A Wrinkle In Time - Read-along!

Discussion in 'Chat by the Fire' started by Sparrow, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. Sparrow

    Sparrow Hestia of the Hearth

    Hi, friends!

    I'm reading A Wrinkle in Time in preparation for the movie - won't you join me?

    The invitation will be cast far and wide to read and discuss here, including a college class in Claremont, NH and a 5th grade class in Newton Massachusetts!

    My goal is to read in January and February and chat here.
    Parallel chat with a "what does this story inspire you to create?" twist in the Fantasia group at Ravelry.com:

    All are welcome.
    JJ48 likes this.
  2. JJ48

    JJ48 Member

    This is one of those books that it seems like everyone read growing up except me, so I can't really speak to the book yet. I guess this is another one to add to the reading list!
    Sparrow likes this.
  3. JJ48

    JJ48 Member

    This is one of those books that it seems like everyone read growing up except me, so I can't really speak to the book yet. I guess this is another one to add to the reading list!
    Sparrow likes this.
  4. Sparrow

    Sparrow Hestia of the Hearth

    Oh, please join us! It will be fun!
  5. Sparrow

    Sparrow Hestia of the Hearth

    So, here’s my next question -

    How did Calvin know?
    How did you know?

    It’s only a matter of minutes from the time that Calvin meets Charles Wallace, Meg, and Fortinbras until he says, “finally going home”.

    Have you had that feeling?
    What is it like?
    Where does it come from?
    Did it startle you in the book?
  6. Sparrow

    Sparrow Hestia of the Hearth

    Who's your favorite of the old gals - and why??
  7. Sparrow

    Sparrow Hestia of the Hearth

    Same-and-different, I want to talk pretty thoroughly about them before the movie because I know they are interpreted in an amazing new way in the movie.

    What's important about each one behind the costumes, so we can hold text and actor versions side-by-side?
  8. JJ48

    JJ48 Member

    Just finished listening to the audiobook, and I'm not entirely sure what to make of it. It definitely had its moments, but I think I'll need to listen to the Summer Reading Camp sessions to understand it more fully.
    Sparrow likes this.
  9. Sparrow

    Sparrow Hestia of the Hearth

    Oh, I hope you do!
    We'll have fun!

    I'm looking forward to the film in a couple of weeks - and thinking about all the reasons folks do adaptations of older works -
  10. Wes

    Wes New Member

    Hey, sorry I'm a little late, but I do want to take part in this! Going to go get a copy of the book now, and then I'll post to your questions above. In the meantime, Sparrow, how have your classes been going? It's so cool that you have those two different groups reading the same book and getting excited about it
  11. Sparrow

    Sparrow Hestia of the Hearth

    I'm very excited! For class prep I've been reading some of L'Engle's academic work :) Here are the highlights from L’Engle, Madeleine. “Childlike Wonder and the Truths of Science Fiction.” Children's Literature, Volume 10, 1982, pp. 102-110. PDF.

    This essay is kind of her version of "On Faerie Stories" - have youi noticed that many of the best authors have a defense of their genre?

    • Fantasy & science fiction have no age limits, and this baffles the muggles. “Science fiction and fantasy appeal to a certain kind of mind and not to specific stages of development.” (102)

    • Children are interested in the cosmic questions, but adults fear them and try to hide them in “theology” or “science”.

    • Science fiction relies on science: facts, theories, and window dressing, such as “Cape Canaveral”


    • “If a scientific equation is ‘ugly’ the scientist is suspicious; the scientist, like the artist, appreciates aesthetics and balance” (103)
  12. Wes

    Wes New Member

    After a couple days unsuccessfully looking through library catalogs and calling used book stores--this book is hard to find right now!--...I found a copy on my bookshelf after all. I'm 3 chapters in and prefer Whosit so far, since she's bundled up and wind-blown and got water in her boots.

    The science but also the math, the geography, the literary allusions are jumping out at me this time through. It would really lend itself to interdisciplinary teaching, and also to conversations about social cues and such. And art, as it says in that essay! I'll check that out, a librarian friend was just telling me about it, too, and about some other essays she has, so the universe is conspiring for me to read it :) Of all the defenses of that sort, Philip Pullman's are the ones which have had the biggest impact on how I think about stories.

    I'm struck by little details that have stuck with me from when I read AWT as a kid, too, like our first glimpse of CW sitting at the table, or the ant on the string (which I know is coming!) That kind of stuff had a big impact on me, evidently
  13. Sparrow

    Sparrow Hestia of the Hearth

    Wes, that's exactly what I noticed! I have been *liberally quoting* from this book for four decades without realizing where the words came from. Wow, what an influence!
  14. Wes

    Wes New Member

    Just to pick up on the Calvin question: I think it has to do with the theme of being yourself, accepting yourself, which sounds cliche but certainly is not in the way L'Engle portrays it. He's sort of Meg's opposite, in the sense that he comes from a miserable family and yet has the confidence to show he loves them/himself and trust his intuitions, whereas Meg comes from a wonderful family and it makes it all the harder for her to accept herself, cute little ugly duckling Megatron that she is. So Calvin can recognize the idea of home--he's felt it all along, despite how far his family falls short of the ideal--and when he gets to visit the Murray's he recognizes it immediately there as embodied much more fully. Of course, there's the issue of Mr Murray having gone missing, which drives the plot.

    In the second half of the book we get a lot more overtly biblical language. Yet the claim seems to be that such allusions are not different in kind from the wisdom of any of the other sources that get quoted, just that insofar as it embraces foolishness as well as wisdom the Bible has reached a kind of ultimate account of things, one we haven't managed to quite get yet but are on the threshold of understanding so as to live it out and overcome the shadow and be able to tesser around freely...does that make sense? I'm told by my librarian friend that in her essays L'Engle has some interesting stuff to say about religion, and I certainly believe it! The only other book of hers that I read as a kid was Many Waters, but I'm planning to read more in the near future!

    So I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'm planning to soon. Have you? Thoughts??
    Sparrow likes this.
  15. Sparrow

    Sparrow Hestia of the Hearth

    Wes, you said that just right - Calvin's relationship to "family" compared to Meg's.

    I will definitely be seeing it Thursday with my class - sooner, if possible, with my daughter and wife :)

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