Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Wheel of Time creaks to a halt for a moment

Babble on.

Decorated U.S. military veteran James Oliver Rigney Jr., better known as bestselling author Robert Jordan, has died at the age of 58.

His works have brought me hours upon hours of fascinated immersion in a fantastic world, and so never having met the man, I will miss him.

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose.... The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time.

But it was a beginning.

Rest in peace, sir.

Babble off.

Update: What an interesting quote this man gave in an interview:

There are things I am saying, things I am talking about, but I try not to make them obtrusive. The necessity to struggle against evil, the difficulty of identifying evil, how easy it is to go astray, are very simple questions. In modern mainstream fiction, if you discuss good and evil, you're castigated for being judgmental or for being old-fashioned. Originally this was a way of deciding which was the greater wrong - 'It is wrong to steal, but my child is starving to death. Obviously, in that situation it is better to steal than to let my child die of hunger.' But today that has been transmogrified into a belief that anything goes, it's what you can get by with, and there is no real morality, no right, no wrong´┐Ż It's simply what produces the Platonic definition of evil: 'a temporary disadvantage for the one perceiving evil.'

In fantasy, we can talk about right and wrong, and good and evil, and do it with a straight face. We can discuss morality or ethics, and believe that these things are important, where you cannot in mainstream fiction. It's part of the reason why I believe fantasy is perhaps the oldest form of literature in the world, at least in the western canon. You go back not simply to Beowulf but The Epic of Gilgamesh. [Babbler's highlight]

By the way, if anyone can help me track down the citations for his Distinguished Flying Cross awards (two of them, if I've got it right), won as a helicopter gunner in Vietnam, I'd like to read it.