because schmaltz can be OK

Happy Christmas to you from all us here at Paradoxes.

That’s me.

And all of you.

Happy Christmas to you from you from me.

The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond: making everyone’s life considerably more confusing since whenever it was I started writing this thing.

now what?

an abstract

(c) Gerald Richter

Exhausted words that dribble from faltering pen, enchanted into icy silence.  Stillness, memory, listening in wounded silence for the sound of words that will not ring again.  These are the songsters, the merrymakers, the mummers–befuddled through sleep-ridden eyes.

They have lost the words of singing.

Outside on the streets, worship the rush and the warp.  Here come the paraders, masqueraders, riddlers, tippling their wares for the fortieth share of a half-worn drumlin.  Dash the worn pages from weary hands, tumble away those fools who cannot keep their feet.  These are the rulers, the aspiring ones, the pursuit of a nullified dream.

They are not laughing, these hordes.  They are not weeping.  These are the ones who run, success in their eyes and their dreams at their teeth, sand falling from their sacks to drivel in rivers at their heels.  They will not turn around to see, nor will they speak of it if you ask.

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holiday fantasy

Okay, where's the chimney?

We invent, or reinvent, so much in fantasy literature, it comes as no surprise that the holidays are included.  To choose some examples at random, Tad Williams staged the major kingdom overthrown of Shadowmarch (New York: DAW, 2006) at a winter celebration–something resembling a German Christmas.  J. K. Rowling wove the rhythm of the holidays most of us know and love into the Harry Potter saga.

The Doctor’s kept pretty busy the past few Christmases, as well.

One suspects Williams may have chosen the holiday just to have a battle in spectacular costumes.  And Rowling’s holiday feasts decline in importance as her characters grow older–which is an understandable experience of childhood, really.  And Christmas specials in Doctor Who are admittedly a clever marketing ploy.

Nevertheless, holidays form part of our lives, and they can, should, do, form part of our fiction.

In a way, the dwindling of childhood wonder appears manifestly at the holidays.  Everyone remembers where they were when Kennedy got shot (I wasn’t born–I remember that), and where they were when the learned there’s allegedly no Santa Claus.  (No, Virginia–I lied.)  Or that Hanukkah Harry was really just a red-haired kid in a wig. Continue reading