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Lilith - George MacDonald A review proper will be forthcoming. In the meantime, here are my raw notes taken during reading.

[June 2012] So far, this fantasy story is self-consciously impressionistic--the narrator tends to give vague and mysterious descriptions of what he sees, and repeatedly apologizes to the reader for being unable to describe them more adequately due to their strangeness.


I've never read a book quite like this. It's bizarre...

...possibly the most bizarre book I've ever read as an adult. Imaginative and mysterious.


Almost finished. Much of this novel's content, especially in the last chapters, is essentially poetry. It starts to feel very much like a C.S. Lewis fictional work (most specifically, Perelandra); it should, because Lewis considered George MacDonald a spiritual mentor, even depicting MacDonald as his guide in the spiritual world in The Great Divorce. I have felt tempted to compare Lilith to The Great Divorce, but the plot isn't similar enough.

On top of everything else, this book will add some very obscure words to your vocabulary, including eidolon, chrysoprase, and cenotaph.

Good quotations from Lilith:

"Never a sound awoke; the darkness was one with the silence, and the silence was the terror."

"Thou shalt die out of death into life."

"The darkness knows neither the light nor itself..."

"So much was ours ere ever the first sun rose upon our freedom: what must not the eternal day bring with it!"

"See every little flower straighten its stalk, lift up its neck, and with outstretched head stand expectant: something more than the sun, greater than the light, is coming, is coming—none the less surely coming that it is long upon the road! What matters to-day, or to-morrow, or ten thousand years to Life himself, to Love himself! He is coming, is coming, and the necks of all humanity are stretched out to see him come! Every morning will they thus outstretch themselves, every evening will they droop and wait—until he comes.—Is this but an air-drawn vision? When he comes, will he indeed find them watching thus?"

"Man dreams and desires; God broods and wills and quickens."

"When a man dreams his own dream, he is the sport of his dream; when Another gives it him, that Other is able to fulfil it."