procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Doors of the Sea - Pt I

i must say, i'm loving this book.
starting to read it, it felt like the 1874 Australian classic, For the Term of His Natural Life, by Marcus Clarke, as he describes the scenery of tasmania as he begins his life as a convict.

with the breath-taking descriptions of the geography of the surrounding region, as well as his descriptions of the 1883 Krakatoa eruption, then the earthquake in Lisbon in 1755 from Voltaire's perspective. His deep interaction with this profound poem is very honest, trying to comprehend the horror of that day when so many died on All Saints day when their churches collapsed, and then many more died from the resulting tidal waves from the rivers, and then the fires, and then from the seas.
How are we to comprehend this God who brings such disaster on his creation, asks Voltaire.

Hart then moves to the Christian Dostoyevsky, specifically with his play, the Brothers Karamazov, as Ivan, trying to comprehend the horrendous deeds done to one man by another - not by an impersonal deist God as Voltaire decries, but by one creature to another. the callousness of man is incomprehensible, and as a non-Christian workmate confided to me, how can anyone say that acts of such bestiality are "In God's Plan"?

that is why Hart concludes this first half with the sentence,
Voltaire sees only the terrible truth that the history of suffering and death is not morally intelligible. Dostoyevsky sees [...] that is would be far more terrible if it were.

bring on part ii!

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Blogger byron smith said...

I'm looking forward to hearing what you've got to say about this book!

4:59 pm  

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