Re: Moorcock's "Great Themes"
j.d., your description of Moorcock's work has put him right up at the top of my list of authors I intend to read just as soon as I can afford to buy some more books. It's a shame that I currently miss the references. But I find very satisfying the social reality that I perceive in this kind of portrayal.
As you say, we are emotionally well-served by projecting our ethical framework onto the world around us. And this projection is something we have done from before we understood what was going on. I often wonder what it would mean for us to reach a point where nobody did this anymore. I don't think we would recognise ourselves.
Order must battle chaos, after all the drama we expect from our authors would hardly exist otherwise, but if the line can be blurred in places so that we're not sure which is which, or even which one to root for; for me, that is more exciting than the inevitability of the more simplistic approach. These conflicts taking place as much within the characters as between them, that's what I really want to see.
Giovanna, what you say is very interesting. You're right, it's not a mainstream view to hold, I think most people would associate order with creation, and chaos with destruction, which is essentially still the old dualism. The dialectic is a more subtle and accurate description of reality. But for me, this only remains true provided it does not assume that the something new is necessarily an evolution or improvement. The consequence of the 'dialectic' intercourse (if we can still call it that, not as Hegel envisioned it) can be detrimental, or even complete systems collapse. Even that is not only an end, of course, but also a new beginning, conjuring up visions of the Orient, again; the wheel of dharma, the doctrines of reincarnation and of the cycles of ages, and the Taoist taijitu.
The Eastern philosophies have always fascinated me, since they instantly give the lie to the idea that the path of Western cultural development, with its emphasis on dualism and eternal, mortal combat between opposing sides, is an inevitable, 'natural' result of stages in human development.