It occured to me today that Eddison’s worldview is essentially a perpetual male adolescence.  It’s all about being, not achieving.  Like Buckaroo Banzai, his heroes are just naturally omnicompetent— he has zero interest in how Lessingham solves a diplomatic crisis, or the steps by which he works his way up to being a warrior.  The fascination with aristocracy falls into place, as this is a profession you are born into and indeed which looks down on those who are raised to it by hard work.

Even his metaphysics works this way.  Beauty, after all, is a passive state, not a skill or an activity.  I like the fact that he’s not misogynistic, quite the reverse.  And his women are anything but girlish.  But they’re seen from outside; only a very conventional and rather shallow girl could aspire to be simply an object of worship.

The irony is that actual teenagers would, I think, find his books nearly impenetrable.

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