Saturday, May 31, 2008
Confessions of a Justified Sinner
...which of course, is the title of the famous early 1800's book by Mr. James Hogg, which I've just begun, and which could easily fit in a college course regarding religious/ partisan/ political intolerance and what comes of it. At least from what I've gotten from my reading of the first 35 pages. What attracted me to the book was the commentary on its use of the double, which is something I've been rather taken with for almost a decade. A story about a double, told in double fashion, and twice-told as a bonus? Count me in. There appear to be a few too many political in-jokes for this book to work for my freshman class, but I'd recommend it for those grad students out there wondering what to read next. At least from what I've gotten from my reading of the first 35 pages.
Piety as profanity. The notion that "to the wicked, all things are wicked; but to the just, all things are just and right. [...] How delightful to think that a justified person can do no wrong!" From standing in the middle of a tennis court and thus ruining the fun for everyone, as the young Wringhim does, or active political pressure to deny citizens civil rights, or resorting to violence. Zealotry will have its way. I've read books that have had amazing first 50 pages (viz. Tropic of Capricorn and The Way of All Flesh), but I'm hoping this one will follow through.
Photo by Davo--Original sculptures in Indianapolis Museum of Art