Thursday, January 15, 2009

A roundup ...

... Recommendations from elsewhere. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

You will note that David puts a question to me in the first of these. Well, David, I just read Garret Keizer's excellent essay and what struck me most about it was how much he and I are in agreement about the book - and yet came to quite different appraisals of it. We both think the writing is wonderful. We both are aware of how Glory is routinely slighted by her father and brother. Keizer seems as underwhelmed by Jack as I was. I suppose, though, that I am one of those readers who might not see "how much [Robinson] is grounded in Genesis 1, in a vision of the creation as 'very good.' "Keizer's essay, in fact, leads me to think that the suspicion I had while I was reading the book may have been well-grounded: that my Catholicism was an impediment to my appreciating Robinson's very Protestant outlook. And my Catholicism is rather Gallic; I was taught by a French order of nuns. This means that I was spared the more-Puritan-than-thou variety served up by Irish Catholicism, which is what one was likely to encounter growing in Philadelphia when I did. At any rate, I sensed no joy in the faith the characters of Home presumably share. (Is it any wonder that my favorite Calvinist is Captain Ahab?)
But Keizer goes far to persuade me that Home is a much better novel than I thought - and for precisely the reasons I thought otherwise.
That said, I still think David should write about the novel, because while Keizer's essay is fine indeed, I think what David would have say would be just as fine and perhaps even more enlightening.

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