Tuesday 9 August 2011

The Enchanted Castle

Llandaff Cathedral by 'ö-Dzin Tridral
I have just finished reading The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit.  Sometimes I like to read literature that is intended for children.  I enjoy its directness and simplicity.  Some of my favourite children's books are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, The Narnia stories by CS Lewis, The Borrowers by Mary Norton, AA Milne's Winnie the Pooh poems (not Disney!), and JK Rowling's Harry Potter books.

I had not read any Edith Nesbit before, although I have seen television adaptations of a couple of her stories.  I found The Enchanted Castle a delightful magical story.  I love the creative imagery of this work – it is so inventive and lively.  The narrative assumes a basic moral code of honesty and integrity for the characters and the book has an almost spiritual message woven into the story.  Dharma can be found everywhere.

“The moonbeam slants more and more; now it touches the far end of the stone, now it draws nearer and nearer to the middle of it, now at last it touches the very heart and centre of that central stone.  And then it is as though a spring were touched, a fountain of light released.  Everything changes or, rather, everything is revealed.  There are no more secrets.  The plan of the world seems plain, like an easy sum that one writes in big figures on a child's slate. One wonders how one can ever have wondered about anything. Space is not; every place that one has seen or dreamed of is here. Time is not; into this instant is crowded all that one has ever done or dreamed of doing. It is a moment and it is eternity.  It is the centre of the universe and it is the universe itself.”

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