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Tag Archives: the problem of suffering
Charles Hood’s photo essay on how places, when we travel, are “supposed” to look (as opposed to how they actually do look) put me in mind of the following Christina Rossetti poem meditating upon the inharmonies of existence. It appears to be addressed to … Continue reading
The swoon, obsession, and agony of the heart after a visionary epiphany in Badfinger’s “Day After Day” (1971). And notice the role of memory in the haunting and heightening of longing for what is not, in fact, present:
In the same area a magnitude 9.5 earthquake struck (May 22, 1960): And in 1939 was another large quake:
An 8.8 quake hit Chile early this morning (February 27, 2010). Will the damage and loss of life be similar to May 22, 1960 when the largest earthquake ever recorded (9.5 magnitude) hit the same area?
AP early this morning: A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake capable of tremendous damage struck central Chile early Saturday, shaking the capital for a minute and half and setting off a tsunami. . . . The largest earthquake ever recorded struck the … 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
Evolutionary biologist, Francisco Ayala of UC Irvine, read Stephen Meyer’s Signature in the Cell (2009), and raises some interesting issues and asks some rather telling questions: The human genome includes about twenty-five thousand genes and lots of other (mostly short) … 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
In a letter to Asa Gray (22 May, 1860): With respect to the theological view of the question; this is always painful to me.– I am bewildered.– I had no intention to write atheistically. But I own that I cannot … 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
In the preface to Richard Dawkins’s book, Unweaving the Rainbow (1998, xi), he writes: I believe that an orderly universe, one indifferent to human preoccupations, in which everything has an explanation even if we still have a long way to go before … 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 quick primer to life’s prospects:
According to AlterNet today, maybe not: Last year, one of the most deadly earthquakes on record devastated China, killing over 80,000 people and rendering millions homeless. Yet last month, reports surfaced stating that the 8.0 magnitude Great Sichuan Earthquake could … Continue reading
Name: Roszi Frank Age: 24 She was born in Hungary, and was deported to Auschwitz, where, after being moved again, she ended up at a subcamp of Gross Rosen. As the allies closed in on various camps (toward the end … Continue reading
Bearing Witness to the Holocaust: Women at Auschwitz-Birkenau, with Heads Shaved, Selected for Forced Labor, May, 1944
Source: U.S. Holocaust Museum photo archives