Advent hello

Broad Street Books, Christmas display. Selma AL.

A close relative of mine was rushed to the hospital last week and discovered to have kidney (!) cancer, so it’s been a stressful few days. Their offending kidney has been removed and they’re recovering nicely. Who knew such little organs could be so much trouble? Last week I did read The Narnian, The Problem of Pain, and Lewis Agonistes, and still intend to re-read The Four Loves this week. Reviews of some kind will start coming out. I suspect I’ll combine the biographies and tackle The Problem of Pain by itself. It’s Advent now, and I hope to rescue In Search of Zarathusta as relevant reading. It’s about the origins of Zoroastrianism, and I’m hoping it will have info on the Persian apocalypticism that influenced Jewish thought in the immediate pre-Christian era. It’s a skinny book and fell between my bed and my headboard bookcase, so I have to move the entire bed just to fetch it from the nether regions. (I can’t move the headboard book case because it’s blocked in by….another bookcase. Oh, the woes of a reader.) I may also try a Purgatorio in Advent, Paradiso in Christmas, for the CCSB — though Lent/Easter is far more appropriate thematically.

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Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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7 Responses to Advent hello

  1. Marian says:

    Sorry to hear about your relative, although I’m glad they’re doing better. You’re still in my prayers as well.
    Is this your first read of The Divine Comedy? I read it a couple of Christmases ago, and it turned out to be a good one for the season (although Dante’s insertion of his love Beatrice was a bit cringe πŸ˜‰ ). Definitely check out the Gustave Dore illustrations!

    • Yes! I read the Inferno during the last CC, and after reading Rob Dreher’s “How Dante Saved My Life”, felt that I should finish the Commedia. (Is using the Italian titles pretentious? I’m sticking to the Esolen translation, both for its inherent quality and for his extensive notes, but will look for the Dore translations. I have a few more classics in line for Dec…planning to focus almost solely on CC/TBR. I want to level that mountain in 2022!

      Thanks for thoughts & prayers….this year every single member of my immediate family has been in the hospital! At least we’re falling apart together.. :p

  2. I’m glad to hear that your relative has had the cancer dealt with and is on the mend. The lady whom I help out has to have an operation on her kidney late this week because her doctor found some sort of scar tissue that’s impairing its function. So many kidney problems lately, isn’t there?

    I’m looking forward to your Lewis reviews. As for Dante, an Italian literature professor (who speaks English better than most English speakers) recommended Ciardi for best translator who is able to sound like Dante (it’s my favourite translation but apparently he takes liberties with the text) and she says Mandelbaum is the closest in form and content to the Italian. She said Esolen was quite good at being faithful to the text but she thought Mandelbaum and Musa better. It was interesting to read her analysis of some of the translations. I confess I love Ciardi’s translation so much that I haven’t managed to read Mandelbaum’s translation yet (or any others) but I will.

    I understand getting advent/Christmas and Easter readings mixed up. I always think of reading Dorothy Sayers, The Man Born to be King at Christmas when it’s more appropriate to read it at Easter. In any case, happy reading!

  3. Looks like a nice bookstore. I must admit I’m curious how Zoroaster’s teachings would be relevant reading during Advent.

    • It’s my understanding that Jewish apocalypticism (by which I mean the viewing of the world as a battle between good and evil, with an ‘evil’ figure leading a war against God, and a belief that a Messiah-like figure would arise) developed after the Jewish sojourn in Persia — influenced, presumably influenced by Zoroastrianism. This is why New Testament Jews are markedly different than Old Testament Jews as far as the role of Satan and the focus on eschatology go. The theme of Advent — remembering the Jewish search for a messiah as well as anticipating the Second Coming — makes a little nod toward Zoroaster historically appropriate, if not liturgically.

      Broad Street Books is a recently-opened bookstore on our main downtown avenue. It’s very cozy — I enjoy going there on Saturdays after dialysis and enjoying my first weekend coffee. πŸ˜€

      • Cyberkitten says:

        I’m looking forward to your review of ‘In Search of Zarathusta’. I have a copy that’s been sitting unloved on my bookshelf for a LONG time! I’ve been thinking about scheduling a few belief books next year (out of character I know!) and this might be one of them.

      • I hope it proves good…I have another book by the same author, a history of Babylon!

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