Category: ‘Books and Literature’
In my last post I looked at how George R.R. Martin's fantasy series "A Song of Ice and Fire" explores the key features of honour cultures. But what is so interesting about honour? Why should we be interested in it? What makes George R.R. Martin's fantasy epic, as an essay about honour, relevant to modern readers? What we learn is that Martin's saga defines one of the central dilemmas of the modern age. We are used to thinking that honour is a dead concept that is no longer applicable to us. But this is not so. Politics in the modern age is ruled by two forces - Realpolitik and Honour. And there is a tension between them so profound that it will likely be the ruin of us all unless we find some solution.
The central theme in George R.R. Martin's fantasy epic 'A Song of Ice and Fire' (ASIF) is the concept of honour (or 'honor' by the American spelling). But what is honour? The concept is so alien to modern, western sensibility that there is a lot of misunderstanding about it. In this post I'm going to explore the concept of honour as it is presented in Martin's story. ASIF is as good a fictional representation as any you'll find since the Arthurian legend was born. But why would we need to understand the concept of honour? Why would such a story resonate so strongly with so many of us?
A tradition of high sophistication is now well established in genre writing. It’s been going for a while in spy and crime fiction and a little while back; Tad Williams put in a good entry in the fantasy genre. George R. R. Martin’s fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire (ASIF) is widely cited [...]
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is a self-help mega classic. It's fame is so enormous that far more people have heard of the book than read it - as it often the way with really famous books. I came to read it because of my recent interest in the notion of intimacy and the way that concept is perceived in modern times. I wanted to know how the notion of intimacy was portrayed in one of the most influential texts on how to get along with other people.
I first came to believe that we were all going to die the day my neighbour ‘Old Man Bill’ disappeared. I mean – really believe it. No more hope. No more delusions. Belief that it was just a matter of time before it happened – either by our own hand, or by way of the things that were out there. It’s the kind of belief that comes with a bitter-sick feeling right in the pit of your stomach. It drops you to the floor and has you crying your eyes out. Defeat, annihilation – end. I believed it all right. All because one old man got taken out. The countless deaths before hadn't made me see it. It was the death of an Old Man that meant the end of the world.