Posts tagged with "prydain" - Faerye Net 2007-05-22T22:28:38+00:00 Felicity Shoulders Lloyd Alexander, 1924-2007 2007-05-22T22:28:38+00:00 2008-06-08T12:00:42+00:00 <p>On May 17, Lloyd Alexander crossed the Sundering Sea.</p> <p>Lloyd Alexander&#8217;s Prydain Chronicles were perhaps the first truly great books I ever read. His writing was funny, simple, earnest, and beautiful. He wrote stories about growing up, sheer adventure, and (endlessly) about the fascination and splendor of the feline. Notably, he wrote heroes who were real, fallible people; moral choices which did not come with a trail of breadcrumbs; stories for children that resonate with adults.</p> <p>My favorite Prydain book, <em>Taran Wanderer</em>, is the most obvious example. It renders the mythic true and palpable. It makes the struggle of life, of growing up and finding an identity, into a quest both adventurous and normal. I hope I will never stop finding it deeper and more true as I get older, because I feel that if I do, perhaps it means I, not it, have stopped growing. All that, my friends, from a &#8216;children&#8217;s book&#8217;.</p> <p>The only fan letter I have ever written was to Lloyd Alexander. I still have his response, framed. I hold it in my lap now, trying not to cry on it. It is typed (with a typewriter) on personalized stationery, with a fiddling Puss-in-Boots gracing the head. I couldn&#8217;t tell you how dear this letter is to me without quoting it nearly in full, nor without explaining what I&#8217;d said in my letter. I can only say that if, as the aphorists claim, &#8220;You regret the things you don&#8217;t do more than the things you do,&#8221; this letter represents one of my spectacular avoided regrets. It&#8217;s a beautiful letter.</p> <p>However dark the world may seem, there are special, unforgettable people in it with us. They and we are here so briefly. Be foolish, earnest, and heartfelt. Try to be a hero. Be kind to cats. Forgive yourself. Tell those people what they mean to you while you can.</p>