"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Monday, February 07, 2011

goodbye to an old friend

BBC News - Redwall author Brian Jacques dies aged 71

this is devastating. i spent a good part of my childhood reading the Redwall books, and i credit them with not only developing my literacy, but fostering in me an appreciation for nature and animals and good, hearty stories. my first ever email address (that i continued to use until probably the junior year of college) was named after my favorite character, Pikkle, a spritely mannered hare with a voracious appetite in the Salamandastron book (probably my favorite of the series).

when Twilight first started generating buzz and i got wind of its content, i lamented the lack of attention paid to writers such as Jacques and the heartiness of his story-telling. and i wondered why we could no longer live in a society where complex stories about virtuous characters undergoing harrowing journeys and epic battles to protect their home/ unravel ancient mysteries/ discover their identities/ defeat sinister adversaries all while singing songs and writing poems and eating decadent woodsy feasts could be appreciated.

i felt a twinge of sadness, something akin to guilt, when i stopped reading the books every year they came out (the last one i made any effort with was Marlfox). i felt horrible, like i had outgrown them or something, and i felt bad for losing interest in those characters and their stories. the way you feel bad about losing touch with your best friends from elementary school or high school.

anyway, this is doubly weird because not too long ago i was checking Wikipedia and reading his page and wondering if he was still writing books, found myself worrying about his age and hoping he'd live a long life and that one day i'd be able to write him a letter and thank him for writing. i guess this will have to do.

RIP, Mr. Jacques. and thank you for your stories. i hope my kids will one day enjoy reading your books as much as i did.

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