(urth) Long Review Essay on Wizard Knight

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes danldo at gmail.com
Tue Sep 18 13:24:29 PDT 2007


First, thank you for posting this. It is a fascinating read.

Second, I would concur, though with a different spin, with Chris's
response. My emphasis would be to remember that Able is a Wolfe
narrator -- that is, an *unreliable* narrator. He may well be telling
the truth as he sees it but he will betray by his words -- by his
inconsistencies, his hesitations, and his omissions -- that the truth
he sees is not necessarily the truth that happens to be the case.

Third, I wish (as a 21st-century liberal, more or less) to dispute
the idea that the words "glory, honor, courage, or hallow" are
somehow bad or disvalued in the modern or postmodern context.

I agree that all four terms can be used in a way that causes Bad
Things to happen. But because a thing can be abused does not
mean that it has no legitimate use.

Well: I will semi-grant you "glory." Glory as a value is at best
ambiguous and dangerous; to seek after glory for its own
sake almost inevitably leads to disastrous consequences for
*someone*. But to glorify those who behave well and benefit
others strikes me as a good way to encourage that behavior.

"Honor" is far less problematic. As something to fight for, it has
a dangerous aspect; but as something to behave with, it is
a desirable trait in all persons. The problem arises only when
the two are separated -- when one expects honor without
behaving honorably.

But where I really question your judgment is in disvaluing
courage. Courage is that trait that leads one to do what is
right despite consequences to oneself, and should not be
confused with mere reckless physical bravery. It takes a
great deal of courage to say "no" to injustice, and without
it the civil rights movement, the feminist movement, the
gay rights movement, etc., would have achieved exactly

As for "hallow," well, perhaps you should tell me what it is
you find so dangerous in the word. To me it is ... well, for
example, I consider both the US Constitution and the United
Nations Declaration of Universal Human Rights to be
hallowed documents, and I utterly concur with Abraham
Lincoln in considering the battlefield at Gettysburg to be
hallowed ground -- not because people died there but
because of *why* they (at least the Union soldiers) died

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes, writer, trainer, bon vivant
I am miserable, he is miserable,
We are miserable.
Can't we have a party? Would he rather have a party?

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