I need to get around to finishing this story. And writing my final reflection. And come up with a workshop for my students to do in class tomorrow. But I’ve finally done something with this wordpress account that’s been sitting around for ages, and I’d like to try it out. I won’t get around to making it look nice until sometime after Christmas, I imagine; but I’d like to share these things with you.
I just started reading The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.I’m pretty sure it was originally written in Spanish? In any case, it is quite spanishy. Magical realism etc. Have only read the prologue, but I am already in love with it.
Here is part of the last paragraph of the prologue:
Once, in my father’s bookshop, I heard a regular customer say that few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart. Those first images, the echo of words we think we have left behind, accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a palace in our memory to which, sooner or later–no matter how many books we read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn or forget–we will return.
I am also reading The Habit of Being, which is a collection of Flannery O’Connor’s letters. The really awesome thing is how she knows about Simone Weil (though she said she’d never read her) and read stuff by Marcel. Gabriel Marcel! So cool!
I am reading M. Gabriel Marcel that the jacket says is a Christian Existentialist. I certainly like it but oncet the book is shut I have no idea what it’s all about.
I love reading letters like this, seeing the person behind the words, and feeling a level of communion. Communion–the communion of saints. I think of all the ways relationships work, this complex tapestry that is woven horizontally and vertically and every which direction. So I have this relationship with Tolkien and O’Connor, for instance, which is very real, though it naturally goes one direction (temporally speaking). And then I read about the connections between Marcel and O’Connor.
And I wonder about my own contemporary connections. There is no doubt that I’ve been/am influenced my my close friends who are/have been writers. Especially Genevieve, and Keesa, and Lyn. There are also professors. There are also Amazing People like Joseph Pearce and Gregory Wolfe, who I don’t know personally at all, but who are alive and writing today. And less religious people like Raymond Carver (whose short story “Cathedral” was VERY influential in terms of how *I* write short stories, though I didn’t realize it until recently).
And what I wonder is, who else? What other contemporaries will I know, or brush against, and later on someone will look back and it will all be so obvious?
(Er, yes, I’m talking as though I will be like Tolkien or Flannery O’Connor after I’m dead. Hey, you never know!)
And while I am writing about O’Connor, this is for Lyn, continuing/adding/referring back to a conversation we had over the summer (I think?):
Let me assure you that no one but a Catholic could have written Wise Blood even though it is a book about a kind of Protestant saint. It reduces Protestantism to the twin ultimate absurdities of The Church Without Christ or The Holy Church of Christ Without Christ, which no pious Protestant would do. And of course no unbeliever or agnostic could have written it because it is entirely Redemption-centered in thought. Not too many people are willing to see this, and perhaps it is hard to see because H. Motes is such an admirable nihilist. His nihilism leads him back to the fact of his Redemption, however, which is what he would have liked so much to get away from.
(emphasis mine, although all of it is worth close thought, I think)