It’s funny how we repeat phrases often without thinking of where they came from or the context of the meaning. I noticed one such phrase recently
“through a glass darkly“.
I had suggested to a reading group at BookLikes.com that we should read a book series called:
WITHIN THE GLASS DARKLY by William Gareth Evans published in 2010.
It’s a Gothic tale based on characters introduced in 1872 by the author Joseph. T. Sheridan Le Fanu in his novella Carmilla which was included in his short story volume named In A Glass Darkly.
While searching for the original short story volume, so that I could read the story that inspired William and other authors, (even Bram Stoker’s Dracula was inspired by the story Carmilla),
I came across another novel Through A Glass Darkly by Karleen Koen an historical fiction published in 2003.
In A Glass Darkly is also a short story written by Agatha Christie – first published in 1939 by our favorite sleuth author
and now available in a collection, The Regatta Mystery and other stories .
I was curious of what else would turn up referencing glass darkly . . .
A few more strokes of the keys and I discovered poetry regarding this phrase as well. THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY is a poem by Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. which you can read by clicking the link.
There was also a well received movie Through A Glass Darkly made in 1961
Directed by Ingmar Bergman, famous for his close up shots without movement of any kind to magnify the intensity the character’s emotions, as well as the famous double face shot of two characters looking in opposite directions and never meeting each others POV unable to communicate or understand each other.
This is all heavy stuff and with so many people inspired through the ages, and in various art forms, I decided to get to the crux of the matter.
Glass darkly is a term coined for a mirror.
Mirrors have been around in one form or another for ages. Long ago people used a metal base like bronze to see their reflection and had to polish the metal vigilantly. Later forms were layered with glass tiles on top, but still the image was dark, thus glass darkly. Learn more about the history of mirrors here: The History of Mirror: Through A Glass, Darkly
The term was even referenced in the Bible, yes that long ago . . .
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now stays faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
(1 Corinthians 13: 12-13)
Keep Reading – Keep Writing!
“Through A Glass Darkly” (1961)
A slow and painful disintegration of a family vacationing at a summer home on the island of Fårö trying to cope with the deteriorating mental state of the family’s eldest daughter Karin who has suffered a nervous breakdown.