Not going to go into how irretrievably fabulous DFW's writing is. But it is, irretrievable, sadly. And fabulous.
I do part ways with him on his worldvi...moreNot going to go into how irretrievably fabulous DFW's writing is. But it is, irretrievable, sadly. And fabulous.
I do part ways with him on his worldview and his inability to see Jesus Christ as very God and very man, so every time I read his writing my heart breaks, sometimes a little, and sometimes a lot.
Anyway, enough personal bio...
Here are my favorite essays from Both Flesh and Not:
1. Federer Both Flesh and Not 2. Democracy and Commerce at the U.S. Open 3. Twenty-Four Word Notes 4. Fictional Futures and the Conspicuously Young 5. The Best of the Prose Poem 6. Deciderization 2007 - A Special Report (even though DFW dwells too much on his post-modern view of reality, it still is a fun and stimulating read).(less)
The biggest issue for me was the total blackness of the author's portrayal of death. It doesn't have to...moreReally beautiful writing. Pretty melancholic.
The biggest issue for me was the total blackness of the author's portrayal of death. It doesn't have to be this way, though. Christ has removed the sting of death. Come and drink the water. It ain't no kool-aid.
I really didn't know how to rate this. Her writing is stellar, beauty crafted in word. And the story is there, it flows well. Superbly.
But, and this i...moreI really didn't know how to rate this. Her writing is stellar, beauty crafted in word. And the story is there, it flows well. Superbly.
But, and this is reader response, I wanted to chuck this book out of my hands, out of my room, out of my house, out of this world, and out of my mind.
Or burn it.
One of the two.
This is why...
I was going insane. Least, I felt like I was. And maybe someday I will lose my precious-favored-multicolored marbles.
I'm being silly, funny, lighthearted, but it really did feel like Marilynne Robinson was leading me away from all sense of reality, away and into a sort of Buddhistic nothingness. Now, I don't think that was her intention, at least, I don't think she desires her readers to lose all sense of reality, gone mad. But she certainly wanted her readers to feel that sense, that sense of not knowing what reality is (or if it even is), or of not knowing where we are.
And that's why I wanted to chuck this book. To burn it in flames and never see or hear or taste of it again. I have no desire to enter into dreams of madmen, or madwomen for that matter, the dreams of lonely transients, obscured by night and silence.
God has spoken. He has come. He is the Light. He is the Way. And He is the Truth. He dispels the darkness and sets my feet on solid ground. All other ground is sinking sand.
Great writing. Could've done without the striptease junk. And the I'm-so-mad-at-God-because-He-doesn't-give-me-all-I-want whining. Sounds like the whi...moreGreat writing. Could've done without the striptease junk. And the I'm-so-mad-at-God-because-He-doesn't-give-me-all-I-want whining. Sounds like the whining of a disillusioned prosperity gospel preacher. Weak sauce.
I hope to worship God in the New Jerusalem with her. I wish she hadn't had to go through suffering to get ther...moreLove, love, love Mary Flannery O'Connor!
I hope to worship God in the New Jerusalem with her. I wish she hadn't had to go through suffering to get there, though. I wish none of us did. But Adam and Eve tripped on a snake with a lie in its fangs.
She was beautiful, though, really beautiful.
I love this quote about her faith, "Picture me with my ground teeth stalking joy--fully armed too as it's a highly dangerous quest."
I love her funnyness, "At Emory they had a list of questions for me to answer and the first one was: Do you write from imagination or experience? My inclination at such a point is always to get deathly stupid and say, 'Ah jus writes.'"
"Her letters to me get less and less cordial and I get the idea that by now she is convinced I am a moron. I am convinced of it too so she ain't by herself."
She wrote by smell, "But I have no critical sense. I write entirely by smell as it were and criticize the same."
She loved Jesus, "The introduction is about the things that hold us fast in Christ when Christ is taken to be divine. It is worthless if it is not true."
Or how 'bout this quote on her difference of writing style with Graham Greene, "...there is a difference of fiction certainly and probably a difference of theological emphasis as well. If Greene created an old lady, she would be sour through and through and if you dropped her, she would break, but if you dropped my old lady, she'd bounce back at you, screaming 'Jesus loves me!' I think the basis of the way I see is comic regardless of what I do with it..."
I wish I could have met her.
Note: She does seem to have been (cliche) somewhat of a product of her time and place (as we all are to one degree or another)... she didn't seem to grasp, with her whole heart, the importance of reconciliation within and without the body of Christ as it has to do with peoples from different ethnicities/races (i.e. between white and black, specifically). It just feels like she hadn't been struck by the cross enough in this area of her heart as in other places of her heart. Nevertheless, she was definitely no lover of the klan or of those who treated others as less than human. She certainly seemed to agree that grace was the only thing that could bring true reconciliation, unfortunately (at least in these letters) she seems not to have been as concerned with it as she should have been (as we should be). Not that we have to be engaged in it full time, but that it needs to matter. I could be wrong though, about how she felt and what she believed in her heart.
I love Hemingway's writing. But I probably shouldn't read him. I'm too much like him and too easily swoon when his words enter my ears. The forlornnes...moreI love Hemingway's writing. But I probably shouldn't read him. I'm too much like him and too easily swoon when his words enter my ears. The forlornness, the despair, the self-gazing into the world and losing everything...
Anyway, Hemingway has some pretty cool and slightly penetrating quotes in this novel. They come near the end. I'm not sure, but the story feels, to me, like an after-thought. The story seems to be the means to Hemingway's end in explaining his feelings on life and love and reality.
Pretty sad, so that's why the book is only okay, even though the writing is stellar.(less)
Too much solipsistic emotional angst for my taste. It was a truly morbid and depressing read at times. There are a few good stories and Hemingway's st...moreToo much solipsistic emotional angst for my taste. It was a truly morbid and depressing read at times. There are a few good stories and Hemingway's style keeps the book from dying, but ugh... His hopelessness and his own sense of being set adrift in the world all alone comes to the fore I think. Very sad.
These essays were pretty interesting and I think Flannery had some smoking insight, but I do think she (in these essays, any...moreI love Flannery's writing.
These essays were pretty interesting and I think Flannery had some smoking insight, but I do think she (in these essays, anyway) sometimes became somewhat myopic. She, at points, seemed to set in stone her preferences for writing/stories, and thereby seemed to dismiss other forms of writing/stories. Maybe I'm misunderstanding her, but that's what it seemed like to me.
But I love the realities she saw and the way in which she went about trying to help others see.(less)
Dark, but good. After I finished reading, the book got up on four legs, put on a top hat, took out a cane and a cigar, and with the cane in one hand a...moreDark, but good. After I finished reading, the book got up on four legs, put on a top hat, took out a cane and a cigar, and with the cane in one hand and the cigar in the other began to walk away. Yup, two hands and four legs.