Read Plato’s Republic often enough and you not only need to wrap your mind around that philosopher-king man-in-the-cave parable that Plato tells, you also get treated to Atlantis.
And reread that Atlantis story often enough, and you’re bound to get a funny feeling. Things don’t quite click into place the way they should. Did Plato really hear the story secondhand?
The tone of the story, the fact that it kind of, sort of cuts out in the middle, a number of other little clues perhaps point to clues about the identity of the original auditor of the story. The natural assumption is that Plato heard the story of Atlantis from another adult. But look at the clues as if they were pinned to a crimeboard, and you’d have to admit at least the possibility that Plato might have heard the story not as an adult, but as a youth. And perhaps from another youth himself. From someone who got half the tale, or wasn’t very clear on understanding the full context, or possibly even someone who had to leave the dinner table early to make their bedtime.
In one sense, Amethyst writer Christy Marx has already evoked the youth-in-wonderland of it all by taking Girl-Next-Door Amy and transplanting her into the mystical world of Nilaa. If we reach the same conclusion my freshman philosophy professor, Dr. Brooke, offered about Plato having heard the Atlantis story as a younger man, then we’ve already tread the same ground as the girl-next-door-transposed-into-wonderland genre.
But there’s a deeper connection between Dr. Brooke’s theory and the Republic. It’s that slight glint of noir-in-the-garden-of-high-fantasy. The same glint that’s played out very successfully over the last two seasons of Game of Thrones. Because if Dr. Brooke’s theory is an accurate gathering of the unstated evidence, and Plato was a younger man hearing about Atlantis from another young man, then there’s the appearance of an untrustworthy narrator.
And no matter how Ally McBeal the washrooms of Nilaa might appear on the surface, there’s got to be some point where you begin to wonder, just how much the House of Citrine can be trusted.
Please enjoy our exclusive preview of Sword of Sorcery #2, a compendium book featuring the continuing sagas of the high fantasy Amethyst and the post-apocalyptic Beowulf.
// Notes from the Road
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