Monday, January 12, 2009

Novels Focusing on the Murder of God and Why They Matter

1.  God Is Dead by Ron Currie, Jr renders the apocalypse contemporary.  The author does not change the current state of the world - and the Darfur in particular - rather, he implicates man in the killing of God.  This could be metaphorical: to kill any person is to kill God because God created man in his image, and so the bloodier our world gets, the closer God is to death.  But than God would be Humanity, and Humanity God, and than all hell breaks loose.  Of course, in the novel, all hell does break loose, so perhaps there's something to this theory.  I think it's also worth noting that God is in the form of a woman in the Darfur.  This obviously turns the Caucasian male imagery of God on its head, which tends to be a grounding and useful intellectual exercise.
While this was a good book that made important connections, it was also an obvious book.  If you - like me - search out books in which God is murdered, this is certainly a necessary read, however, it lacks the subtlety of some other favorites.  That being said, it is certainly creative, and absolutely relevant.  Of my selections, this is the most connected to contemporary experience.

2.  It Happened In Boston? by Russell H. Greenan is one of my absolute favorite books in the world, and indeed the one that sparked my interest in the murder of God in literature.  Unfortunately, it has been several years since I last read it, and therefore I can't write on it as distinctly as I would like to.  However, this book is interesting because the protagonist seeks to murder God.  While he does this because he feels it will right a wrong, he is actively pursuing the death of his creator, and he wants to deal it with his own hand.  As in God Is Dead, the author incorporates the murder of man into the murder of God.  Unlike God Is Dead, this novel is set in the second half of the 20th Century, in Boston, and the murders that occur are not random acts of war, but incidents of well planned, individual murder.  This novel is fascinating, well written, and an excellent story too.  I would rhapsodize about it further; however, I need to refresh myself on its finer points, so all I can do is humbly recommend it.

3.  The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman is a young adult novel, and the third in Pullman's acclaimed His Dark Materials trilogy.  Despite that, it deals with the murder of God, which was supremely surprising when I first encountered this novel at the age of thirteen.  This novel again uses a backdrop of war as the setting for God's murder.  While the protagonists arguably bring about God's death, they are not written as murderers or ever particularly culpable.  For one thing, they are children.  For another they are compassionate when they discover God in his death throes although they have been mercilessly pursued by the church.  Finally - and perhaps most importantly - they are simply pawns of prophecy.  While they have free will, their parts in this ethereal conflict has been written and is unchangeable, which shirks them of all responsibility.  God also accepts His death, which makes a huge difference in tone.  Rather than focusing on destruction, this is a novel about creation and perseverance, and while it is perhaps not the most complicated or literary of novels, it is worth a read.

4.  The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is not about the murder of God.  This is a novel about a novelist attempting to destroy himself.  He does not simply wish to die, he wishes to wipe every trace of himself from the general consciousness.  While you may think this doesn't fit, it is extremely relevant.  In a college writing class I was told "you are God."  In the classic conception of God, this is true.  As an author, one is a creator.  An author creates people in his image, and he creates worlds and rules for those worlds and characters.  An author decides who lives and who dies, what circumstances people are born into and what they do with their experience.  An author creates and decides everything in his story, so to write a novel about the eradication of the author is to write on the eradication of God.  While the novelist  seeks to destroy his worlds, others seek to destroy - to murder - him.  This novel works its way in slowly, but it is important nonetheless.  

5.  The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov is about many, many things, and is potentially one of the greatest modern novels.  It is engaging and amazing on many levels, and can be read over and over again.  It is another personal favorite, obviously.  While the murder of God is perhaps not thematic, it is important that a considerable portion of the novel is a retelling of Pontius Pilate's meeting with Jesus, and Christ's subsequent death.  Depending on what you believe, this amounts to the murder of God.  No matter what you believe, however, it is impossible to ignore this very clear mythical deity death.  I won't write more on this novel because I simply won't stop if I get started.  Suffice it to say, whether or not you're interested in the murder of God in literature, this is an engrossing and unmissable novel.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What I would do for a Klondike Bar

1.  Extract two dollars from wallet, so as not to have enough capital to go crazy, but giving myself a little leeway nonetheless.

2.  Walk to the gas station across the street.

3.  Select Klondike Bar (checking for dents, unwrappings, etc).

4.  Peruse shelves for other potential delights.

5.  Approach counter.

6.  Pay.

7.  Return home.

8.  Consume Klondike Bar with great voracity.  

The pros and cons of John Mccain suffering a stroke on the debate floor (the democratic perspective)


By having a stroke, Mccain will have given the American public hard evidence of his hithertofore hinted at enfeebled state.

He will potentially withdraw from the election, due to falling into a vegetative state.

He may not survive.


By having a stroke, Mccain will incite the pity of the American public, who will then vote for him.

And he may not survive.

Why it is evident to me that we have not reached the future ... yet.

Our clothing is still woven primarily of natural fibers that sometimes itch, not fluid, temperature controlled, silvery moon-threads.

We have not begun reducing greenhouse gas emissions by the most obvious means: teleportation. 

Jet pants are not available for mass consumption in the American market.

Will Smith continues to work exclusively in fictional films.

The economy is down the tubes, probably due to lack of jet pants.

Elvis is still dead.

Robbie Williams' fervent belief in aliens is not exactly considered regular.

An iphone (while certainly more futuristic than many other gadgets) can not make a perfect ham sandwich ... yet.