Monday, January 18, 2021

For all of us …

… Christian Wiman | Survival is a Style | reviewed by Ian Pople - The Manchester Review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
Wiman’s duelling with secular tensions is, in this book as elsewhere in Wiman’s writing, manifested in his profound empathy with the duels that others also undergo. In that sense, survival is the style for most of us. And if ‘style’ seems an inappropriate word for survival, it is a characteristic of Wiman’s very raw, visceral sense of irony. Thus, the ‘confessional’ in Wiman’s writing sits cheek by jowl with the ironic ‘sacrifice’ of so many lives. As he puts it in long poem, ‘The Parable of Perfect Silence’ with its own highly ironised title, these are ‘Hard lives hardly there’. And he admits that ‘When I began writing these lines / it was not, to be sure, inspiration but desperation, / to be alive, to believe again in the love of God.’ 

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