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Monday, February 25, 2008

One reason why I read fantastic literature

Today would have been my father's 103rd birthday. (He's been dead for quite a while now.)

I grew up in rural Sawyer County, Wisconsin. My parents were able to acquire a dairy farm, with a few cows. Until my brothers and I were old enough to do the milking, my father did it. (This was all by hand.) He had a radio in the barn, and he would also do something that must have been very rare -- he read while he milked. He propped a pulp fantastic magazine on one leg, milked, and read, and turned the pages as needed. I got to read some of what he did, and it was mostly science fiction and fantasy. This was back in the middle of the twentieth century. A. Merritt was one of the authors I remember. A. E. Van Vogt was another. I'm sure that there were lots more.

I'm sure that there have been other influences, such as finding Tolkien while I worked as a student library assistant while in college, and finding the Narnia books while looking for something to read while a science graduate student, but my father's influence was part of it.

Thanks for reading.


Sarah said...

Very interesting. Happy 103rd Birthday Mr. LaBar! Thanks for sharing this bit of history.

Martin LaBar said...

Thank you, Sarah. I'm personally a little younger than that.

Rob Rumfelt said...

My father was largely responsible for my love of books and reading also. He took me to book stores quite often. I'm a book junkie to this day!

Has reading this type of literature had any impact on your faith? I know faerie stories influenced Chesterton, Lewis and Tolkien deeply.


Martin LaBar said...

It's hard to say, Rob. My faith, I hope, has grown, along with my love for some fantastic literature. I don't try to read all of it -- some is just uninteresting, some doesn't seem to have any goodness in it, some is pagan. But some of it shows goodness, explores issues interesting to me, or is just well done.