Friday, September 7, 2007

Madeleine L'Engle is Gone

Just heard that she passed, and had to say something.

I had a mixed relationship with her work. As a kid I loved her Wrinkle In Time Trilogy, then got angry at the fourth book because of the way Meg gets turned into a pregnant housewife despite her brilliance and left home from the adventure (this was when I was a teenager); for awhile I couldn't forgive Ms. L'Engle. After all, hadn't Meg's own mom been a scientist and a mom? But now someone has reminded me about the wonderful song from Wind in the Door, and I had to take it all back. She was a worthy influence; there was a lot of power and beauty in many of her books, and an understanding of relationships, that I admire.

Here you go:

"I Name you Echthroi. I Name you Meg.
I Name you Calvin.
I Name you Mr. Jenkins.
I Name you Proginoskes.
I fill you with Naming.
Be, butterfly and behemoth,
be galaxy and grasshopper,
star and sparrow,
you matter,
you are,
Be caterpillar and comet,
Be porcupine and planet,
sea sand and solar system,
sing with us,
dance with us,
rejoice with us,
for the glory of creation,
seagulls and seraphim,
angle worms and angel host,
chrysanthemum and cherubim.
(O cherubim.)
Sing for the glory
of the living and the loving
the flaming of creation
sing with us
dance with us
be with us.

Plus, who can't love a writer who includes a tired, grumpy, and bureaucratic school principal in the saving of the Universe?

Interesting article by the Times here

Thanks to reader Intertext for this heads' up, and her friend Curtana for the reminder of the quote.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention, and for spreading the word. I think her writing deserves to be read as widely as possible. As someone else said today, she's one of those people I never met, who helped make me who I am today.

annie said...

I'm among this number, too, and for her non-fiction as well as her fiction.

Ugh. Sadness.

Heather McDougal said...

Well, at least she was eighty-eight. May we all be blessed with that many years to read and write and love and all that.

Sara said...

Thanks for sharing this news. I've enjoyed her journals as an adult more than I enjoyed her writing as a child.