Ladcafio Hearn’s ‘Romance of the Milky Way’.
“…in the silence of transparent nights, before the rising of the moon, the charm of the ancient tale sometimes descends upon me, out of the scintillant sky,—to make me forget the monstrous facts of science, and the stupendous horror of Space. Then I no longer behold the Milky Way as that awful Ring of the Cosmos, whose hundred million suns are powerless to lighten the Abyss, but as the very Amanogawa itself,—the River Celestial.”
Ladcafio Hearn is writing this final paragraph of his magnificent ‘Romance of the Milky Way’. What can I say? It’s the good stuff. The very best. The essay as a whole presents the Great Goddess and at the same time performs Hearn’s simple-hearted obeisiances to Her. What a beautiful man.
Science fiction can only apply to a very narrow band of readers – those who can accept “the monstrous facts of science, and the stupendous horror of Space”. Indeed, modernity and reason is a limited condition, inaccessible to most. By and large the human race lives in tradition, like a child drinking milk from her mothers breast while he sleeps, and begrudgingly becomes interested in science only by great progaganda.
Did I say “propaganda”? Whoops. I meant “education”.