Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Neverending Story 1: Beginnings

To start off: The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, Copywrite 1979 in Germany-Die Unendliche Geschichte.

In the introduction we meet three characterless Bastian Balfizar Bux who is this story is about, Mr. Carl Conrad Coreander the grumpy old shop keeper, and the Neverending Story.

It will become clear as we continue through the story how the book is a character but what we want to focus on Bastian. we meet Bastian as he bursts into Mr. Coreanders shop because he was running from some bullies. it is very clear that Bastian is the kind of boy who would be the target of school yard bullies. He is fat, weakling, a scaredy cat, and ridiculed by his teachers. So this 9 to 12year old has no where to hide form those who ridicule him . his mother is dead and his father is detached form the world by his own grief.

Bastian's only refuge is books. books are his passion, he makes his own stories, with is own words and names. the world finds little value in him and he can't help but agree that he is a coward, and quite possibly a simpleton.  it only makes sense that Bastian would find refuge form his tormentors in Mr. Coreander's shop.

See Mr. Coreander's Shop is an oasis surrounded by a grey noisy world. Here there is silence and books, mountains of books. books are the entry points to other worlds,  So the book shop is a a magical borderland place. the smoke from Mr. Coreander's pipe wafts around the books like smoke signals. here Mr. Coriander is unaffected by the changes of the world outside. his primary concern is the books he is the keeper of. You can see this in his view of children, they are loud and most of all they destroy books with their jammy hands.

But there is magic  in the book shop, as there always is in those places between what we will call the real realm and the realm of imagination. this magic is a magic that can only be felt by those who share Bastian's passion for books and stories. Bastian burst into the book store, and he is drawn to a very special book. To magic calls him and he knows that the book belongs to him.

...Bastian knew he couldn't leave without the book. it was clear to him that he had only come to the shop because of this book. it had called him in some mysterious way, because it wanted to be his, because it had some how always belonged to him...

This is the first time the book is given attributes, but make no mistake this is a magic book and it is calling  for Bastian. it is like a Grimoire or and Artifact form some other place or time, completely other worldly. and just like any mystical artifact it seeks after the one who can use it.

But back to Bastian. He takes the book and runs out of the shop and into the real world. this is Bastian's wilderness. it is antagonistic towards him. now outside the safety of the book shop all his arguments seem to melt away, he is a thief, he can't go home what if the police come after him. with only his feet guiding him bastion finds himself at the school. he is very late so there is no one around and this gives him the idea for where he can sit and have his adventure with the book, the forgotten attic.

Now that is my name for it, it is just simply called the attic but is the place in the school where all things broken and out of date have been put to forget about. it is above the rest of the school and it has became a mystical boarder land place just like the book shop.

Bastian has begun his journey, he even already knows the book is connected to him even though he doesn't understand what that connection is. we will leave Bastian here today with this quote fro the text:

"I wonder,' he said to himself, "What's in a book while it's closed. Oh, I know it's full of letters printed on paper, but all the same, something must be happening, because as soon as i open it, there's a whole story with people I don't know yet and all kinds of adventures and deeds and battles. and sometimes there are storms at sea, or it take you to strange cities and countries.  all those things are somehow shut up in a book. Of course you have to read it to find out. but it's already there, that's the funny thing. I just wish I knew how it could be."
Quick questions, how do you the reader feel about the length? I couldn't decide if it was too long on not for a single post, if you think it is too long let me know and I will change in the future so that it is two posts on a day instead of just one. Thanks for reading. 

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