Thursday, March 24, 2011

More about my Saga

Sooner or later you will probably wish you had Something Good To Read... especially if you like Chesterton, and Norton Juster and Bertrand Brinley and Walker Tompkins and... oh yes, and Franklin Dixon and Carolyn Keene and Victor Appleton II, and Doyle and Sayers and Stout, and so on: adventures "for boys" as they say, though such stories appeal to all sorts of people, even OLD people, and even GIRLS. (hee hee)

It is partly that desire of having Something Good To Read - perhaps I should say MAINLY that desire - which urges me to write the thing I call "the Saga". It is NOT named from the Norse term, but from the Latin: saga is the nominative plural for sagum, a military cloak - which seems appropriate to me since it is about the Battle. You know, the War - the BIG war. The one that we're still fighting, against the Dragon, the ancient serpent. Of course there's a lot of other fun stuff in it, since it is a STORY, not a textbook, or a catechism, or a study of some vaguely allegorical sort, or a scaffold for me to build elven tongues upon, etc. It's not set in Middle Earth, it does not have a Platform 9.75 or a wardrobe without a back - but rather than spending money on a model train layout, I have decided to play with the middle-Atlantic States, and have revised their geography to provide me with a "toy train layout" I wanted to have. (By the way. it's fun; you should try it.)

The Saga is chock full of all the modern things like trains and cellphones and computers and even space travel, but also it has relics and pipe organs and industrial sabotage and kidnapping - and young men trying to get through college. Oh yes, and secret societies, too. Several. VERY secret. (Don't you want to know more about them? You will find out, someday.) But Chestertonians know that there are healthy reasons for having such secrets, just like the reason why I don't tell you exactly what happens in the Saga: because it is better for you to find out in the right way and at the right time, like the wrapping conceals a Christmas present:
The man who tells the truth about a detective story is simply a wicked man, as wicked as the man who deliberately breaks a child's soap-bubble - and he is more wicked than Nero. To give away a secret when it should be kept is the worst of human crimes; and Dante was never more right than when he made the lowest circle in Hell the Circle of the Traitors. It is to destroy one human pleasure so that it can never be recovered...
[GKC ILN Nov 7 1908 CW28:210]
Ah yes... But even a Christmas present might be considered in its SIZE and WEIGHT (cf Jaki's favourite scripture verse, Wisdom 11:21) and maybe (if possible) lifted and shaken to see if it rattles, since maybe it has PARTS which will have to be put together, or played with, and isn't just a sweater, or SOCKS... (hee hee)

And so, I shall not break the Great Law of Fiction in telling you that my Saga has parts, and yes, you may find it fun to play with. Also, I happened to spot an interesting GKC paragraph which seemed quite relevant to this matter, and I decided to let you see it. It gives a little more of the underlying basis for my work:
Our own countrymen, and the men of other countries, loved to claim like Virgil that their own nation was descended from the heroic Trojans. All sorts of people thought it the most superb sort of heraldry to claim to be descended from Hector. Nobody seems to have wanted to be descended from Achilles. The very fact that the Trojan name has become a Christian name, and been scattered to the last limits of Christendom, to Ireland or the Gaelic Highlands, while the Greek name has remained relatively rare and pedantic, is a tribute to the same truth. Indeed it involves a curiosity of language almost in the nature of a joke. The name has been turned into a verb; and the very phrase about hectoring, in the sense of swaggering, suggests the myriads of soldiers who have taken the fallen Trojan for a model. As a matter of fact, nobody in antiquity was less given to hectoring than Hector. But even the bully pretending to be a conqueror took his title from the conquered. That is why the popularisation of the Trojan origin by Virgil has a vital relation to all those elements that have made men say that Virgil was almost a Christian. It is almost as if two great tools or toys of the same timber, the divine and the human, had been in the hands of Providence; and the only thing comparable to the Wooden Cross of Calvary was the Wooden Horse of Troy. So, in some wild allegory, pious in purpose if almost profane in form, the Holy Child might have fought the Dragon with a wooden sword and a wooden horse.
[GKC TEM CW2:288, emphasis added]
In my case, it's an Iron Horse and the sword is made out of... ah but I can't reveal that today. However, I insist that my writing (whether tool or toy) is NOT an allegory, even though it may be very wild, and will no doubt be considered quite profane in form, though I intend it for some pious purpose. But then I am using tools (or toys) which most people use for software development to produce fiction, and you might expect that sort of anomaly.

P.S. I can assure you, though I take advantage of my technical apparatus and training, the Saga really IS a story, and not software. And just in case you are wondering whether this Saga will ever be completed, I cannot guess. All I can say at present is that it continues to enlarge as we approach the major events of the adventure... So be patient, and keep praying.


At 24 March, 2011 10:46, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. F,

Anxiously awaiting the next installments of the saga!

--The Massachusetts chapter of your fan club.

At 24 March, 2011 11:30, Blogger Dr. Thursday said...

Thanks. (I would bow, but like Fangorn the Ent, I am not very, uh, flexible.)

Incidentally, if you are anxious to read SOMETHING as an introduction, you can find these four little stories which will introduce you to some of the characters, and won't spoil anything for you.

The Story of Driftwood
The Story of Serendipity
The Story of the Wreck of the Argent Eagle
The Story of How Mark Earned a Dragon

And now I must get back to work...


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