I have not been posting much recently, but I follow the threads every day. The primary reason that I have not been taking part is that I did not read the last two books (and I have zero interest in soccer, even the World Cup). As for this month, I have attempted in the past to read The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, and I didn't get very far. Simply put, I was bored stiff. I had high hopes since I love much of Rilke's poetry (in translation; I don't speak a word of German). The Duino Elegies are my favorite (especially the Second), and I am moved by many of the miscellaneous poems, such as "Archaic Torso of Apollo" and "The Panther." I will probably attempt TNOMLB again, but I am not optimistic.
I have also been interested in the bible discussion. (Incidentally, the Harris book is readily available and cheap at Alibris.com.) First, Joffre, you are certainly correct that much of Jesus' teaching comes from the OT. Christ's Two Great Commands " You shall love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind" is from Deuteronomy 6:4 and "You shall love your neighbor as thyself" is from Leviticus 19:18. What may be special about Christ's teaching is that instead of the Ten "Thou shalt not..." Commandments (so beloved of the fundamentalist Christians), he extracts commandments to love from the Pentateuch (not the most loving literature ever written). God in Genesis and throughout the early books of the Bible (not just the Torah but Joshua and Judges as well) tends to be wrathful, jealous, dangerous, and inconsistent. Check out Exodus 4:24-26. God tries (tries???) to kill Moses at an inn on the way to Egypt before the Exodus. Weird. On the other hand, it would be mistaken to consider the Hebrew scriptures to be all about anger and violence and the Christian scriptures to be all about love. Mistaken, and possibly anti-Semitic. Compare Psalm 23 to much of Revelation, for instance.
Jung's "Answer to Job" says, in part, that the depiction of God throughout the Bible reflects the understanding of the writers and the development of their culture. Jung believes that God, and by extension the people of early times, did not have a fully developed sense of self. As God comes to know Himself more fully, he even incarnates as human in a different "person."
(And by the way, Guillermo, the stories about Lot are among the most shocking. I love them.)
Finally, I've recently been reading The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, a psychological ghost story in the tradition of The Turn of the Screw and The Haunting of Hill House. But instead of using the ghost story to explore sexual repression, as both those classics do, Waters explores issues concerning the British class system in the years immediately following World War II. It's quite good, in my opinion. It straddles the fence between genre fiction and literary fiction (one of my favorite topics, as you all know). It's a little slow, but rewarding. I had never heard of Waters before, but apparently that is because all her previous fiction has a strongly lesbian theme. Not this one, though.
Joffre, I'm sorry that I encouraged you to read Little, Big. Although it is a favorite of mine, I know that many people do not respond to it. Actually, I rarely recommend it for that reason, despite my personal enthusiasm.
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