The Second Coming Coming Soon?

In today’s Daily Beast, an offhand mention in Stephen Farber’s review of Pina might catch the eyes of Walker Percy fans. (Of whom many surely must also be Wim Wenders fans, nicht wahr?)

“For years he has been hoping to make a film of Walker Percy’s novel, The Second Coming, and it may actually come to fruition soon.”

Wow! Wowie wow wow wow. (Stole that from Quin who stole it from Christopher Walken.)

Sermon of Snow

The fallen snow pales to blue as the sun
Burrows beneath the bear-rug of winter
Now draped across the hills – these woods, profiled
And barren, twist and pinch exhausted rays
Through a tined labyrinth of tiny branch work.

The deadened light disturbs the scheme we call
The world – and December’s candid blanket
Becomes a fazed sheet of gunmetal –
The twilight glows a pallid negative
And our own capabilities come to doubt:

“We live as if our hunger were a sin
Because our sins are hunger without end.”
I set the blaze, imagine the last,
And know the sun has lost its place in time
Though calendar and clock endure the cold.

“If man were ever meant to love, it would be
Not in some future time, nor in the past;
The heart is made for the present tense alone.”
Clocks don’t say that; snow and shadows do,
And we respond as silence does, “Amen.”

This fire’s angles are all wrong, although
Its heat rejuvenates this house of bones…

So many windows is too much to see –

Why did we wait until the first snow fall
To bless ourselves?

and there are doors yet to close

Alan Jacobs on Christianity and the Future of the Book

Articles by Alan Jacobs are always worth reading, and I think I’ve enjoyed this one from the The New Atlantis more than any other.

Consider, for instance, the variety of writing technologies discernible just in the Old Testament: the “brick” on which Ezekiel is commanded to inscribe an image of Jerusalem (4:1), the “tablet” used by Isaiah (30:8) and Habakkuk (2:2), the stone on which the Decalogue is inscribed (Ex. 24:12, Joshua 8:32). The styli used by Isaiah (8:1) and Jeremiah (17:1) may have been used to write on metal. Clay tablets were kept in jars (Jeremiah 32:14) or boxes (Exodus 25:16, 1 Kings 8:9). But the Scriptures themselves, it is clear, were typically written on papyrus scrolls and kept in cabinets.

And then along came the codex, compared to which even Gutenberg’s newfangled printing device was technologically something of an afterthought—Codex 1.1, if you will. So the question now is: What do all these iPads and Kindles portend? All in all, just another brick? Or is there something more revolutionary afoot? What will be required of this generation?

Read the whole thing here.


Grandfather:  “What do you have to do to get to heaven?”

Second Daughter:  “Die.  And pray.”


Just what you’ve all been waiting for:  another installment of Lickona and a Jew talk Christmas.

Round One:  Positively Irenic!

Round Two:  Grumpy, Grumpy, Grumpy.

And now, Round Three:  A Jew’s Favorite Christmas Movies.

Foote to Percy, 1949.

“Pushed, you’ll admit that doubt is a healthy thing, closely connected with faith; but you won’t follow it.  I believe that truth lies beyond and I’m willing to step into the mire…because I know I’ll find what I’m after, on the other side – beyond.  You draw back…I seriously think that no good practicing Catholic can be a great artist; art is by definition a product of doubt; it has to be pursued…I said once I didn’t think God would be hard on writers.  We are the outriders for the saints; we go beyond (where they won’t go) and tell them what we’ve found.  If we burn for that, we’ll take pride in our burning, our pain; the triumph won’t be God’s.”

Ὁ Αὐτοπέτρος

αὐτοῦ: μηκέτι τοῦδ᾽ αὐτοπέτρου
βήματος ἔξω πόδα κλίνῃς. – Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus (192-193)

We had in mind no poet’s praise nor wreath
In racing to the tomb. (This angler bears
No athlete’s art, except at pulling oars!)
With gaping mouth, though, John would yield his youth
To age’s privilege. Or was it faith?
My older wisdom gives me pause to parse
That day – the empty tomb confirmed, the course
Resolved that death would break its bedrock oath:
With neither earth nor water there beneath
My feet, I’m hogtied to wood, and steel secures
The victory. So Nero’s circus stirs
To life - my head goes swinging underneath;
The post beam finger-figs the sky. Its curse
Reveals the path that once more takes my breath!

Mandatory Holiday Fun

Gafurino - Theorica Musicae

Gafurino - Theorica Musicae

Due to budgetary constraints, this year’s office party will be conducted in virtual form. Please submit the following via the comments:

Favorite Sacred Christmas Carol
Favorite Pagan Devil Secular Christmas Carol
Beverage of choice
A hot dish to share with everyone (RESIST THE URGE TO INNUENDO)
What you’ll be giving your Secret Santa

Well now, looky here…

Them thar godless libruls at NPR done reported on the cleared path to canonization for Kateri Tekakwitha.  Cain’t find a link, but I done did heard it on the wireless while I was driving my horseless carriage.

Chesterton at the end…

Hitchens and Martin Amis, aka, JOB and Lickona in their better and worse daydreams.

Ian McEwan recalls visiting Christopher Hitchens in the hospital during his last days:

The next morning, at Christopher’s request, Alexander and I set up a desk for him under a window. We helped him and his pole with its feed-lines across the room, arranged pillows on his chair, adjusted the height of his laptop. Talking and dozing were all very well, but Christopher had only a few days to produce 3,000 words on Ian Ker’s biography of Chesterton.

Whenever people talk of Christopher’s journalism, I will always think of this moment.

Consider the mix. Constant pain, weak as a kitten, morphine dragging him down, then the tangle of Reformation theology and politics, Chesterton’s romantic, imagined England suffused with the kind of Catholicism that mediated his brush with fascism and his taste for paradox, which Christopher wanted to debunk…