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The Darkening of White Fantasy Literature

Arthur Rackham's painting of Alberich and the Rhine Maidens after Richard Wagner

Arthur Rackham, Alberich and the Rhine Maidens, 1910-1911

1,323 words 

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream —
Lingering in the golden gleam —
Life, what is it but a dream?

— Lewis Carroll,  Alice Through the Looking Glass 

I thought I had seen and heard it all when J. K. Rowling, appearing on the Christmas special of Radio 4’s The Museum of Curiosity, claimed her Harry Potter books were an allegory against racism and her hero’s nemesis, Voldemort, was an authoritarian nationalist. But unfortunately, I was sadly mistaken, because following rapidly on the heels of the character assassination of Enid Blyton for being a stereotyping racist and the banning of her golliwogs and ragamuffin gypsies for giving offense to certain ethnicities, I was, within a few short hours made aware of a stage production of C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe populated by children of Afro-Caribbean descent and Aslan, the heroic Christ-Figure, being played by a Rastafarian whose matted dreadlocks are meant to represent the Lion’s glorious golden mane.

There was already, of course, the anti-colonial and pro-feminist preaching of the latest series of Dr. Who and the LGBT virtue signaling of George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones to contend with. Themes it seems that are to continue masquerading in the guise of children’s entertainment, when the re-make of the 1970s British classic, Worzel Gummidge, a character created by Barbara Euphan Todd — a walking, talking scarecrow who is associated with the Green Man of British folklore — finds himself befriended by two young children, Susan and John. Played now, not by the well-spoken middle-class children of yore, but by the liquorice-skinned India Brown and Thierry Wickens. Their grating estuarine accents combining with their rolling disdainful eyes to mock the central comic character while spitting out street-wise idioms in patois slang.

A trend no doubt welcomed by the author, Philip Pullman, who wrote the over-hyped and diversity-celebrating His Dark Materials trilogy. A social justice warrior par excellence, Pullman has been critical of his own father who died while serving in the RAF fighting the murderous Mau Mau terrorists in Kenya, saying he was “dropping bombs on people with spears and knives.” He was active in charitable activities in support of the hapless victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, taking the name of one young girl who died, Nur Huda el-Wahabi, as a main character in the money-spinning continuation of the Dark Materials series. He is also the creator of the Greta Thunberg-like feminist all-action heroine Lyra Belacqua, the scruffy and imperious ward of Oxford’s Jordan College.

Pullman, like Rowling, is himself an artificial product — not a poet or original thinker — but a Left-leaning Guardian-reading progressive pushing subliminal polemics rather than what he portends to be — a sub-creator of imaginary worlds. A hollow-man who had the gall to say in an interview with Slate magazine in 2015: “Tolkien’s work has very little of interest in it to the reader of literature, in my opinion. When I think of literature – Dickens, George Eliot, Joseph Conrad – the great novelists found their subject matter in human nature, emotion, in the ways we relate to each other. If that’s what Tolkien’s up to he’s left half of it out. The books are male-oriented. The entire question of sexual relationships is omitted.”

Perhaps Pullman who claims “The Lord of the Rings is fundamentally an infantile work” is mixing-up the intense and long-lasting passions displayed between Beren and Luthien, Aragon and Arwen, Galadriel and Celeborn, Sam and Rosie and the love triangle between Faramir, Aragon, and Eowyn with the graphic biological interactions so prominently depicted in the same-sex relationship school texts that children are now subjected to from their infancy?

The pretentious Pullman, who is not worthy of cleaning Professor Tolkien’s walking boots after he has strolled through a cow-shed continuing “C.  S. Lewis’s work is not frivolous in the way that Tolkien is frivolous . . . I just don’t like the conclusions Lewis comes to . . . the way he shuts children out from heaven or whatever it is, on the grounds that the one girl is interested in boys. She’s a teenager! Ah, it’s terrible: sex – can’t have that. And yet I respect Lewis more than I do Tolkien.”

Did he not notice the prominent and fully rounded parts played by Lucy and her older sibling Susan in The Chronicles of Narnia? Which leads me to ask myself, did he actually read or truly understand Tolkien and Lewis? Or is he simply reveling with self-indulgence because his opinion is being asked about two of the last century’s greatest children’s writers? The juxtaposition of his efforts next to those he is criticizing is like comparing the polystyrene pastiche of George Lucas’s Star Wars to the world-envisioning genius of Frank Herbert’s Dune.

After all, have we not suffered enough already? We’ve been force-fed the spectacle of a black playing Annie, half of Edwardian London’s milk men and chimney sweeps coming from the Caribbean in the most recent re-make of Mary Poppins, Peter Jackson inserting Africans into the street scenes of The Hobbit, J. J. Abrams facilitating a lesbian kiss in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker; and the nightmarish all-black cast of Michael Jackson’s The Wiz, a monochrome production by Rob Cohen, re-telling The Wizard of Oz.

How long, I wonder, before Paddington Bear is transformed into a climate refugee escaping the loggers in Central South America, Winnie the Pooh converts from a honey diet to veganism, Peter Pan is made-over into a transsexual, or Wonderland Alice is portrayed by a veiled Muslim?

Do you think I am exaggerating? Perhaps you have not yet heard of Ebony Elizabeth Thomas’s book The Dark Fantastic: Race and the imagination from Harry Potter to The Hunger Games, a publication that explicitly focusses on the roles played by black actors in adaptions of books for young adults. Examples include Rue, played by Amandla Stenberg from Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy, Angel Leonie Coulby, an Afro-Guyanese actress who played Gwen in the BBC’s Merlin, Bonnie Bennett, from the American TV series The Vampire Diaries, and Angelina Johnson, a fellow pupil at Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Academy.

Thomas argues that the genre of children’s writing has always favored white characters, the implication being that this is an injustice that needs to be corrected. The academic Dimitra Fimi, lecturer in Fantasy and Children’s Literature at the University of Glasgow, argues in her review of Thomas’s thesis in the Times Literary Supplement that “bringing racial prejudice to the foreground is not pretty. But it is necessary, indispensable even. The last few pages of The Dark Fantastic wonder whether we can eventually learn, or dare to imagine differently. And, in itself, this is a book that helps to begin that process.”

But what process, I wonder? One possible conclusion might be that this “process” is a deliberate and rather egregious attempt to appropriate children’s literature and the teen movie genre in general, perhaps in order to further ingrain young and impressionable minds with the all-encompassing paradigm of multiculturalism by injecting diversity into fantasy and imaginative writing, generally set within a Western Civilizational context, where people of color, much like in the real world, have no claim to belong. Would it not be better, if they and their progressive handlers in the publishing world and production rooms of Tinsel Town, attempted to create their own fictional universes? Something truly worthy of the name, that could stand on its own merit in the canon alongside Tolkien, Lewis et al., rather than trying to invade the imaginative spheres of others for whom they have no real sympathy and no cultural comprehension? But that very thought is itself a fantasy. Which rather puts me in mind of Lewis Carroll once again:

“I am not crazy, my reality is just different from yours.” — Cheshire Cat, from Alice in Wonderland

 

25 Comments

  1. Ian Smith
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Pullman is a staunch atheist. He rails against Christianity, and yet the only people in the UK under 80 who take Christianity seriously are immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean. It must cause serious cognitive dissonance.

    • Digital Samizdat
      Posted January 16, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      I doubt it causes the likes of Phillip Pullman any cog-dis whatsoever. It’s just like all those liberals in the US who profess to abhor gun violence, when the vast majority of it is committed by blacks.

  2. Tykebomb
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    This is the true horror of multi-cultural capitalism. Whites will have their culture stolen and sold to the lowest common denominator. It only goes one way much like the migrants themselves.

  3. Ross
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    I wonder how diversified the new Lord of the Rings series coming out next year will be.

    • Another Ghost
      Posted January 16, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Very. I believe several of the cast are mixed race or African already.

      Rebooting old fantasy or films/games from the West has a two pronged effect: It makes a fortune off of an already established work as it lives off it’s legacy no matter how bad it is, and it stains that legacy with diversity.

  4. Orcish Scribe
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Pullman leaves a bad taste in my mouth similar to China mieville, who is unquestionably a first rate prose stylist. Pullman makes such a weird unappealing conjunction of elements. I stopped reading the second book when he declares of the boy “he’s a murderer.”

    One thing I’ll say about Pullman is he’s very inegalitarian. You are set at puberty when your familiar takes it’s form, and that delimits your status from then out.

    I can’t understand why these books are so hyped when there’s real fantasists out there like Jack Vance or Clark Aston Smith.

  5. HamburgerToday
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Would it not be better, if they…attempted to create their own fictional universes?

    Indeed.

    We should call it out for what it is: Cultural appropriation of White culture.

    • K
      Posted January 16, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      I know I am preaching to the choir saying this, but still..
      Fantasy requires a certain level of grandiosity to work and cultural honesty to work. If you never got passed the mudhut stage, writing a story based on that it is just embarrassing. They cannot because they have no culture to base it on. They don’t want a story of mud huts and intertribal warfare because at the heart of things, their cultures are enormously brutal and writing fantasy on them would require a level of honesty no pc-minded creator would be willing to admit.

      • HamburgerToday
        Posted January 17, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        I’m not sure fantasy as a whole requires ‘grandiosity’. A good counterexample is Hope Mirrlees’ Lud-In-The-Mist and much of Jack Vance’s ‘Dying Earth’. Heroic fantasy, would, I agree, depend upon some ‘grandiosity’ (saving the world, etc).

      • Alexandra O
        Posted January 18, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        The mud huts’ and the ‘heart of their culture’ starred in Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”. The horror!

        • Fenek Solere
          Posted January 19, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

          Dear Alexandra,
          That is a perfect description. I shall be doing a piece on Conrad’s Heart of Darkness very soon and your sentiments perfectly reflect what will be the core theme of that article.
          Best as ever!
          FS

  6. Hugo Adrian
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    One possible conclusion might be that this “process” is a deliberate and rather egregious attempt to appropriate children’s literature and the teen movie genre in general, perhaps in order to further ingrain young and impressionable minds with the all-encompassing paradigm of multiculturalism by injecting diversity into fantasy and imaginative writing, generally set within a Western Civilizational context, where people of color, much like in the real world, have no claim to belong.

    Exclusively white child chimney sweeps can’t be shown on screen, because then young white kids may realize the concept of “white privilege” is an anti-white myth. Exclusively white towns and cities cannot be shown, because then young white kids may feel an ownership and pride in their spaces. All of the pre-multicultural stories must be racially retconned to include non-whites for the brainwashing to work, and we’re seeing that happen in real-time. Amazon Prime’s version of The Lord of the Rings will feature a mulatto, a black woman, and a mixed race child of unknown ingredients, not to mention the countless extras we’ll see in the background.

    I’m afraid comics, book publishing, and the film business are largely dominated by a certain tribe that hates our people. They act as kingmakers. When they’re not crowning their own as the new elite, they shine a spotlight on authors like Rowling and Pullman who voluntarily reject wrongthink. I have no doubt that the latter are true believers, but on some level they know who butters their bread. As things “progress,” even white authors like them will be rejected in favor of “writers of color” who will no doubt inject as much venomous anti-white messaging into their stories as possible. Welcome to hell.

    • Fenek Solere
      Posted January 16, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Dear Hugo,
      I just checked out the cast-list and felt sick to my stomach… I am not only a white Nationalist but also a Tolkien purist and this is an insult to the professor’s memory and literary legacy.
      Best Wishes
      FS

      • K
        Posted January 16, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        It is the most jarring thing for me to see black men dressed in medieval, European style armor and clothing. I can’t imagine anybody else doesn’t feel the same because the white equivalent is Justin Trudeau dressing up in traditional Indian clothing, cavorting around idiotically. There is a sense of not belonging and it doesn’t fit.

        • Veles
          Posted January 17, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

          They will leave nothing alone as sacred. Even the smallest thing will be trampled on. After thinking about this when it comes to fantasy I no longer mind. Fantasy for a while was taken over by feminists who tried to make it their domain. In a way the race bending is going to affect them deeply especially characters that they identify with. For all their hot air about diversity there are some characters that white feminists identify with it and it will hurt seeing them race bent. Let them see now what their betrayal has lead to. I think this will be a wake up call for a lot of people and not just feminists. Finally they will realize what happens when you live only for yourself and don’t want large families. Now they will understand. Actually in some way they are doing us a favour. If this doesn’t arouse them, they will remain asleep forever. The only joy I really get is knowing how this will hurt feminists most. No matter what, I believe it was their betrayal that brought us to where we are now.

        • Alexandra O
          Posted January 18, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          Justin Trudeau is the Fairy Dress-up Queen of the Century. I’ve never seen anything like it!

  7. Joxer
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    There is plenty of diversity in Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, behaving exactly the way we are used to seeing Diversity behaving, the Orcs and the Goblins for some reason stand out.

  8. K
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    This is something that has happened to the Witcher. There is always the people that simply state, “It is a fantasy story. There are monsters and ghosts why couldn’t there be black people.” You say it is a part of white culture, they say it doesn’t exist. They say you don’t have this thing while they take it from you. If the fall of America, stopped the appropriation of every single white cultural product the sooner the better.

  9. Proofreader
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Note to end:

    Lewis Carroll, Alice Through the Looking Glass [delete second word space after “Carroll”]

    Perhaps Pullman[,] who claims “The Lord of the Rings is fundamentally an infantile work[,]” is mixing-up the intense and long-lasting passions displayed between Beren and Luthien, Aragon and Arwen, Galadriel and Celeborn, Sam and Rosie[,] and the love triangle between Faramir, Aragon, and Eowyn with the graphic biological interactions so prominently depicted in the same-sex relationship school texts that children are now subjected to from their infancy?

    The pretentious Pullman, who is not worthy of cleaning Professor Tolkien’s walking boots after he has strolled through a cow-shed[,] continuing [use “continues,” and follow with a comma or a colon? See the previous paragraph] “C. S. Lewis’s work is not frivolous in the way that Tolkien is frivolous . . . I just don’t like the conclusions Lewis comes to . . . the way he shuts children out from heaven or whatever it is, on the grounds that the one girl is interested in boys. She’s a teenager! Ah, it’s terrible: sex – can’t have that. And yet I respect Lewis more than I do Tolkien.”

  10. Martin Venator
    Posted January 17, 2020 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    I know I’m stating the obvious here, but the multiracialist, feminist and LBGT propaganda in TV series is so pervasive, most people don’t even notice it. They’re totally inured to the poison.

    Of the last six Netflix series I’ve watched, FIVE had Black & White interracial relationships going on (4 Bl. man + Wh. woman, 1 Bl. woman + Wh. man). The one that didn’t was a documentary about a serial killer.

    In the last episode of the new series I’m watching, Aquarius, a Latino cop tries to kill himself after facing racial discrimination at work (although he actually looks White, which is confusing), but is saved by the protagonist, who comes out as half-Jewish. His father, a wise Jew, is in the anti-Vietnam War movement. The protagonist’s colleague is a young detective who has married a Negress and fathered a brown baby, and who has to face racially motivated attacks because of his brave choices.

    I could go on and on, but it would be pointless. Needless to say all the Blacks invthese series are heroes and/or great minds.

    Meanwhile, the only Black I know in real life (I see him at the gym), an adopted Congoid of some sort, a lad of 25, has been unable to hold dow a job for more than five months (he usually gets fired), has built up a solid criminal record for minor assaults (fist fight), appears to have no cultural interests at all apart fron fancy boats, weed and bodybuilding, and – to top it all – has knocked up his White girlfriend. I’m sure he’ll be taking parenting as seriously as he does his professional career…

    Not sure why I’m writing all this, but I suspect it’s because if I were to tell most friends of mine or even my wife, they’d berate me for being paranoid and prejudiced…

    Needless to say, the

    • Fenek Solere
      Posted January 18, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Dear Martin Venator,
      Your experience mirrors my own…Its the same old story everywhere. Feckless non-whites living off the generosity of Western civilization.
      Best
      FS

  11. bluto
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Pullman is A1 grade boomer. A detestable character. Pulling the ladder up behind him while denigrating those who hewed from bare wood the very rungs he has used to gain his position. I have never read his garbage, never will, and haven’t missed out judging by the unconsidered drivel he spouts from his opinion pod.

    Just waiting for Postman Patel and Fireman Samir to come out, then i think i can go fully crackers and write off all of existence as a joke made in the utmost of poor taste.

  12. Alexandra O
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    I’m buying up old copies of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Anderson’s Fairy Tales, and other 19th century authors because I understand these books are being tossed out of public and school libraries, as being ‘outdated’ and ‘irrelevant’ for modern readers. I look especially for the illustrated versions, but I snap them all up in thrift stores and library sales here in the U.S., and some real gems over in England. I urge you all to do the same if these are to survive for our grandchildren to enjoy — you are intending to have grand-children, I hope. Lewis and Tolkien, so far, are in good supply. I have over 1200 books on various aspects of European History, because that is being ‘updated’ as well — to include all races, I suppose, as being European. At $1 or $2 apiece in many thrift stores, you can build a large library cheaply, and save the books from the trash — the modern day version of Fahrenheit 451.

  13. R_is_my_R
    Posted January 19, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Brown people do not play dungeons and dragons. They can’t. Ever wonder why?

  14. AE
    Posted January 19, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    “Tolkien’s work has very little of interest in it to the reader of literature, in my opinion.”

    Many would agree, regardless of their politics.

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