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Tag Archives: Job
I genuinely can’t tell. Can you?
Sooner or later, and in one form or another, all human beings make their journey—and on more than one occasion throughout a lifetime—into what James Wood and others have coined “Hell Mouth”—the Job-like inferno in which we encounter unavoidable and extreme anxiety, suffering, … Continue reading
In a recent New York Times essay, literary critic James Wood made the following observation on President Barack Obama’s selection of the language of Christian theodicy over that of the pagan Wheel of Fortune (in response to the Haitian earthquake): [T]heological language has … Continue reading
And probably now illegal to perform in Ireland: I think the secular blogs—and I include mine among them—should call for a boycott of Ireland’s tourism industry until its anti-free speech laws are rescinded. I’m in. 20th century journalist, I.F. Stone: [N]o … Continue reading
Some Perpective on the New Year: A Bit of Pessimistic Buddha-Wisdom from Arthur Schopenhauer (and Monty Python)
A little something to keep life and the New Year in perspective. Arthur Schopenhauer, from Book 1, Section 16 of The World as Will and Representation (1818, translated from the German by E.F. Payne): For whenever a man in any … Continue reading
I love this poem, not just for its power as language, but also for its Job-like evocation of the problem of suffering. Hardy recounts the death of a loved one, and his subsequent argument with God over her death. In content and world-weary tone, Hardy’s poem … Continue reading
One of Wilfred Owen’s great poems is titled “Futility” (1918). It begins with a commander of men at war directing a couple of his soldiers to move into the sun the body of a recently dead comrade: Move him into … Continue reading
The religions I know are about nothing but doubt and dissent, and the struggles of faith, the dark night of the soul, feelings of unworthiness, serial backsliding, the abyss of despair. Whether it is the book of Job, the Confessions … Continue reading
Documentary filmmaker, John Pilger, recommends Albert Camus’s The Plague as a good read ahead of our upcoming pandemic swine flu (H1N1) season: A novel which tells the tale of the devastating plague visited on the Algerian town of Oran, it … Continue reading
A Brief for the Defense Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies are not starving someplace, they are starving somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils. But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants. Otherwise the mornings before summer … Continue reading
“Hap”, by Thomas Hardy, was written in 1866 (when Hardy was 26 years old) and published in 1898. The poem is a brief and Job-like meditation upon suffering, theodicy, and “dicing Time”—but without the hope that there might actually be a God … Continue reading
The above photograph, according to the U.S. Holocaust Museum website, was taken at Ohrdruf on April 6, 1945. More “Bearing Witness to the Holocaust” photos here and here and here.
Bearing Witness to the Holocaust: Image of a Prisoner at Auschwitz, Apparently Shot Attempting to Climb a Barbed Wire Fence, and Left to Hang There
James Baldwin, in his short story, “Sonny’s Blues” (1957): [W]hile the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard. There isn’t any other tale to … Continue reading