When I left class on Wednesday 21 March to get
home, I was confronted by some
here I am, she reflected. Where I knew I would end up, from the moment
CASTLES MADE OF SAND, CHAPTER 8: THE NIGHT BELONGS TO FIORINDA
de Troyes, who is much closer to the Celtic traditional texts than
Thomas Malory, can be seen to be struggling
(adapted from D.ROwen's Introduction to the Everyman edition)
Who knows, maybe Chretien's fantasy heroines had some meaning and some effect (Lunette is really cool). But agency and physical security are still hard to come by. You think the idea of a woman being burned alive in public is a fantasy? (Or stoned to death?) Think again. Current estimates say three women a day die in 'honor killings', in Pakistan alone. And that's in the peacetime, domestic ordinary world, they're killed by blokes with mobile phones in their pockets. We haven't even got back to the dark ages yet.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan stated that even though violence against women has been made illegal in many countries, such violence has, in fact, increased... www.amnesty.org.uk
Bringing it all back home: I didn't make up what happens to Fiorinda, except for the fantasy element that says the bad guy uses the body of a dead man as his instrument of torture... which isn't much of a distortion of the truth. Dead men, men with no autonomy, no self respect, easily become monsters in times of conflict. Dead men are everywhere. You think the typical fantasy and sci-fi plot of mayhem, rapine and slaughter is harmless escapism? And you could never do those video-game things in real life, you just love the splatter and the feeling of power... Well, I hope you're right. Wake up. Look around you. CASTLES is not a wild dystopian vision, it's a displacement of what's happening right now, right here, on this globalized earth, and getting closer to where you live, every day.