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A thousand times the mysteries unfold like galaxies in my head.

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"Do you ever wonder if--well, if there are people living on the third planet?' 'The third planet is incapable of supporting life,' stated the husband patiently. 'Our scientists have said there's far too much oxygen in their atmosphere." - Chapter 'Ylla' from "The Martian Chronicles"
What better way is there to start a book than by denying the existence of its readers? Especially when this literary trick accurately marks the ironic absurd that consecrates Bradbury's "The Martian Chronicles" not as an encounter between the human and alien races, but as a cheeky and silly human monologue whose puniness contrasts deeply with the magnificence of the universe.

In the universe of Wells, there is no such thing as the rationally elevated human being. Whatever traces of humane feelings and reasoning arise throughout the narrative, they are sure to be destroyed through the sudden arrival of exceptionally and stressing situations.

While reading Hawthorne's short stories, I noticed a deep tension between knowledge and beauty, as if they are two antithetical principles that automatically cancel eachother and cannot coexist. In my opinion, Hawthorne identifies beauty with a heightened kind of knowledge that opposes the earthly one: it is the latent and chaotical knowledge of the unmanifest, a sacred knowledge that reflects the fragile balance of the universe and one which cannot be grasped by the "scientific" mind.

Long story short, I've been missing my literary self. That's why I've taken up a course in "Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World" this summer. It's being offered through Coursera, under the University of Michigan. Since I'll be going through a lot of nifty literary pieces anyway, I though I should  post them on my blog as well, to have them here for the whole eternity. Or at least until the Internet breaks down. Nevertheless, my first assignment - a little bit of good ol' food for the childish soul inside me - Grimm's "Children's and Household Tales" or simply fairytales. I have chosen to focus on the symbolism of eating in some scarce 300 words. Enjoy below. 

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