Tuesday, January 10, 2012

language, and text, and liturgy, and like that there.

I am trying to establish a habit of blogging at the end of the day, but there is a little pause right here, and "the kids" or some of them are coming for supper in about three-quarters of an hour, so before I get the chicken going, I think I'll just make this post and let it stand. I really, really, really, wanted to get this up -- it's from a recent review in the Times Literary Supplement, of Harold Bloom's latest book on the Bible, and Cummings' work on the Book of Common Prayer. It -- and other insights in the review -- dovetail so well with Mary Beard's essay on the "future" of the classics, in the most recent New York Review of Books all about how reading and studying these texts is a matter of entering into dialogue with those who wrote them and with everyone who has ever read them since. Here we go:

"Liturgy is like a vast cognitive tapestry, in which text reaches within and around to meet other texts; in which one human experience is grafted onto another. The words of Morning Prayer or of Baptism in the seventeenth century, or for that matter in the twenty-first, contain the words of all previous centuries back to the time of the Roman Empire, and in some cases hundreds of years earlier, back to the rituals of Jewish communities at the beginning of recorded meaning."
--Brian Cummings, editor, The Book of Common Prayer: the texts of 1549, 1559, and 1662.

1 comment:

A Noisy Living Priest said...

Nice quote. Thanks for sharing.