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Just read another article about the garbage patch in the Pacific ocean that's now twice the size of Texas and made up of 80% plastics. Thank you, Evelyn Reilly. I can still remember the Best Picture movie American Beauty (another Kevin Spacey movie, by the way), where the plastic bag dancing in the wind was filmed as beautiful--perhaps a chilling form of "American beauty."

Epics

Nov. 29th, 2009 03:02 pm
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Thinking about Evelyn Reilly's take on the epic poem in her Styrofoam makes me think of John Milton's Paradise Lost and Philip Pullman's rendition of that poem with his young adult fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials, or The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. While Milton was at the very least ambivalent about who the hero of his poem is (it's the beautifully-written and complex Satan, in my opinion), Pullman is adamant that Eve is his heroine and that it is good that she and Adam "fall" from grace because otherwise they cannot ever be fully human. It's an interesting take on the biblical story, one that is very compelling in this postmodern era of looking at things a different way, taking and making them one's own.

Anyway, here's Pullman's epigraph for The Golden Compass, from which he takes the phrase "his dark materials" and turns it into the title of his trilogy:

"Into this wild abyss,
The womb of nature and perhaps her grave,
Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire,
But all these in their pregnant causes mixed
Confusedly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless the almighty maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more worlds,
Into this wild abyss the wary fiend
Stood on the brink of hell and looked a while,
Pondering his voyage."

--John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book II

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