Thoughts on Marilynne Robinson’s Novel, Home

I wrote Unknownthe following to help me digest what I had just read in the novel Home. If you’ve not read it, this might not make sense. And if you intend to read it, you’ll find I give the novel away, so be warned of that.

What a devastating book. When I finished the book, on that last stunning line – The Lord is wonderful – I broke into weeping with a mix of emotions. Hope, yearning, sadness, even confusion and despair. All of this is wrapped up in these pages. The estranged son, Jack, seems to be a chimera, but I also sense he acts as an archetype. Someone mythological, strange in his purity and the alien way he exists. He comes home, looking for something he doesn’t even know, but never really finding it. At the beginning of the story he is hopeful, but he is least himself. Guarded, flashes of cynicism, unsure. By the end, Continue reading “Thoughts on Marilynne Robinson’s Novel, Home” »

Reading Poetic Prose

I can’t say, My Bright Abysswith all honesty, that I am terribly well read or that I’m very astute when it comes to judging literature. I wouldn’t be able to pick up a book and tell you, based on something objective like grammar or structure or whatever, that it was a good or bad book. However, I do feel like I have an innate sense of what is good literature or not. Something about how it engages my mind and heart,as though I can spiritually or emotionally smell the brilliance of an author. Completely subjective, of course, but I tend to be intuitive about a lot of things.

There have been a few books that really engaged me as works of art, brilliance in prose. So far, there haven’t been very many, but Marilynne Robinson, Cormac McCarthy, and maybe Flannery O’Conner come to mind. The common thread of these authors is their impeccable grasp of spirituality (or humanity, in McCarthy and Flannery’s cases) that never comes off forced or flowery, but is incredibly brilliant and composed, like a piece of music or… poetry. Poetic prose. Continue reading “Reading Poetic Prose” »

Old vs. New Miracle Workers

My first semester at seminary is over and now that I’m in the Christmas break, perhaps I can find more time to write out some thoughts about this last semester. It was a good semester, by the way, rigorous in all the right ways. I found myself enjoying all my classes, even as I was challenged academically unlike I ever had been before.

I should say that my semester isn’t completely over. My Church History class still has some reading requirements to make up and I’m finishing a book of stories about early figures from early Christian monasticism. Some of these stories are pretty crazy. For instance, there’s St. Anthony who, it was claimed, would fight with legions of devils and bore the marks of the battles on his body. Another story Continue reading “Old vs. New Miracle Workers” »