Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Myths and Legends

So I'm sort of on a reading kick again.
Seems I go through this one once a year or so when I get started and it just gets hard to stop.
I usually peruse the new section of the library, but since we were looking at the Japanese Internment in history class, I sort of go stuck there.
Okay, not really for a couple of shelves over I found this:

One of my favorite movies is the 1981 epic Excalibur.
From what I gather it's sort of close to the Arthur story, the movie is based on Thomas Malory's Morte d'Arthur which I always say I'm going to read but never get around to.
By the way, for some reason I keep getting Thomas Malory confused with George Mallory, the mountain climber who along with Andrew Irvine may or may not have climbed Mt. Everest.
Anyways, it has a great cast, the movie I mean, especially Nicol Williamson as Merlin and a young Liam Neeson and Gabriel Byrne and Capt. Pickard:

Anyways, I've always been fascinated by all this Camelot Round Table business, wondering how much of it was real and how much was embellished or made up.
King Arthur by Michael O'Neal is sort of an introduction on all that; there's a much larger comprehensive study that I left on the shelf.
I don't think either book is able to really separate the myth from the legend though.
Speaking of legends, and going back to the library shelf I started at, I picked this up too:

Just Americans by Robert Asahina tells the story of the Japanese American struggle on two fronts: the one at home and the one in Europe.
The 100th Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team is sort of legendary, at least around these parts, for what they accomplished during WWII.
This is the first time I'm reading first hand accounts of this stuff though I'm familiar with the basic history of the 100th/442nd.
I find it compelling reading about these folks who had to go out and prove their loyalty despite being citizens of the United States.
What they gave on the battlefield directly influenced their treatment back home.
I remember seeing the movie Go For Broke way back when I was a small kid; I've already got it on my Amazon list.
Speaking of movies, I'm going to have another look at this somewhat obscure movie about the Maori people told in a more contemporary story:

Once Were Warriors tells the story of a Maori family's struggle to survive the violence of today's world and how they find some resolution by revisiting the past.
Powerful drama, I'm not sure it's okay for the kids in school, that's why I'm taking another look at it.
It may be a little difficult to find, but worth the trouble.
In a Flat Tire sort of way.
Meanwhile, if I manage to find Camelot, I'll let you know.

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