23 July 2009

What I'm reading...

Still working on my annual review of medical literature re. scleroderma.

Doing some reading about the kidney and its various disorders.

Still catching up on my periodicals:

From Much ado about nothing, The Economist, Vol. 392, No. 8639, July 11th, 2009. A book review of Nothing: A very short introduction by Frank Close, Oxford U. Press, 2009. "Does anything remain when everything is taken away?... Big Bang... Where did all this stuff come from? Science says that it came from quantum fluctuations in the void.... Mr. Close surveys 3,000 years of thinking to arrive at the modern solution... The answer is nothing." I like both physics and metaphysics so I'll probably take a closer look at this book which is due out in the USA next month. Based on the review, the modern solution of nothingness closely approaches the Zen solution. In my reading and practice (which is no longer Zen) I've found those unexplained "quantum fluctuations in the void" to be a less poetic way to phrase the Judeo-Christian solution, "In the beginning, the Spirit of God moved across the face of the deep." The answer is not nothing" but rather The One out whose being {I AM} flows all that has being.


Fforde, Jasper: Thursday Next First among Sequels. New York: Penguin, 2007. Not the first sequel but the fifth book in this delightful series: The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, Something Rotten, First Among Sequels. {There is also a companion series, The Nursery Crime series which I do not read: The Big Over Easy, The Fourth Bear.} Quote, p.52: "Reading, I had learned, was as creative a process as writing, sometimes more so. When we read of the dying rays of the setting sun or the boom and swish of the incoming tide, we should reserve as much praise for ourselves as for the author. After all, the reader is doing all the work--the writer might have died long ago."

Schweizer, Mark: The Diva Wore Diamonds: a liturgical mystery. Hopkinsville KY: St. James Music Press, 2009. 159 p. illustrator: Jim Hunt. Hip, hip, hooray! The slipcase didn't mean the end of the series. This is the seventh book featuring an Episcopal choir director who is also a small town chief of police and a wanna be writer who channels Raymond Chandler... The usual delightful read and a good laugh when I needed one. The series in order: The Alto Wore Tweed, The Baritone Wore Chiffon, The Tenor Wore Tapshoes, The Soprano wore Falsettos, The Bass Wore Scales, The Mezzo Wore Mink. Visit the link, not only for the liturgical mysteries but also because St. James Music Press is a serious press offering really superb church music and you can listen to practically everything in their catalog. http://www.sjmpbooks.com/ MYSTERY EPISCOPAL CHURCH POLITICS SMALL TOWN ROMANCE 21st Century

Bedside Book, just finished and have not yet selected another:

Andreach, Robert J.: Studies in Structure: Stages in the spiritual life in four modern authors: Gerarad Manley Hopkins, James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, Hart Crane. London: Burns & Oates, 1964, Fordham University Press. This is an exceedingly odd book; it is less literary criticism and more an analysis of stages in spirituality in the works of these authors referring to Dante, St. Augustine, and St. John of the Cross as sources. I enjoyed this fresh viewpoint and I enjoyed revisiting those writers which I rarely read voluntarily e.g. Joyce and Crane. During my college years, when I was first reading Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, I threw the book across the room {A real no-no for a librarian.} in disgust at what I thought was "really screwed up color imagery." Andreach explains that Joyce has consciously "inverted" the stages of spiritual life. At least now I understand why I have never liked Joyce nor Crane nor really most of the Modern writers. Quote from section on Hart Crane, p. 118: "The more he seeks among the particulars of a debased society, the more his spiritual consciousness in diminished."

Chairside Nibbles:

Patten, Robert L.: George Cruikshank's Life, Times, and Art. Volume1: 1792-1835. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1992. Kindle BIOGRAPHY ARTIST ILLUSTRATOR 18th Century 19th Century 20th Century This award winning biography by one of my English literature professors from Rice University is proving a most enjoyable re-read. One of Patten's strong points as a professor was rooting the literature in the history, the sociology, and the culture of the time, He offers rich details in a very readable frame. With my new interest in book illustration it is even more interesting to me now than it was on my first reading some years ago. Since I'm spending much time in my chair of late, this reading may take quite a long while.


Linn, Dennis; Linn, Sheila Fabricant; Linn, Matthew: Good Goats: healing our image of God. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1994. vi, 101 p. I'm finding the Linns to be difficult authors. I agree with most of their conclusions but I find their arguments to be shallow and repetitive. Their attack in this month's reading was on St. Anselm's view of the atonement struck me as a bit insulting to both Anselm and God. I am, as always, enjoying the discussion with the circle of sisters. FEMININITY OF GOD JUDGEMENT DAY HELL DOCTRINE 20th Century

Anselm of Canterbury who in the Preface to the Proslogion wrote, "I have written the little work that follows... in the role of one who strives to raise his mind to the contemplation of God and one who seeks to understand what he believes.
I acknowledge, Lord, and I give thanks that you have created your image in me, so that I may remember you, think of you, love you. But this image is so obliterated and worn away by wickedness, it is so obscured by the smoke of sins, that it cannot do what it was created to do, unless you renew and reform it. I am not attempting, O Lord, to penetrate your loftiness, for I cannot begin to match my understanding with it, but I desire in some measure to understand your truth, which my heart believes and loves. For I do not seek to understand in order that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this too I believe, that "unless I believe, I shall not understand." (Isa. 7:9) . "
For more information visit these links: http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bio/141.html


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