passing of a legend

September 10, 2007

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Madeleine L’Engle passed away last Thursday.  I hadn’t heard about it, until I read Pantalones Del Fuego’s write-up of her own love of L’Engle’s books.  Like Emily, I first read Wrinkle in Time at a young age and was quickly hooked.  L’Engle’s concepts of fantasy, family, faith and love resonated deeply with me and her books made frequent appearances on my re-read cycle (this cycle was mainly dominated by Pippi Longstocking in the South Seas for much of elementary school, I think I read that book almost 15 times).  Her books also emphasized the larger impact that small people or even mitochondria had on the universe, which I always found to be a very comforting theory.  The NY Times printed this quote of hers:

“Why does anybody tell a story?” she once asked, even though she knew the answer. “It does indeed have something to do with faith,” she said, “faith that the universe has meaning, that our little human lives are not irrelevant, that what we choose or say or do matters, matters cosmically.”

That quote connects quite solidly to why I love to read and what I am looking for in a good book.  It has always fascinated me why reading fictional lives can often seem more real to me than the world of non-fiction.  So if you by chance haven’t read L’Engle’s work, I recommend starting with a Wrinkle in Time and “It was a dark and stormy night.”


One comment

  1. Thank you for mentioning L’Engle’s death – I had not heard about it. I shall locate “A Wrinkle in Time” among my books and read it again on the train today. I don’t think that she appealed to my children, but I’ll ask Roxy who is a serious reader. I often think about her book about the regenerating starfish (can’t remember its name but it also has the Tallis Canon in it somewhere)….

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