March 30, 2010

Spanning the Globe to Bring You
the Constant Variety of Posts

That NYT article on the Pope made me lose my faith, faith that the NYT  could do a reasonable article at all. --Curt Jester tweet

Don't fear the e-reader...I've used some version for 10 years now. I never abandoned print books. I did not dry up and fly away. Metal parts have not (so far as I am aware) significantly replaced important body parts. Indeed, I have found it liberating to get on a plain, train, or other conveyance with the calm assurance of carrying five-thousand books with me, lest I should get bored or need to consult the 1919 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica or the Catholic Encyclopedia at the spur of the moment. Being able to find any word in any book with a simple search--lovely--better processor speed would make this lovelier. So, it's a brave new world that has such creatures in it, and it is with us to stay. You do not have to become one with the collective, but "turn off your mind, relax and float downstream. . . it is not dying, it is not dying."--Steven of Momentary Taste

I really do feel detached from any expectations of what my spiritual life is supposed to look like. I’d like to be a spiritual success story, where my past really is my past, upon which I have never looked back. Iron and Wine sings: “No Christian wants to pick at the scab but they all want the scar.” Well, I have no problem picking the scab. Or maybe I don’t want it to heal because I’m afraid of having nothing to do without it. --Betty Duffy

I’m always reading Winesburg, Ohio — even when I’m not. When I chit-chat books with literature buffs, I can scarcely contain my excitement when the town of Winesburg swings gracefully into view, its buildings and streets and people. Its lonesome mournfulness. Maybe I love the book for strictly personal reasons. After all, Anderson crafted this lovely little gem just for me. Every word, every sentence, every story reads like an envelope stuffed with a personal letter kindly penned by Anderson to say something about a pastoral world, going, going, gone. ”Hands,” the first vignette, reads with great simplicity and throat-tightening poignancy. Even its memory moves me to emotion. What a gorgeous book!--Blogger at "Interpolations" via Steven Riddle

We've passed a health care plan written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, and the whole thing to be financed by a country that's going broke. What could possibly go wrong? --forwarded email

"The apostles had never seen someone tread water before, so when they saw Jesus doing it, they thought that he was walking on water and assumed it was a miracle." - Darwin Catholic, parodying the current fashion of watering down Christ's miracles

I can't be the only one who, as a child, thought it would be great to win a donkey. --Tom of Disputations on one of Monty Hall's less appreciated door prizes

W. Jackson Bate, Samuel Johnson. It was this modern exemplar of the biographer's art, not Boswell's Life, that introduced me to the man who became and remained my hero. Not only did Dr. Johnson's clear-eyed, cant-free view of human nature help me to see the world as it is, but I found his lifelong struggle against his own inborn defects of temperament to be powerfully inspiring. I still do, and probably always will. - Terry Teachout on ten self-influential books meme

Overall, the great joy of this book for me was all the one-liners I got to write down in my journal. "The goal of the discipline is not victory but submission" for example. It really was a sort of spiritual reading, a little homily on almost every page--but I never felt like I was receiving a homily. - Betty Duffy reviewing "House of Brede"

I expressed some of the opinions derived from [James] Joyce to a professor who commented to me, "Ah then, but we haven't seen the end of it all yet, have we?" I pondered those words for a long time and realized what he was saying to me--it fired the motion toward Catholicism…We must remember the sermon on hell [in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man] and the other things popular at the time that tend to do one of two things--create Saints, like Therese, and agnostics like Joyce.  Had I been exposed to that Church and some of what was considered de rigeur at the time, I suspect I would have felt the same.  - Steven Riddle

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