Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I've always thought that the Cadfael series had as a major
theme the beauty and rightness of young love, that Cadfael would do just
about anything (including lying and stealing) to protect the young
lovers. That attitude shows him to be able to -- within a fairly rigidly
rule-bound system (both the society and his monastic order)-- choose his
own path, to choose a value above obedience, and also, despite
monasticism and celibacy, to connect to the life-giving force of romance
and sex. Ellis Peters is such a graceful writer, she was able to show him
being almost gooey (my term :) about his young-couple friends, while
maintaining his necessarily sleuthly distance.

Murder mysteries are so much about death (of course), but what I've
always loved about Cadfael is that stubborn connection to life. Then
again (I love the Cadfael books devotedly, so get a bit gooey myself),
that echoes the other major contrast of the sacred and the profane, the
profane being the human-- the interactions with the other monks and
priests, the town beyond the walls, the civil war raging beyond that,
Cadfael's own checquered past.

I'm not sure anyone did better than EP at finding the teeming sensual
life within the mystery setting.

Alicia (who must now embark on another re-read....)

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