December 18, 2014

The Douay Mistress


Interesting assertion made in NY Times about kids today and reading:
Children today are also more literal minded, she said. Her most popular book, “The Giver,” which this year became a movie starring Meryl Streep, is often assigned in schools, and Ms. Lowry receives 50 to 60 letters a day from students. “Kids today don’t like the ambiguity of the ending,” she said. “They would like things clearly spelled out. That saddens me because I think it implies a failure of the imagination.
I guess it makes sense from the point of view that increasingly people in general want to view the Bible through a newspaper lens. Hence the increase of fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist atheists.  We're definitely more allergic to mystery and a lack of a clear endings.

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Last night watched a bit of Anchorman 2. I had low expectations given the reviews but it was "free" on Netflix and there were moments of comedy gold. I watch so little comedy these days that I feel like a damn German. Funniest bit might've been the Steve Carrel character coming out of an accident/hospital visit with one of those “cones of shame” they make doggies wear to keep from scratching their face.

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I find it rather touching that the Baseball Hall of Fame honors even players from the distant past whom almost no one has ever heard of let alone seen play. Sort of St. Therese "Little Way"ish in their invisibility. In 1963, John Clarkson was inducted, a pitcher from the late 1880s.

Clarkson seems to show that Scripture must include, in order to be applicable to all people, plenty of criticism as well as encouragement, for Cap Anson said Clarkson suffered from a lack of confidence and needed plenty of encouragement.
“'Scold him, find fault with him and he could not pitch at all,' Anson said. 'Praise him and he was unbeatable.'”

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Mailed, with the proverbial mixed emotions, my short-lived Douay pocket-sized. It went to a fellow in Colorado. I'm sure he was pleased to get that “Shipped!” email, that being something we all like to see shortly after we buy something online. I could easily put myself in his place given I was waiting for the same email for the same item just a few days ago.

It's a small jewel of a book, the sort you wouldn't be adverse to having around as a collectible. I like that it includes not one but three papal encyclicals on the subject of Scripture beginning with Pope Leo XIII's.

It was a shooting star that landed on my front porch, a bright black leather object with gold-edged pages and that time-leaping, old-fashioned print that Baronius Press excels in. You could feel yourself traveling back to 1924 just by opening it.

So I had a mere half-day with my Douay mistress. Too short, too short. But I don't think my eyes are going to be getting any better over time and small print is a barrier to entry I don't need. The language itself, formal and sometimes unfamiliar, is barrier enough. Doesn't help that the OT books have opaque names.

It's tragic that Catholicism's finest Bible maker makes only Douays [Update: I forgot about the Knox!]. The worst translations have all that passionate intensity while the best, the Jerusalem, lack fine bookmaking conviction. (“Other than the translation and the print-size, how was the book Mrs. Lincoln?”)

I felt about the Douay perhaps the way J.P. Morgan felt about his illustrated medieval manuscripts: they were there to look at, fondle, admire, but not to read.

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Oh yes when the student is ready the teacher appears: I normally (shamefully) delete without reading the St Vincent de Paul emails that come in the daily drench of spam. But something, or Someone, bid me read this one and I was riveted by it not being simply a solicitation request but recommended books to read on poverty. So this email came at a receptive time and I immediately borrowed from the library one of the recommended books: When Helping Hurts. I read about half in one sitting and I think it hits certain assumptions on my part that reveal a sort of fundamental misunderstanding of work and its purpose. I think it colors a lot of my attitudes. I'm in a sort of untenable position: if I don't value work, which I tend to too oft think of as the “curse of the drinking class”, then it follows I can't really hold others to the “work is good” paradigm and thus I should be giving lots of my money away blindly, because why should I worry about enabling dependency if I don't see self-sufficiency and work as valuable in itself?

I also read with great interest in the book's take on microfinace, and my beloved Kiva.org: 1) there's no gospel message attached 2) it mainly only helps the vulnerable middle class since loans too small aren't made and 3) it does not encourage savings or wealth building.

So true. And lo and behold I see that Catholic Relief Services is way ahead of me and has a program to incentivize savings.

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Finally got around to checking on the CMAs via my DVR. (Enough acronymns?) Interesting to see the generational variety. Young kids barely out of their teens, the big dawgs in their late 20s/early 30s, and the stars on the declension, like George Strait and Vince Gill.

Gill was interesting, saying how he envied how well the younger generation got along, loving each other, high-fiving, implicitly implying his generation was cutthroat. Cynically, I thought it's just more veiled with this generation but there's no way for me to keno given how unfamiliar I am worn the GenX/GenY crowd. And many times people rebel, in a good way, against the sins of their fathers, witness the younger generation being more pro-life than the boomers.

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I sometimes wonder how introversion can be integrated into a heavenly vision.  The Trinity, after all, is the ultimate symbol of continuous community.  And so...my parody in the style of "The Onion"  (at the risk of irreverency):
Father in Heaven Needs Some Solitude
Heaven--  God the Father told the Son and the Holy Spirit today that he was going to be by himself in his Godcave for a little while where he could read and recollect himself.
“You know I'm the Introvert in the bunch, and we introverts appreciate our alone time."
The Son and Holy Spirit were not available for comment at press time. 
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Edward Dyer poem:
The lowest trees have tops, the ant her gall,
The fly her spleen, the little spark his heat;
The slender hairs cast shadows, though but small,
And bees have stings, although they be not great;
     Seas have their source, and so have shallow springs;
    And love is love, in beggars and in kings.

Where waters smoothest run, there deepest are the fords:
The dial stirs, yet none perceives it move;
The firmest faith is found in fewest words,
The turtles do not sing, and yet they love;
    True hearts have ears, and eyes, no tongues to speak:
    They hear, and see, and sign, and then they break.

3 comments:

Banshee said...

John Dowland has a very good madrigal setting of that Dyer poem. Here's a version on YouTube. (Ignore the lead-in music.)

The second song during the credits is Shakespeare's "Willow Song."

TS said...

Thanks! Wonderful sounds. I'll have to share this with Dylan of Tenebrae blog since he was my source for the Dyer poem.

TS said...

Oh and thanks for the kind words about this blog on your blog.