Essay: Meaning Destabilization in Ludwig Tiek
The tale “Rune Mountain” is an insightful story that excites your mind and questions your level of knowledge on issues that the book talks about and what meanings are driven from them. Tiek employs ambiguity as the pivotal element that prompts the readers to examine the true meaning of the story and to induce uncertainty in the minds of the readers. The story of the Rune Mountain narrates two options with two possible explanations reserved. This leaves the reader undecided on the possible true meaning of the story and the reader constantly grapples with the dilemma of indecision on the true and exact way out explanation. Christian, the main persona in the tale is and is portrayed as wanting to leave the area and get away from the purported boring life. The writer equally coils a voice in the story that depicts the possibility of a secret force pulling Christian out of his area of residence “before the Mandrake root”. “The young man is wondering what caused his departure from his parent’s home forcing him to leave his friends in search for a new surrounding”. Surrounded by nature the young man is drawn to embrace the interactions of the birds, flowing streams and moving clouds, and is prompted to sing a hunters song to harmonize the unclear message of nature and his dilemma.
The life of two worlds, two opinions and two possible options all possible and ideal always brings in a state of dilemma that shuts off the mind from any possible way out. The life of a fence sitter who is defeated on which compound he should belong and therefore seeks to juggle the two options for as long as possible is the life Christian is attempting to lead. Nature is communicating with the narrator but unfortunately, the narrator cannot understand the codes nature uses to convey its messages. It is the narrator’s responsibility to learn the language of nature and use the same to understand the language, but then how will the narrator use the coded language of nature to react. These are the decision jargons that Christian must deal with. Christian is not happy being in the forest hunting and at the same time does not wish to return home to his parents after having opted to move out. Growing up at home had given him the opportunity to study using his father’s books but he never cared because he was a hunter. Currently, he wishes to have time and read the works in those scripts. The longing of his childhood friends and games while going to school and the easy life he ran away from begs the question, is he ready to dwell in this new environment?
Lonely moments begs companionship and Christian was not left out when deep in the forest loneliness crippled his sole and when a friendly stranger came by, he welcomed his presence. What a change of scenery, wanting peace of mind and solitude, Christian is convinced to engage the stranger in a discussion as a way of softening the solitude. The meaning of life is defined in moments of solitude and true fears come when we are alone as was with Christian. The author is clear in trying to excite our minds through the life of confused Christian who realized solitude was not really what he wanted in life but had taken the direction out of dumbness. Christian blames a power beyond him as having carried him up the woods and into the mountain when asked by the stranger how he got to the mountain all alone,” it was though some unknown power took me from the comfort of home”. Christian’s coming to the mountain was as a result of immense restlessness that could not leave him in peace thus influencing his decision to leave home. He left home because he lost himself to some supernatural callings in his mind who insisted that he will eventually have peace of mind should he decide to live alone and in areas of his own liking and activity away from the comforts of home and family.
The want for freedom, power and name can always compel us into things we actually do not need in life at the moment. In the life of a growing Christian, the narrator tells us of a young man who goes against his father’s gardening plea and choosing a path of hunting because he believes in the greatness of huntsmen. He reads of the records of hunters and feels willing to take the roads and pursue the task of nobility without consulting farther on the hustles of being a hunter and into the mountains alone. Through the story of Christian to the stranger, as they walk through the dark forest we are left with the questions, is Christian regretting his decision? Is Christian afraid of the task he chose to do? And is Christian regretting having gone against his father’s wishes? The crowning statement Christian say says to the stranger “that he had been sitting for a week in the mountain solitude, and in that evening he grew sadder than ever in my life; I felt lost, terrible and unhappy and am not yet recovered from the dismal mood”. We are sent into disarray and cannot see what is transpiring in the narration at a glance. This is somebody doing his dream job and getting very sad at one point because of the conditions of work. The author tries to bring to our attention the fact that life is about decisions and all our actions have consequences. We, therefore, must work towards doing things only after pre-meditation to help keep off the bad charades that might hurt our way of thinking later in life. The conflict of life is not only on Christianity versus paganism but also on what we want versus what is good for us. It gets clear after the conversation between Christian and the stranger that going to the forest was not the best thing for him and he was not prepared to become a hunter and a forest dweller. He had even forgotten the story of the forest-dwelling place that they had been told by the forester a clear indication that he was not ready for the huntsman’s job and only naively thought he was good at it. When he later chooses to follow in his father’s footsteps and becomes a farmer, it is imperative that the conflict between what we want and what is good is as diverse and different as paganism and Christianity and most of the time we have to try one aspect of it before realizing which aspect is best for us.
Christianity and paganism are conflicting religious stands that must always be looked at with sobriety before any life-changing decision is made. In the tale of Tiek, Christian sings a wonderful son to the goddess Diana who he is sexually attracted to. Being a hunter, pagans believed in various gods for various fortunes like the goddess of the hunt and goddess of the chase depending on what you were after. The life of Christian has always revolved between Christianity and paganism and it is becoming imperative that these two antagonistic beliefs defined his indecision in life. Christianity is depicted in the farming life while paganism is seen in the hunter’s life approach. Sublime is the category that is soul lifting and expanding and gives you the opportunity to look at life in the broader perspective and allows you to experience the Devine uplifting and spiritual nourishment. It is a source of happiness and soul contenting and allows for good judgment and hope. Paganism, on the other hand, is seen to allow rising to greater heights, power and ability. The mountain is used to show things that are difficult to make sense of at a glance, they need insight and thorough investigation before a decision is made. The life in the mountain is a true attestation of a life of adventure and unknowns waiting to be tapped. It is however filled with challenges and frustrations that can drive you mad if you are not prepared for such a lifestyle.
Nature is complex and always riddled with changes most of which we cannot depict the depth while on the other hand Christianity is plain and direct and will always revolve around your comfort zone. The complexity of nature is depicted in” the Mandrake root saga when Christian decides to pull the root out” and recalls the possible verdict of such act amid pull. The pagan goddess is beautiful and offers a life of freedom to Christian, sexy life where the goddess herself does a striptease to implore you into the beauty of the adventurous life of the mountain. Christian life shows such beauty as devilish and dangerous as opposed to the good Christian life at the mountain slope which is shallow and plane and is riddled with repetition without a single touch of adventure. The narrator is keen to show that all aspects of life are just better depending on where you stand and so long as you do not adventure into the excess of all of them. Christian is a true testimony of a good life with a full understanding of all the works of life after having lived them both and experienced the good and bad sides of them. Christianity and nature are intertwined in our lives and we only need to understand that one aspect is a product of the other and it is better to give all of them an opportunity to manifest at some point in life. Overexploitation of one side creates an emotional imbalance as seen in the life of Christian when he eventually disappears as a wanderer into the woods with the terrifying goddess after extracting a kiss from Elizabeth and her daughter Lenora. With emotional imbalance, we cannot act as is expected and many a time we end up messing ourselves because of fear of the unknown.