Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Overstreet

Frederick Buechner

Recommended Posts

Stephen oh what a Nice review scratch that Very Nice review! the Buechner is the man! What a crafts man he's like A wasp version of Johnny Cash with a bit of John Irving's Garp tossed in. Seriously of the caliber of a writer's writer ..slugging it out and consistent as ever. The mans got so much soul. I cant wait wait to read this his latest! Thank u too for the inclusion of the Classroom scene and the fading light .... priceless. Enthused so i guess tonight its time to revisit Bebb in Florida, this time though ill try to visualize Bebb as Phile Seymour Hoffman ;) inspired so by the mention of his name amidst the fine work going on over there in the Film Boards re garding the Dark Knight film.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just started reading Godric - a bit of a shock at the outset in terms of the style of writing but so far it's been good. I'm only about two chapters in. The only other Buechner book I read was The Hungering Dark which I enjoyed. I was especially moved by the part where he writes about war and how there are events in war that even Heaven can be proud of (he was referring to a soldier throwing himself onto a live grenade to save the rest of his platoon/squad).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just finished reading Telling The Truth - The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy & Fairy Tale.

Loved it. Buechner describes - some of the trials of Henry Ward Beecher, one of the most interesting discussions (and applications of) Shakespeare's King Lear that I have ever read, a slightly modern and more relatable retelling of the story of Pontius Pilate, a collection of thoughts about Abraham and Sarah I had never thought of before, also Charlie Chaplin, Narnia, George MacDonald's Fantastes, Alice and the Looking Glass, and the Wizard of Oz - and uses all of them to talk about the gospel and presenting the gospel.

A few favorite excerpts -

The Gospel is bad news before it is good news. It is the news that man is a sinner, to use the old word, that he is evil in the imagination of his heart, that when he looks in the mirror all in a lather what he sees is at least eight parts chicken, phony, slob. That is the tragedy. But it is also the news that he is loved anyway, cherished, forgiven, bleeding to be sure, but also bled for. That is the comedy. And yet, so what? So what if even in his sin the slob is loved and forgiven when the very mark and substance of his sin and of his slobbery is that he keeps turning down the love and forgiveness because he doesn't believe them or doesn't want them or just doesn't give a damn? In answer, then news of the Gospel is that extraordinary things happen to him just as in fairy tales extraordinary things happen. Henry Ward Beecher cheats on his wife, his God, himself, but manages to keep on bringing the Gospel to life for people anyway, maybe even for himself. Lear goes berserk on a heath but comes out of it for a few brief hours every inch a king. Zaccheus climbs up a sycamore tree a crook and climbs down a saint. Paul sets out a hatchet man for the Pharisees and comes back a fool for Christ. It is impossible for anybody to leave behind the darkness of the world he carries on his back like a snail, but for God all things are possible. That is the fairy tale. All together they are the truth ... (pgs. 7-8)

When the preacher climbs up into his pulpit, switches on the lectern light and spreads out his note cards like a poker hand, maybe even the vacationing sophomore who is there only because somebody dragged him there pricks up his ears for a second or two along with the rest of them because they believe that the man who is standing up there in a black gown with a little smear of styptic pencil on his chin has something that they do not have or at least not in the same way he has it because he is a professional. He professes and stands for in public what they with varying degrees of conviction or the lack of it subscribe to mainly in private ... All of this deepens the silence with which they sit there waiting for him to work a miracle, and the miracle they are waiting for is that he will just just say that God is present, because they have heard it said before it is has made no great and lasting difference to them, will not just speak the word of joy, hope, comedy, because they have heard it spoken before too and have spoken it among themselves, but that he will somehow make it real to them. They wait for him to make God real to them through the sacrament of words as God is supposed to become real in the sacrament of bread and wine, and there is no place where the preacher is more aware of his own nakedness and helplessness than here in the pulpit as he listens to the silence of their waiting ... (pgs 39-40)

Is it possible, I wonder, to say that it is only when you hear the Gospel as a wild and marvelous joke that you really hear it at all? Heard as anything else, the Gospel is the church's thing, the preacher's thing, the lecturer's thing. Heard as a joke - high and unbidden and ringing with laughter - it can only be God's thing. (pg. 68)

Beasts talk and flowers come alive and lobsters quadrille in the world of the fairy tale, and nothing is apt to be what it seems. And if this is true of the creatures that the hero meets on his quest, it is true also of the hero himself who at any moment may be changed into a beast or a stone or a king or have his heart turned to ice. Maybe above all they are tales about transformation where all creatures are revealed in the end as they truly are - the ugly duckling becomes a great white swan, the frog is revealed to be a prince, and the beautiful but wicked queen is unmasked at least in all her ugliness. They are tales of transformation where the ones who live happily ever after, as by no means everybody does in fairy tales, are transformed into what they have it in them at their best to be ... For better or worse, in the world of the fairy tale transformations are completed, and one thinks of the angel in the book of Revelation who gives to each a white stone with a new name written on it which is the true and hidden name that he was named with even from the foundations of the world. (pgs. 79-81)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another day, another opportunity to buy a book by a $1.99 Nook book by a beloved author I've never read.

 

I don't see specific discussion of The Storm in this thread. Does anyone have anything to say about it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another day, another opportunity to buy a book by a $1.99 Nook book by a beloved author I've never read.

 

I don't see specific discussion of The Storm in this thread. Does anyone have anything to say about it?

Repeating this request one more time, having not heard anything on it earlier. Just making sure that those who might have read it have a chance to comment on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...