To My Daughter: Be Like Rey Mar07

To My Daughter: Be Like Rey...

Ah, my dear Madeleine, asleep in your fuzzy tiger costume and strapped to my chest. You are a scant six weeks old, and your life consists entirely of sleeping, eating, bouncing in your parents’ arms, and the occasional bout of thunderous flatulence. For now you have no time for books or movies, and you can barely grasp my finger, let alone an Xbox controller. You are a very, very long way from climbing trees and learning karate. Someday, though, you will have your own adventures, and you will learn to love stories as much as I do. In these stories you will find your heroes, models who show you how to live a good and just life. To that end, I submit to you Rey, hero of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as a candidate for your first hero. Rey has a great many qualities that every young adventurer should aspire to have, no matter where they come from or where they are going. She is adaptive, resilient, and clever; she is tough as nails, smart as a whip, and incredibly brave. Our hero has many fine qualities, but they alone were not enough to defeat Kylo Ren. Yet most pivotal of all in Rey’s heroic qualities is that she is a dreamer. She is a romantic, though not in the modern sense of day-dreaming infatuation; Rey longs for adventure. She doesn’t just want the old stories of Jedi and the Force to be true; she wants to be a part of them. Her shelter on Jakku is lined with artifacts from the Rebellion and she dons the helmet of a Rebel pilot as she wistfully stares at a ship leaving the planet. Like Luke Skywalker before her, Rey hungers to be part of...

Bloodborne and the economy of art...

Bloodborne, FromSoftware’s hit PlayStation 4 game, nearly defies description. It is bleak, macabre, grisly, and haunting; it will gross you out, creep into your soul, and send shivers down your spine. In the game, townspeople driven to insanity lurk in the dim, torch-lit alleys of Yharnam, a labyrinthine, Victorian-era city. Werewolves sniff and snort as they prowl abandoned mansions and overgrown graveyards. Hideous creatures, masses of eyes, teeth, and tentacles, that literally frighten the player to death, lie in wait. And the game is as mysterious as it is menacing; as the story evolves, a black well of secrets, deeper than any could imagine, is revealed. I think the game is bloody brilliant, if you’ll forgive the pun. Though it’s not just the unnerving aesthetic that makes Bloodborne amazing; I love it because it adheres to a principle espoused by C.S. Lewis: “Whatever in a work of art is not used, is doing harm” (“On Science Fiction”). A quick word on Lewis—some readers may be surprised to learn that Clive Staples wasn’t simply an author of fantastical children’s books. Indeed, The Chronicles of Narnia came relatively late in his life, after years of distinguished work as an Oxford scholar of medieval literature. His non-fiction bibliography is voluminous, and his writings as a literary critic are particularly prolific. The Allegory of Love was, for years, a standard text in the study of medieval literature and An Experiment in Criticism is still widely read today. Agree or disagree with the man’s philosophy, when it comes to interpreting art, Lewis is a force to be reckoned with. Art, it must be remembered, is communication; it is expression, the conveying of feelings in symbolic form. By the way, Lewis allegedly disliked film; if I had to hazard a...