“We did not have kalothi. We died of the Unknown Danger.” The pain of the Race was in his voice. Then his voice became resonant until it challenged even the sea. “And God in His mercy took pity and carried us from the Unknown Place across His Sky so that we might find kalothi. We wept when He gave us Geta. We moaned when He cast us out. But God’s Heart was stone to our tears. Only in a harsh place beneath His Sky might we find kalothi. And only with kalothi shall we dare to laugh our laugh in the face of the Unknown Danger.”
Joesai brought out the priest’s Black Hand and White Hand, each with special scars, each carved from wood and mounted on short rods. He held them above his head so that he became long-armed. “Two Hands build kalothi.” With a vibrating sound that was half formal laughter, half formal grief, he meshed the wooden fingers together. “Life is the Test. Death is the Change.”
Donald Kingsbury, “Courtship Rite”
[“kalothi” - strength, virtue, fitness-to-survive.]
bell hooks, “Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center”
Gonna quote her alllll day.
[M]any boys have a really hard time with subjectivity. To grapple with your own subjectivity is to grapple with the subjectivities of others. It’s to see the world not as legible, stable, conquerable but as resistant, shifting, and fundamentally unknowable. It diminishes your certainty and authority. It leaves you vulnerable. This is a human problem, being a person among persons, but one that many boys have trouble admitting even the basic tenets of. And so they call for an objectivity that has no foundation except received opinion, that seeks to diminish individual experience, and that turns out to not even exist.
Objectivity is very convenient for the straight white middle class male gamer. Videogame culture encourages him to see his own subjectivity as the standard, as objective. He’ll invoke science, economics, statistics, and all manner of folk wisdom to defend his little kingdom. He’ll decry any challenge as ‘politics’ or ‘bad business’ or ‘whining’ or ‘here we go again’. He never considers how often objectivity is a cover for a dominant subjectivity, for a subjectivity that stays in power by not being recognized as such. He fears what will happen if the established order breaks down.
[T]he men of Yarnith tell how Hothrun Dath came back again panting to his own city, and told the people that there were no gods and that Yarnith had no hope from Yarni Zai. Then the men of Yarnith when they knew that the Famine came not from the gods, arose and strove against him. They dug deep for wells, and slew goats for food high up on Yarnith’s mountains and went afar and gathered blades of grass, where yet it grew, that their cattle might live. Thus they fought the Famine, for they said: “If Yarni Zai be not a god, then is there nothing mightier in Yarnith than men, and who is the Famine that he should bare his teeth against the lords of Yarnith?”
And they said: “If no help cometh from Yarni Zai then is there no help but from our own strength and might, and we be Yarnith’s gods with the saving of Yarnith burning within us or its doom according to our desire.”
And some more the Famine slew, but others raised their hands saying: “These be the hands of gods,” and drave the Famine back till he went from the houses of men and out among the cattle, and still the men of Yarnith pursued him, till above the heat of the fight came the million whispers of rain heard faintly far off towards evening. Then the Famine fled away howling back to the mountains and over the mountains’ crests, and became no more than a thing that is told in Yarnith’s legends.
Richard put away the Narnia books, convinced, sadly, that they were allegory; that an author (whom he had trusted) had been attempting to slip something past him… Richard was young, and innocent in his fashion, and believed that authors should be trusted, and that there should be nothing hidden beneath the surface of a story.
At least the Elric stories were honest. There was nothing going on beneath the surface there: Elric was the etiolated prince of a dead race, burning with self-pity, clutching Stormbringer, his dark-bladed broadsword — a blade which sang for lives, which ate human souls and which gave their strength to the doomed and weakened albino.