July 22, 2012

Small epiphany: so much of my angst, and maybe lots of other people's, has to do with wanting consolation instead of humility.  The former is not relevant, the second, as Eliot says, is endless.  But I don't want the void, I want candy, something shiny, an Alfalfa cowlick!  I need to fall on my face and beg for the latter, moment by moment.  How else do we grow?

We just finished Eliot in 440, moving onto to Williams.  Poor Tom, so brilliant, but such a Puritan that he seems to get so little joy out of living.  (Even if one doesn't feel it, it does tend to come out in the poetry for a Catholic.)  His "Quartets" are great religious poetry, up there with Hopkins, Milton and Dante, I think.  (This is something secular critics never get.  They say the poem is about memory, history.  Fundamentally it is about God's contemplative presence, about how we need to learn to live there, be grateful for that.)  The poem does get to God, but Eliot has trouble enjoying that physically, in his body--though there is that wonderful last poem about his wife, her smell in bed. 

Williams, on the other hand, is often seen as the father of the "no symbol--death to the symbol" postmodern parade--despite the fact that he can be read as a Platonist--his "radiant gist."  He is so alive, walking around astonished like he does.  How can you not love these guys: Stevens and Frost and Moore next.

July 19, 2012

A nice inspiration: what with my writerly self-absorption.  Small penances for others, for whomever Mary might want to give them.  It's not much, but then neither are we.  Anyway, hope it helps!

July 1, 2012

Reread Michael O'Brien's STRANGERS AND SOJOURNERS a few weeks back.  Very nice.  If spirits speak to people, why shouldn't it be in the book!  I recommend it, will assign it for next Contemporary Christian Fiction class.
Reading more of John Tytell's book on the sheriff, Ezra Pound.  The prose is so lame, and I suspect that has everything to do with the Greenwich Village association.  The guy's take on the world could've come out of the 30s there; it made me think, if liberal anti-life humanists didn't have orthodox people to go after they would die of complete lethargy.  Language would perish on the page.

My God, get some life to you, sir.

Picture it.  All the Christians dead.  The only sound: moaning, as one by one they take their own lives.  Either that of each would finally stop moving, give up on food.

"I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly."

In the meantime we get Obama.
Just started reading a new bio on Ezra Pound, by some Greenwich Village writer--all the horrible either/or thinking when it comes to the human condition and religion.  But the facts is good.  Made me think of P's usura.  At the same time I came across, in my readings on St. Anthony of Padua, a tirade against usurers.  As I thought about it, both are right on the money.  Usuary is a major, perhaps the major problem in our culture: making money on money.  It has destroyed the environment, set people against people, created a world where money matters more than people.

When Jesus physically re-establishes Himself on this earth, it will be gone!

In the meantime I wonder how long it will be before we must suffer for our faith.  Obama, Oprah and the boys aren't using guns yet, but one wonders how long it will be until they do.  One thing is sure, we won't hear about it on the news.

Unrelated, saw BRAVE with my son and it occurred to me that Catholic have a huge advantage when it comes to writing fantasy or sci-fi stories (I'm doing a 406, Fiction Writing--this summer) in the current environment.  Why?  Because our world coheres, as Catholics we can write stories which make sense, which feed the readers, and not necessarily because they are overtly Christian.  They can be stealthily so.  But young fiction writers, the world is your oyster.  Find a way to write from a Catholic perspective without tipping your hand, mold that writing to the styles accepted, and bingo, I think we'll be some real big hitting going on.

Praise God.  May it be so.