I think I read the first ten pages of the late fifties UK classic The Comforters about ten times over before I really got it. As it turns out, my reaction was not uncommon. The reader is supposed to be initially confused. Spark’s novel deliberately scorns omniscient narration, opting instead for a grand experiment in Bretchtian allegory. We learn about each character, each interaction, and each conversation as though we were observing it all passively, with no foreknowledge, like some persistent fly on the wall. As the novel progresses, a basic skeletal framework gradually develops into something grander, and within the concise space of two-hundred pages, Muriel Spark’s book reaches its conclusion. The effect deliberately mimics the creative process.
Mar 11 2011
Sep 22 2010
We last got together about ten days ago, when I put up a story that hoped to explain to the Islamic world that, Qur’an burning aside, we don’t really hate either them, or our own Constitution.
I pointed out that, just like everywhere else, about 20% of our population are idiots, that this means about 60,000,000 of us might, at any time, be inclined to burst into fits of random stupidity, such as the desire to burn Qur’ans to make some sort of statement, and that the same First Amendment that protects the freedom of stupid speech also protects the rights of Islamic folks to freely build mosques…and finally, that this apparent “paradox of freedom” is exactly why the US is the kind of country that many Islamic folks the world over wish they lived in as well.
I then went off to enjoy my Godson’s wedding, and I ignored the posting until the next Monday.
On the two dozen sites where it could be found, this was apparently considered to be a fairly innocuous message…with one giant exception, which is what we’ll be talking about today.
Long story short, some portion of this country’s population has some bizarre ideas about Islamic folks…but maybe if they knew my friend Wa’el, they might see things a bit differently.
Sep 02 2010
When I see a 9/11 victim family on television, or whatever, I’m just like, “Oh shut up” I’m so sick of them because they’re always complaining. — Glenn Beck
Man is man because he is free to operate within the framework of his destiny. He is free to deliberate, to make decisions, and to choose between alternatives. He is distinguished from animals by his freedom to do evil or to do good and to walk the high road of beauty or tread the low road of ugly degeneracy. — Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.