Adversity, Resilience and Finding your element
Disney will be filming Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time” soon. Jennifer Lee of the wildly popular Disney movie “Frozen” has written a screenplay. Its a science fantasy novel about a young girl (misfit) whose father, a government scientist, went missing after working on a mysterious project called a tesseract.
Not an easy book to convert to film. I read the graphic novel version. L’Engle reading a book on quantum physics when she wrote this Children novel. It went on to be rejected by 26 publishers.
Fast forward many years – it was picked up only when she threw a party for her mom. One of mom’s guests happened to know a publisher (who didn’t publish children’s books at that time), aka JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame.
In Creativity, L’Engle told Prof Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, that she wasn’t very bright and didn’t do well in her early school years.
But a bad school experience “shunned by peers and teachers”, forced her to read and think alone. (On hindsight, would she have written her books if she had been happy and successful. She had learned to turn her disadvantage into advantage.
Later in college, she found supportive teachers and her literary career became confirmed. Her family environment was also supportive. Her fiction reflects this theme, of “doomsday scenarios that reach a happy ending because the main characters never lose hope even in the grimmest situation and they learn from adversity to act with mercy and forgiveness.”
“This whole century has been difficult, but wonderful things have happened even while there’s terrible things. … Its like the weather, unpredictable. The amazing thing is that despite all the things that happen, the human spirit still manages to survive to stay strong.”
This is also a relevant book for our times. One of the themes is how IT forces people into conformity.