Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Way of All Flesh - Butler, Part II

I really don't believe in petty destiny (or fatalism) however, I was quite struck by my latest choice of books. It was purely by chance as I am reading the top 100 novels and this one (number 11) was the only one that the used bookstore had two weeks ago.

I've been too busy to read much, but this morning I reached the 1/3 way mark in the book. If you look on this cover (the people donning the masks) you will see how this book dovetails so close to what I'm always harping about.

I think I explained before that Samuel Butler was NOT a celebrated writing during his life time. He did write this book about decade before he died. In the book he commented (coming out of a character into the first-person author's voice) to say that people will not like him when they read it. But, by the end, he was so concerned about a negative social view that he asked his sister to publish it after his death.

As I read it, I am amazed how close his perspective is to mine and to many of us who visit these blogs. It is true that there isn't anything new under the sun.

Butler grew up in Victorian England. The point of the book is to tell a story of typical Christian life. He is looking at that life, way up on the 40th or 50th floor, however the floors are made of glass. You can see down through the layers (becoming more opaque as the layers accumulate).

I want to come back and discuss it more. I understand that Butler eventually left the Church, just like today, because he couldn't handle the farce factor.

Tomorrow I want to discuss some of the story.

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