I’m reading Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley and getting depressed. It’s not that she’s a poor writer or pens a poor story, but simply that her world is so dreary. It lacks nobility, honor, and love. Her characters do many things, and are touch with many emotions, but love doesn’t seem to be one of them. Not for themselves, not for each other, and not for their deities. Every character hides secret sins they keep locked within themselves, assuming a mere mask of integrity. They meander through a shadowy world filled with unhappy shades following gods they fear, loathe, and fail to understand.
Perhaps it’s so disheartening because it’s disquieteningly accurate. I wonder how many people put that book down resonating with Bradley’s Morgan or Gwenhwyfar or Lancelet, living with mistakes and failures, hating their god and yet enslaved to it, without hope for the future?
Of course, I’m not finished with the book yet (I’m somewhere around page 590/873) so it might lift itself from its lachrymose pit. Somehow, though, I doubt there’ll be a happy ending.
But life’s ending has yet to be written–and that is in the hands of one mightier than a mere tale-weaver.
Christ be with you, Christ within you,
Christ behind you, Christ before you,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger,
From the Tale-Weaver.