An Arthurian Epic I Won’t be Reading

As I said, I find the Arthurian legends truly fascinating. I am currently reading “The Once and Future King”, which is superb and from what I’ve read gets better as it goes on. I just watched, on youtube, a production of the musical “Camelot” (the music is simply incredible). And of course I’m starting to work my way through “Le Morte D’Arthur” again, though I’m afraid I find it much less interesting than the modern fictional re-tellings.

A famous Arthurian story is apparently Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “The Mists of Avalon”. Curious, of course, I looked it up. It has a great title and great reviews.

Unfortunately going by the review the big selling point seemed to be that it was about how women manipulated Arthur and that it took a shit on Christianity. In other words, it missed the point of the Arthurian legend entirely, which was unmistakably Christian and explored themes of manhood and chivalry.

Like “Wicked” before it the book may be quite well written, but that doesn’t change the fact that it doesn’t respect its source material. Quite like Bradley’s actual religion come to think of it, a bastardized neo-pagan form of Christianity that calls God “Goddess”. That itself shows Bradley’s approach to the book in a nutshell.

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4 Responses to An Arthurian Epic I Won’t be Reading

  1. Samuel Edwards says:

    I have not yet read The Mists of Avalon but I figure I’ll give it a shot sometime. I took it off the shelf this evening and noticed that it’s quite a hefty tome. Have you read The Pengragon Cycle by Stephen Lawhead? From what I remember, that was a good example of Arthurian fantasy.

  2. Marissa says:

    I read The Mists of Avalon when I was an atheist but when I think of it now, as a Catholic, my blood boils. There is a seriously sacrilegious scene involving the Virgin Mary. Blood boiling.

    • There you go. It’s a shame too.

      I actually DID read “Wicked”. And I like the show, which is completely different from the book and, I think, hasn’t really thought things through enough to be really offensive. It’s just fun.

      The book was terrible. Well written I suppose, but…ugh.

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