Now that I’m back from Switzerland (will post pictures soon), it’s time to think about Witch Week! This is my fourth annual celebration of fantasy books and authors (actual witches need not be involved). According to the book of the same name by Diana Wynne Jones, this magical week starts on Halloween and runs until Guy Fawkes Day. What better time to look at our favorite magical books?
This year’s theme is Dreams of Arthur, focusing on literature that draws on the Arthurian legend (whether in a fantasy or historical-fiction mode). Guest posts have always been an important part of Witch Week, and this year I thought for a change I’d send out an open call for anyone who might like to contribute. Some of the topics I’ve thought of include:
- The Leader – Arthur as an archetype of the good leader who brings his people into a brief but brilliant golden age is one reason why this legend has such a powerful hold on our imaginations. How does this image resonate with us today? How does it play out through various retellings?
- The Wizard – Merlin is a fascinating figure who has been envisioned in many different ways. Was he truly magical, or simply a good manipulator? What was his motivation in bringing Arthur to the throne?
- The Women – The women of the Arthurian legend represent multiple faces of the feminine. What do they tell us about our own experience and our own power?
- The Knights – The circle of knights around Arthur also venture down many paths, leading to trials as well as triumphs. What can we learn from these adventures?
- The Enemy – Mordred, the ill-begotten son who brought down the glory of Camelot, is the inevitable worm in the apple. How does he fill a necessary role? In some re-imaginings, he is made a sympathetic character — does this feel satisfying?
If you are inspired to write about one of these topics, or any variation thereof, please send me a description of your idea (lory at emeraldcitybookreview dot com) by August 15, and I will get back to you with details. More than one proposal per topic may be accepted; the more participants the better, as far as I’m concerned! And if you want to go in a completely different direction, that’s fine too.
I hope I will hear from some new voices by putting out this call, but if nobody comes forward, I’ll ask some of my favorite bloggers once more. Looking forward … and I hope you are too.