Sunday, December 22, 2013

Religion, Journalism and other stuff ...

When W.B. Yeats wrote, almost a century ago, that “Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry,” he would not likely have guessed that the phrase would someday apply to a gay, deeply Catholic Latino living in California. Richard Rodriguez is more than just a string of contradictory signifiers; ...
Rodriguez’s new book, “Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography,” looks at the state of religion after 9/11 – the hatred of Islam, the revival of atheism, the disorientation of secularism. The 2001 attacks sent Rodriguez, literally and intellectually, to the Middle Eastern desert as a way of making sense of the three great monotheistic faiths — Islam, Judaism and Christianity — by experiencing their origins. It’s his first book in more than a decade, since the 2002 publication of “Brown: The Last Discovery of America.” The new book also muses on Cesar Chavez, California’s tradition of disappointment and the death of newspapers. “When a newspaper dies in America,” he writes, “it is not simply that a commercial enterprise has failed; a sense of place has failed.”
Lyrical and rigorous, “Darling” is essentially travel literature — a kind of journey.

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