refuses to give Wat on the premise that human beings cannot be traded as commodities, a curious kind of superimposition on the Anglo-Saxon outlaws and one which I am not sure is historically accurate. But once the confusion is cleared up Wood agrees and the troop is escorted back to the castle where jubilation is in the air.
Wart asks Merlyn what happened to Wat to which Merlyn gives an impromptu grammar lesson. Evidently, Merlyn is a Grammar Nazi. Turns out that linguistic fascism is not where this story is going, however.
“Old Wat is very sorry for what he did to the Dog Boy, but he says that he can’t remember having done it. He says that suddenly everything went black, when they were throwing stones once, and he can’t remember anything since” (120).
I am enjoying the sympathetic view this book is so far giving to the mentally ill. There exists in this text pathological Others but they are not overly Othered or pushed to the margins in an overly sentimental manner. They, like in real life, exist, and live and contribute to society all the same. Nothing is hyped up or made to sound overly dramatic for the sake of some fake-ass tension or Ableist dogma. It is pretty nice. Perhaps White will take a nose dive later on, but so far he is doing well, I feel.
The chapter ends with a brief section on Wat and Dog Boy and how they were and remained the bestest of friends for the rest of their lives. Also, they pulled off their noses which Merlyn had given them, as they had gotten used to life without noses, a fun jibe against Ableist insistence of aesthetic necessity; also, though, if they are pulling off their noses, then it means that whatever Merlyn is passing off as magic or plastic surgery, is not of a very high quality.
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