Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Or, Failing That, Invent

To add a little bit to my comment about The Mists of Avalon, it's almost trite to note that many women come to Wicca after having read that book. And it's certainly not a how-to book or even, necessarily, good mythology or good history. What it IS good for, I think, is for the process that Monique Wittig called for when she wrote:

There was a time
when you were not a slave,
remember that you walked alone,
full of laughter,
you bathed bare-bellied.
You may have lost all recollection of it,

You say there are not words to describe it,
you say it does not exist.
but remember,
make an effort to remember,
or, failing that,

One thing that is so sorely lacking from women's lives that we scarcely notice its absence, just as blind people scarcely miss the color cerise, is a vision of what it could be like to live in a society that recognized the divine feminine. Mists presents a complex world where, although it's fading, the feminine divine is real and recognized and articulated.

Remember, or, failing that, invent.


Sweet Irene said...

"the feminine divine is real and recognized and articulated."

More than anything I need to remember that and if I can't, but I almost do, I need to invent it, but I am pretty sure that I remember it as a truth from my ancestors on down.

Nan said...

It's also not good writing. My reaction to The Mists of Avalon was basically disappointment. The premise had so much potential, and then the book itself turned out to be boring. MZB is one author whose writing did not improve with time; it just grew more pretentious.

I did like the cover art.

Anne Johnson said...

Necessity is the mother of invention. So let's roll up our sleeves and get going.

Maeve said...

There is a definite place for this book, and others like it, and I don't mind admitting that a part of me still fondly wishes that Avalon were a real place that I could actually get to by "parting the mists". It doesn't have to be the best writing, if it captures my imagination. And Mists of Avalon did that. I eventually turned it in for credit at my favorite used book shop, but it was a book I re-read several times as a teen and early 20-something.