Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Once and Future King (11)

T.H. White. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons. 1939.

Why read it? Merlyn teaches King Arthur the art of leadership. Part of his training was in learning to live with the animals and gain their perspective. Finally, he founded the Round Table. Merlyn is a most amazing character. A delightful and imaginative tale of what was to become known as Camelot. And a great deal of wisdom.


“…the faculty to look short life in the face….” p. 461.

Guenever…it was her part to sit at home, though passionate, though real and hungry in her fierce and tender heart…no recognized diversions except what is comparable to the ladies’ bridge party of today…no occupation---except Lancelot.” p. 462.

The Round Table: “There had been the first feeling, a companionship of youth…the second, of chivalrous rivalry growing staler every year…until it had nearly turned to feud and empty competition…the enthusiasm of the Grail…now the maturer or the saddest phase had come, in which enthusiasms had been used up for good.” p. 468.

“If you achieve perfection, you die.” p. 468.

“Arthur, reserved and unhappy in the new atmosphere which had begun to pull away from him instead of with him….” p. 469.

“Nowadays, when a point of justice is obscure and difficult, each side hires lawyers to argue it out; in those days [the days of King Arthur] the upper classes hired champions to fight it out—which came to the same thing.” p. 470.

To be continued.

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