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Persona   

I read Oedipus The King for the first time this week and loved it. The language was flowery, but not too unbearably poetic (ala King Lear, which was what I tried to read before this) -- it still had muscle to it, enough for me to stay involved, beginning to end. Some of my favorite bits of dialogue were when Oedipus first challenges Creon on his faithfulness, and later when the Messenger and Shepherd finally reveal the full truth about Oedipus' history and fate to him... His own words, "What has God done to me?" and referring to himself as, "the damned," and "the ones the gods hate," were severe words that cut straight to the heart.

I've taken psychology classes and listened to The Doors. I've always known what this was but have never read the story. I found it to be a tragic, albeit mesmerizing read. I'd like to read more by Sophocles. If I can make the time for this I will.

-s.

Edited by stef

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I finished Specimen Days, not good, not good at all, the leitmotif running through it is the poems of Walt Whitman but every time they're quoted (gratuitously a lot of the time) they just show up how weak Cunningham's writing is. He's really gone off the boil. Starting Wole Soyinka's The Interpreters now and dipping into the Gospel Of Thomas which looks interesting.

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Persona   

This week I'm about half way thru Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz. It is a daring book to send to the Christian market, a bit McLarenish in the aspect that I love the concepts and I so love the places we could go with the "nonreligious thoughts on Christian spirituality." However, a bit like McLaren, I like these thoughts a bit more than the writing itself, which is not to say that it's not good writing, because it's not bad, it's just not outstanding.

But like I said, the concepts are outstanding. They make me want to live my life -- really live my life.

-s.

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However, a bit like McLaren, I like these thoughts a bit more than the writing itself, which is not to say that it's not good writing, because it's not bad, it's just not outstanding.
My thoughts exactly...

The ideas ARE stirring. But it makes me wonder how much more affecting the book would be if the writing were a little less utilitarian.

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gigi   

Stu - asked my friend about your dissertation and he says the following

"I usually get paid

Edited by gigi

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Andrew   

I recently read Margaret Edson's play 'Wit.' A powerful work on a number of levels, looking at how medicine and literary criticism nearly universally 'miss the point,' by focusing on the ailment or the particular words at hand, rather than the person and the life-or-death situations that are, well, contained in life and death. Truly beautiful, and all the more amazing, when one considers that this was Edson's first play.

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BethR   
I recently read Margaret Edson's play 'Wit.'  A powerful work on a number of levels, looking at how medicine and literary criticism nearly universally 'miss the point,' by focusing on the ailment or the particular words at hand, rather than the person and the life-or-death situations that are, well, contained in life and death.  Truly beautiful, and all the more amazing, when one considers that this was Edson's first play.

The film (made for TV, I believe) is pretty amazing, too. Nominated for the 2005 A&F 100. If no one else starts an advocacy thread, I'll try to remember to do so.

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Reading Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. This book just drips with evil, but I'm hoping that there will be some sort of redemption by the end.

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Andrew   

Re: W;t

::The film (made for TV, I believe) is pretty amazing, too.

It certainly is - a personal favorite of mine that still moves and challenges me after 4 or so viewings.

::Nominated for the 2005 A&F 100.

By me. smile.gif

::If no one else starts an advocacy thread, I'll try to remember to do so.

I've already lobbied fairly strenuously for it in the past; I'd be delighted if someone else did, too.

Edited by Andrew

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Last night I started the new John Irving book, Until I Find You.  At 800 pages, it'll be a while.

I'll be interested to hear what you think of Irving's latest. I almost bought it when I was book-shopping a couple of weeks ago, but decided to wait, although reviews have been intriguing. The World According to Garp and A Prayer for Owen Meany are still two of my favorites.

I'm about 150 pages in. Irving often keeps writing the same things. This book seems to have them all (I'm looking for a trained bear to show up sometime): Emotionally distanced mother, Amsterdam prostitutes, private school available by grace rather than money, domineering girl friend/tormentor, lots of fascination over a penis. All this and the main character is still only in 3rd grade.

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I did it again.

It seems that I can't make it more than about a year without cracking open The Silmarillion. And then, of course, I can't stop reading it. Why do I do this? Even if you can't call it a genuine tragedy, it's still a horrifyingly sad tale. And wildly beautiful. So I plow through it again, reveling in the richness of Tolkien's imagination, and grieving his death and the loss of so many beautiful things. Is it a problem that my favourite book is also invariably depressing?

Ah, well. I'm also working on Wallace Stegner's Crossing to Safety, which is much more gently beautiful.

Any other Stegner fans in these parts?

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With my recent move I haven't been reading as much as usual. Where I'm located is right around the Angeles National Forest (not a traditional forest, but rather shrub brush and grass), and my fiance and I watched a fire being battled in one of the canyons directly across the road from us. This prompted me to reread Norman Maclean's Young Men and Fire, about a group of smokejumpers who met a tragic end in 1949. A very compelling read and spiritual as well, as Maclean uses a "stations of the cross" method to follow the journey of these young firefighters - 14 crosses are on the hill where these men perished.

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Yikes! after months of lurking and a good 25% of my 16 posts coming in the literature forum in a week, either means I should take up the courage to be more active and post what I'm reading, or I need to start adding more projects to my plate at work! smile.gif

I am reading (slogging through, really) Ovid's Metamorphoses, whatever cheapy version B&N is selling right now. Fascinating imagery punctuating lists of ever changing names and stream-of-conciousness stories. I took a break from it about a 1/3 of the way through to read Jeff Shaara's Killer Angels, the book that the TNT film Gettysburg was based on. Gut wrenching book of war, told very, very well. I've been to the battlefield when I was 10 or so--dad was a big history buff--but would like to go back at some point now that I've read the story of Little Round Top and Pickett's Charge.

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I took a break from it about a 1/3 of the way through to read Jeff Shaara's Killer Angels, the book that the TNT film Gettysburg was based on.  Gut wrenching book of war, told very, very well.  I've been to the battlefield when I was 10 or so--dad was a big history buff--but would like to go back at some point now that I've read the story of Little Round Top and Pickett's Charge.

Oooh, I got into an argument with Michael Shaara at Jospeh Beth's bookstore in Lexington, KY. It was totally unintended. I was just chatting with a friend, because he and several others, dressed in Confederate uniforms, were there to sign books and speak about the confederate flag. He was walking around in the shelves and overheard my comment. It was a good little melee of words. I think I got the best of him. fencing.gif

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Andrew   

I've got 2 books going at present:

- The Hauerwas Reader - some heavy going, but interesting stuff nonetheless. Gotta admire a theologian who swears like a sailor...

- The Wisdom of Forgiveness, by the Dalai Lama - I picked this book up because I'll be giving a talk about psychology and forgiveness next spring, and I wanted some perspectives on forgiveness from other religions. Anywho, it's been an interesting read; what's struck me most so far is how sad it is that the Dalai Lama has a better grasp of the virtues of the Kingdom than many Christian spokespeople. (sigh...)

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- The Hauerwas Reader - some heavy going, but interesting stuff nonetheless.  Gotta admire a theologian who swears like a sailor...

It's nice that I'm so #!*%# admirable.

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stu   

Andrew,

I'd be interested to hear you sum up or respond to the Hauerwaus book once you've disgested it a bit, as he's someone I've seen referred to quite a lot, but not actually read.

And you might be interested to check out Jacques Derrida's thoughts on forgiveness, which you may find either helpful or infuriating - there's a little book called Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness in the Thinking in Action series. Also there's a book by a guy Derrida is a fan of - Vladimir Jankelevitch - called Forgiveness, which is fairly interesting, and highlights quite well what forgiveness is not. He talks about the difference between forgiveness, the excuse and forgetfulness. You see, I'm supposed to be writing about Derrida, the gift and forgiveness even as we speak...

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Kyle   

Escape from Reason by Francis Shaeffer.

I enjoyed True Spirituality and thought I would read some more of his. As an overview of modern philosophy and it's affect on Christianity, science, and art, it's way to brief, but Shaeffer is a brilliant theologian and a great writer so it's a good read.

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides.

I enjoyed the movie version and my wife owned a copy of the book so I thought I'd give it a read. So far, so good. Although it's always a challenge for me to read the book that inspired the movie after I've seen the movie. I just can't get the visions from the movie out of my mind.

After this week, my textbooks will be arriving so no more chosing what I want to read. Instead, I'll be reading many books on exegesis and foundations for pastoral ministry. I must say I am actually looking forward to it.

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BethR   

I'm finally reading The Kite Runner. So far, so good.

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Just got back from a trip to Dallas to see my son and his wife. On the planes I read an excellent work by Thomas Oden: THE REBIRTH OF ORTHODOXY.

Has anyone read it?

Denny

Edited by Denny Wayman

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I just met Greg Paul, musician-turned-pastor of an inner city church in Toronto and author of God in the Alley. He spoke at a conference in Ottawa last week and I picked up a copy of his book. What an unsettling, uncomfortable example of faith he is to smug Christians (like I can be sometimes), and what a gift he has for communicating the essence of what he calls "being and seeing Jesus in a broken world." He writes about his friendships with AIDS sufferers and prostitutes and the mentally ill with real tenderness -- admiration, even. And he has a way with words:

March is a wicked, sneaky month in Toronto. The sun sneaks from behind the clouds to lift your heart for an hour or so, then the clouds -- mean, colorless -- come rushing in to cut off the light and drizzle slush all over streets still bordered with dirt and cigarette filters, the detritus of departed snow. At night the wind whistles in off the lake, rushes up Yonge Street, and spreads out through the alleys and down the side streets like the wake of a motorboat and almost as wet.

Recommended. And if you ever get a chance to hear this guy speak, don't miss it.

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BethR   
Just got back from a trip to Dallas to see my son and his wife.  On the planes I read an excellent work by Thomas Oden:  THE REBIRTH OF ORTHODOXY.

Has anyone read it?

Denny

Not in its entirety, but I've read excerpts, and Oden led a workshop at Biola U. during the time when he was pulling the ideas together that would make up the book. Very worthwhile.

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Andrew   

Thanks for the recommendations, Stu - I will certainly check those out. As one who appreciates many of the concepts of postmodernism, it would be interesting to actually read a bit of Derrida. And sure, I'll be happy to share a bit more about Hauerwas in the future...

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BethR   
I'm finally reading The Kite Runner. So far, so good.

And now, I've finished it. Liked it a lot. Was there something about a movie in the works?

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