Friday, October 24, 2008
All Anglican, all the time.
How can you not love this church? (OK, OK, never mind~~there may be reasons, all right, point taken, please sit down now...)
But in the midst of alarm and despondency and tumult and outrage and affright and carryings-on, what does the Archbishop of Canterbury do? Does he tremble, does he blinch?
Not he. He writes a whopping book about...Dostoevsky.
Talk about taking the long view and going for the big picture.
And this is no mere flourish of what my Beloved Professor used to rejoice to call "belletristic expertise" -- but it is illuminating of the current and actual predicament.
And I quote:
"It is this fusion of a surrender to the claims of an independent truth and a surrender to the actual risks and uncertainties of asserting this truth in word and action that makes the entire enterprise of spiritual -- and specifically Christian -- life one that is marked by the decentring and critique of the unexamined self. What is so distinctive about Dostoevsky's narrative art is that he not only gives us narratives in which this difficult fusion is enacted; he also embodies the fusion in his narrative method, in the practice of his writing, risking the ambitious claim that the writing of fiction can itself be a sort of icon."
And there you have it. Great review in the Times Literary Supplement, October 10th.