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Sir Perceval is most traditionally the hero of the grail quest, although in some versions the hero is Sir Galahad, and according to a certain Heinrich von dem Türlin the hero is Sir Gawain.  Heroes come, heroes go, but the grail is always the grail.  Except when it isn’t.  But when it is, it’s always […]

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The quest for the grail is an extended metaphor.  The grail itself (graal in Middle English) is nothing.  Okay, it’s a shallow serving dish. The story of the quest for the grail is not about finding a shallow serving dish.  If it’s about finding anything, it’s about finding one’s self. The usual hero of the […]

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The 17th already?  And only the second blog entry for the month.  Caramba.  What a lackadaisical blogger I am. It was easier to stay on top of this when I was driving truck.  Hunkered down in the sleeper cab, parked in some diesel- and urine-redolent truckstop, it was pretty easy to find the time to […]

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That’s what a potential customer, her eye on the title, asked the other day.  She was not, she warned me, religious. No, I assured her.  Not a religious book at all.  It’s based, in fact, on one of the stories surrounding King Arthur and his famous Table. Usually the religious question comes up only once […]

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In response to my 11/27 post, a concerned reader writes:  “And yet a little historical perspective is in order. Making a living as a writer of fiction was extremely rare up until the 19th century. Then a combination of factors resulted in a huge market for reading material. This whole fiction thing is just a […]

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It was supposed to be the end of the world on 10/21, according to California end-times prophet Harold Camping. The previously-scheduled end of the world was last May or thereabouts, and the event was kind of a washout. Including this recent one, that’s four times now that ol’ Hal has been wrong. You gotta admire […]

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And, reading Wilderness, I was reminded of something I had run across years ago, in a discussion, as I recall, of Elizabethan poetry, that claimed as how, in love poetry, the particular object of the poet’s love, though composed of a particular set of eyes and brows and rosebud lips, becomes a universal sign and […]

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