|Posted on Friday, October 10, 2003 - 04:33 pm: |
I have an off-the-wall query… I was thinking today about some of the philosophies and teachings of the Transcendentalists (Emerson, Thoreau, et al.) and was wondering if there was any obvious works of SF/Fantasy/Horror that directly or indirectly address some of the main concerns and conceits of this philosophical “movement.” Oddly enough, the first thing that came to my mind was “The Smoke Ghost” by fritz Leiber. This seems to embody Thoreau’s warnings of “leading lives of quiet desperation…” and being having them “frittered away by little details”.
Is there a connection here, or am I seeing ghosts? Can anybody else think of any “transcendental” spec/fic/lit?
|Posted on Friday, October 10, 2003 - 04:44 pm: |
Jeremy, there is a six-book series of kids' books by Jane Langton called The Hall Family Chronicles, in which one of the adult characters runs his own school of Transcendentalism -- he's constantly quoting from Emerson and Thoreau. The children in the books have fantastic adventures (courtesy of a number of magical objects they find or are given), but one of the subtexts is the way in which the Hall family stands apart from their neighbors in their basic values and philosophy of life. The books are cool as stories for kids (of all ages) but also present some Trans'ist ideas...they were written over a pretty long time span beginning around 1963, as best I can tell, but have recently been re-issued.
Don't know if that's one of the kind of thing you're wondering about or not, but they are very good books.
|Posted on Friday, October 10, 2003 - 04:59 pm: |
Oh, here, let me not be so lazy..the titles are The Diamond in the Window, The Swing in the Summerhouse, The Amazing Stereoscope, The Fledgling, The Fragile Flag and The Time Bike.
|Posted on Friday, October 10, 2003 - 06:32 pm: |
The author of FRANKENSTIEN had some connection with the transcendentalists on a literary circle level.
|Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 10:06 am: |
Not sure if it falls into your SF/Fantasy/Horror boundaries but Moby-Dick plays with many Emerson's principles (particularly the ones he layed out in "On Nature"). Melville mentions Emerson several times in his letters and I have always thought Ahab was, in part, a parody of Emerson's Natural Man.
Wrote a long essay on this in college. It's all kind of foggy now.
|Posted on Saturday, March 13, 2004 - 07:13 pm: |
You might check out Coffins by Rodman Philbrick. It seems there was a goodly amount of reflection in Emerson et. al.
|Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 05:37 pm: |
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