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 Post subject: "Wind in the Willows" - Kenneth Grahame
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:53 pm 
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Master
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It's been a rough spell at work for awhile now and I just wanted something light to read. Couldn't have picked a better book to lose oneself in.
This has the illustrations by Ernest H Shepard... and they're great. They've got that simple/wistful sense to them. Or, they evoke that wistful sense in me.

They're a perfect companion to the actual story.
The way the dwellings (Rat's, Badger's and Mole's) are described is perfect. Reminds me so much of how Tolkien explains the Hobbit dwellings. That cozy sense of the lodgings that just transports you there... you almost don't want them to even leave the house.

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 Post subject: Re: "Wind in the Willows" - Kenneth Grahame
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:54 pm 
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And GKC, thanks for the suggestion (a year or two ago) to get the one with the Shepard illustrations.

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 Post subject: Re: "Wind in the Willows" - Kenneth Grahame
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:52 pm 
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Some Poor Bibliophile
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p.falk wrote:
And GKC, thanks for the suggestion (a year or two ago) to get the one with the Shepard illustrations.



You are very welcome.

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 Post subject: Re: "Wind in the Willows" - Kenneth Grahame
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 4:01 pm 
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Did you notice the chapter that has a title that is now perhaps more famous as the title of Pink Floyd's first album? The Piper At The Gates of Dawn. That chapter is very strange and even surreal.

This book may have been intended primarily as a children's book, but there are chapters that can't really be appreciated or maybe even understand except by adults.

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 Post subject: Re: "Wind in the Willows" - Kenneth Grahame
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:07 pm 
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Doom wrote:
Did you notice the chapter that has a title that is now perhaps more famous as the title of Pink Floyd's first album? The Piper At The Gates of Dawn. That chapter is very strange and even surreal.

This book may have been intended primarily as a children's book, but there are chapters that can't really be appreciated or maybe even understand except by adults.


Indeed.

I deleted a sentence from my post above. I read that chapter to my wife, not long after we were married.

I also recommend his THE GOLDEN AGE and DREAM DAYS with the Maxfield Parrish illustrations. I have reprints with pretty muddy repros of the Parrish pics.

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 Post subject: Re: "Wind in the Willows" - Kenneth Grahame
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:07 am 
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Doom wrote:
Did you notice the chapter that has a title that is now perhaps more famous as the title of Pink Floyd's first album? The Piper At The Gates of Dawn. That chapter is very strange and even surreal.

This book may have been intended primarily as a children's book, but there are chapters that can't really be appreciated or maybe even understand except by adults.



Yes. This chapter did confuse me quite a bit.
Finding Otter's son made the ol jaw go a bit slack.

How does that break fit into the greater narrative? Is it to show some meaningful religiosity (or at least spirituality) in the life of the animals of the story?

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 Post subject: Re: "Wind in the Willows" - Kenneth Grahame
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:09 pm 
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p.falk wrote:
Doom wrote:
Did you notice the chapter that has a title that is now perhaps more famous as the title of Pink Floyd's first album? The Piper At The Gates of Dawn. That chapter is very strange and even surreal.

This book may have been intended primarily as a children's book, but there are chapters that can't really be appreciated or maybe even understand except by adults.



Yes. This chapter did confuse me quite a bit.
Finding Otter's son made the ol jaw go a bit slack.

How does that break fit into the greater narrative? Is it to show some meaningful religiosity (or at least spirituality) in the life of the animals of the story?


Yes.

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 Post subject: Re: "Wind in the Willows" - Kenneth Grahame
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:43 pm 
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Having wrestled the taxes into momentary submission (they will rise and turn, again), I went looking for something that I thought I remembered from my period, starting around 40 years ago, when I added children's tales, roughly Victorian/Edwardian, to the other excuses I have to buy books. What I thought I recalled, and thought might bear on "Piper", I could not find. Since all the relevant books, fiction and reference and studies, are packed. Of course.

So I looked on line. Didn't find anything I was looking for, there. But found a quite plausible reason why "Piper" and the chapter "Wayfarers All" might seem a little out of step with the rest of the story, as commentators have noted..

Grahame invented these tales, individually, as pater familias, telling stories to his child (a well known exercise). After a while he thought he might have a marketable commodity and organized them into a unity. But the two mentioned chapters were not among the original tales. They were additions. I found speculation that Grahame wanted to aim a little more for what we would call a YA book. With a little more weight added. Hence these two chapters. The source for that was, I read, his wife.

And so to bed.

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 Post subject: Re: "Wind in the Willows" - Kenneth Grahame
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:25 pm 
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p.falk wrote:

How does that break fit into the greater narrative? Is it to show some meaningful religiosity (or at least spirituality) in the life of the animals of the story?


Didn't you notice that the book has a severe case of ADD, constantly interrupting the story with apparently irrelevant vignettes? You could ask the question 'what does this have to do with anything?' about more than half the content of the book.

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 Post subject: Re: "Wind in the Willows" - Kenneth Grahame
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:44 pm 
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Anybody read my post?

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Save that the sky grows darker yet
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 Post subject: Re: "Wind in the Willows" - Kenneth Grahame
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:20 pm 
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GKC wrote:

:cloud9:

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Need something to read?


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 Post subject: Re: "Wind in the Willows" - Kenneth Grahame
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:32 pm 
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GKC wrote:
Anybody read my post?


Yes. Much like the later but very similar book "Watership Down" by Richard Adams, "The Wind in the Willows" was something of it attempt to give a coherent form to a bunch of stories that were originally not really all that connected at all. Which is largely why the story wanders and meanders all over the place.

Actually, books like Ray Bradbury's 'The Martian Chronicles" might be an even better comparison.

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 Post subject: Re: "Wind in the Willows" - Kenneth Grahame
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:59 pm 
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Doom wrote:
GKC wrote:
Anybody read my post?


Yes. Much like the later but very similar book "Watership Down" by Richard Adams, "The Wind in the Willows" was something of it attempt to give a coherent form to a bunch of stories that were originally not really all that connected at all. Which is largely why the story wanders and meanders all over the place.

Actually, books like Ray Bradbury's 'The Martian Chronicles" might be an even better comparison.


Yeah, but...the presence of two chapters not constructed to be read to a young child, but to add a depth of mystic romanticism seems to be more a disconnect. The other chapters were episodic, but much of same flavor. Like Winnie the Pooh.

The point I went searching for in my (absconded) reference books on Grahame was my memory that he was of a mystic turn, not a regular old CoE type, and was putting a little of that in there. Celtic twilight. Maybe Theosophy. I dunno. But two of these things in there were not like the others.

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Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher."


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 Post subject: Re: "Wind in the Willows" - Kenneth Grahame
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:21 pm 
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Master
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GKC wrote:
Having wrestled the taxes into momentary submission (they will rise and turn, again), I went looking for something that I thought I remembered from my period, starting around 40 years ago, when I added children's tales, roughly Victorian/Edwardian, to the other excuses I have to buy books. What I thought I recalled, and thought might bear on "Piper", I could not find. Since all the relevant books, fiction and reference and studies, are packed. Of course.

So I looked on line. Didn't find anything I was looking for, there. But found a quite plausible reason why "Piper" and the chapter "Wayfarers All" might seem a little out of step with the rest of the story, as commentators have noted..

Grahame invented these tales, individually, as pater familias, telling stories to his child (a well known exercise). After a while he thought he might have a marketable commodity and organized them into a unity. But the two mentioned chapters were not among the original tales. They were additions. I found speculation that Grahame wanted to aim a little more for what we would call a YA book. With a little more weight added. Hence these two chapters. The source for that was, I read, his wife.

And so to bed.



Very interesting.
Those chapters (when I was reading the book to my son) lost my son's interest a bit. Some of it just concepts that escape a 6 year old's imagination... especially when he was still laughing about Mr. Toad's "poop-poop" comments.

I was sad to finish this book.. work has been an unmitigated nightmare and, after getting the rascals to bed, to settle down and lose myself in such a delightful story (along with those Shepard Illustrations) was therapeutic.

I like that beautiful, simplicity to the illustrations. Looking at them made me think of Pauline Baynes' illustrations in the world of Narnia.

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For who we are and what we'll be/ I'll sing your praise eternally/ the miles we've shared I'd trade but few/ they're the ones that kept me away from you.


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