Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Archive of the Day

I started reading Gilead by Marilynne Robinson during the holidays (after a previous false start many months ago), which ended up being a mistake. It's phenomenal (there are different levels of Good Writer, and I'm starting to think Robinson is on the level that would inspire you to name a daughter after her), but it's also deliberate and requires careful reading. Once work started up again, my rhythm got busted. But I'm getting back on track, and every other page there's a passage that jumps out as worthy of remembering. Here's one of them:
I believe I have tried never to say anything Edward would have found callow or naive. That constraint has been useful to me, in my opinion. It may be a form of defensiveness, but I hope it has at least been useful on balance. There is a tendency among some religious people even to invite ridicule and to bring down on themselves an intellectual contempt which seems to me in some cases justified. Nevertheless, I would advise you against defensiveness on principle. It precludes the best eventualities along with the worst. At the most basic level, it expresses a lack of faith. As I have said, the worst eventualities can have great value as experience. And often enough, when we think we are protecting ourselves, we are struggling against our rescuer. I know this, I have seen the truth of it with my own eyes, though I have not myself always managed to live by it, the Good Lord knows. I truly doubt I would know how to live by it for even a day, or an hour. That is a remarkable thing to consider.



Blogger said...

I had forgotten about this book. I never read Housekeeping but I loved the movie and I meant tog et both of them and now maybe I will...
I remember the author being interviewed on NPR.I guess it is a big deal that she came out with a new book that was so well received after such a long silent spell.
Post whether or not you finish.

1:14 AM  

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