this book blew my mind. i haven't had one like this in a while - a book i've heard of mostly in passing, one i know little about - and it exceeds any...morethis book blew my mind. i haven't had one like this in a while - a book i've heard of mostly in passing, one i know little about - and it exceeds any expectations i have for it. i'm still trying to work out the notorious existentialism of it.
the power of the narrative voice is so strong! i found myself siding with meursalt, the narrator even when he did things that are obviously immoral or societally wrong. why could i so easily identify with his train of thought and the ironically intense level of detachment he feels for the world? is it his role as the narrator, or is it perhaps a desire within myself to feel that same detachment?
"that's when everything began to reel. the sea carried up a thick, fiery breath. it seemed to me as if the sky split open from one end to the other to rain down fire. my whole being tensed...i shook off the sweat and the sun. i knew that i had shattered the harmony of the day, the exceptional silence of a beach where i'd been happy...and it was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness."(less)
on the plane down to vegas i chipped away at the last pages of franny and zooey as the guy next to me happened to be starting in on nine stories. how...moreon the plane down to vegas i chipped away at the last pages of franny and zooey as the guy next to me happened to be starting in on nine stories. how fortuitously coincidental! this two-story compilation of salinger's is still one of my favorite works of all time. the second time around i found different points of profound knowledge to appreciate, and i expect this will be the case every time i read it...
"but most of all, above everything else, who in the Bible besides Jesus knew-knew-that we're carrying the Kingdom of Heaven around with us, inside, where we're all too goddam stupid and sentimental and unimaginative to look? you have to be a son of God to know that kind of stuff. why don't you think of these things? i mean it, Franny, I'm being serious. when you don't see Jesus for exactly what he was, you miss the whole point of the Jesus Prayer...the Jesus Prayer has one aim, and one aim only. to endow the person who says it with Christ-Consciousness. not to set up some little cozy, holier-than-thou trysting place with some sticky, adorable divine personage who'll take you in his arms and relieve you of all your duties..."(less)
"there are moments, most unexpectedly, when something inside me tries to assure me that i don't really mind so much, not so very much, after all. love...more"there are moments, most unexpectedly, when something inside me tries to assure me that i don't really mind so much, not so very much, after all. love is not the whole of a man's life. i was happy before i ever met H. i've plenty of what are called 'resources.' people get over these things. come, i shan't do so badly. one is ashamed to listen to this voice but it seems for a little to be making out a good case. then comes a sudden jab of red-hot memory and all this 'commonsense' vanishes like an ant in the mouth of a furnace."
i resolved, once and for all, to start and finish c.s. lewis' a grief observed. my borrowed copy from main library has sat on my shelf for months, but after hearing f. charizard quote from it in his homily today, i figured this is a perfect opportunity.
(sidenote: fr. charlie said that c.s. lewis remarked: the pain now is part of the joy then. this quote was NOWHERE in the book...)
quick synopsis: c.s. lewis wrote this short book in 4 parts under a pseudonym shortly after his wife died of cancer.
lewis talks about how the moments when his grief wasn't so overwhelming, when it wasn't weighing down on him as heavily, were when he could remember his wife the best. not the times of complete agony, but those of a more subtle pain.
"does H. now see exactly how much froth or tinsel there was in what she called, and i call, my love? so be it. look your hardest, dear. i wouldn't hide if i could. we didn't idealize each other. we tried to keep no secrets. you knew the most of the rotten places in me already. if you now see anything worse, i can take it. so can you. rebuke, explain, mock, forgive. for this is one of the miracles of love; it gives...a power of seeing through its own enchatments and yet not being disenchanted. to see, in some measure, like God. His love and His knowledge are not distinct from one another, nor from Him. We could almost say He sees because He loves, and therefore loves although He sees."(less)