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Old 06-13-2021, 04:11 PM   #12
Wight of the Old Forest
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Unattended on the railway station, in the litter at the dancehall
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Pitchwife is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Pitchwife is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Pitchwife is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Pitchwife is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Pitchwife is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Originally Posted by littlemanpoet View Post
The only other description of purgatory I know of is Dante's. Obviously, we're dealing with a short story compared to Dante's masterwork, but the differences are striking. It seems more of an evocation of Niggle's own forced and practical reform rather than an after death millions of years long purification.
Speaking of purgatory, I'd like to mention Vane's dreams while Sleeping the Sleep in George Macdonald's Lilith, where he remembers every wrong he ever did to anybody in his life and works to make amends. I think it's interesting that his efforts include building, gardening and artistic creation:
Originally Posted by George Macdonald, Lilith, Chapter XLIII
I was the eager slave of all whom I had thus or anyhow wronged. Countless services I devised to render them! For this one I would build such a house as had never grown from the ground! For that one I would train such horses as had never yet been seen in any world! For a third I would make such a garden as had never bloomed, haunted with still pools, and alive with running waters! I would write songs to make their hearts swell, and tales to make them glow! I would turn the forces of the world into such channels of invention as to make them laugh with the joy of wonder! Love possessed me! Love was my life! Love was to me, as to him that made me, all in all!
It's forty years since I read the book, but this passage has remained vivid in my memory, and although I'm no longer the Catholic, or even Christian, I was then, I still read this as a convincing vision of purgatory (indeed the only one that makes the concept palatable).

I may have more to say in the next couple of days (still refamiliarising myself with the story).
Und aus dem Erebos kamen viele seelen herauf der abgeschiedenen toten.- Homer, Odyssey, Canto XI
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