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Go out with you? Why not... Do I like to dance? Of course! Take a walk along the beach tonight? I'd love to. But don't try to touch me. Don't try to touch me. Because that will never happen again. "Past, Present and Future"-The Shangri-Las

Monday, June 08, 2009

An Act of Will

I'm reading The Grey King by Susan Cooper. It's the fourth in The Dark Is Rising series. What I find continually fascinating about these books is that Will, the young protagonist, never has to solve any problems. He's an Old One, one of several folks who just happen to have awesome mystical power and significance, and while he has plenty of problems he never really has to figure out a solution. Either his fellow Old Ones show up and fix things or he manages to reach down deep into his Old-Oneness and intuitively whip out an unstoppable solution to whatever's confronting him.

In most hands this would make for a ludicrous Mary Sue story, but for Susan Cooper it's thematically justified. Will is simply of a better spiritual class, and you know how Brits are with class consciousness. It would be rude of the universe to do more than tease an Old One. Will's apparent problems are simply a kind of roughhousing on existence's part; perhaps goodnatured, perhaps resentful, but always destined to back off upon a gentle well-bred rebuke (in the form of an ancient incantation, the kind Will can pull out of his pocket at will, so to speak).

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