Monday, February 05, 2007


I started reading Gilead over the weekend and could not help but reflect upon a passage in Jonathan Franzen's essay entitled "the reader in exile." Where he discusses how books are both a catalyst for self-realization and a sanctuary. He quotes from Sven Birkets' on this topic:

Inwardness, the more reflective component of self, requires a "space" where a person can reflect upon the meaning of things.

and a persons absorption in a novel, which he likens closer to a state of meditation, allows for this space. Birkets' beautifully describes my short engagement with Gilead perfectly:

I feel a tug. The chain has settled over the sprockets; there is the feel of meshing, then the forward glide.
Now the trick is to find the time to get back to that place!


dritsema said...

What a wonderful book. I read it last January for a preaching retreat led by Dr. Cornelius Plantinga (president of Calvin Seminary). We met in the hill country of Texas for a week and read various novels. The retret was called: Imaginative Reading for Creative Preaching. I know he does a similar thing at Calvin in Michigan. If you are interested I would contact him about this or Dr. Hulitt Gloer (preaching professor) at George. W. Truett Theological Seminary (

metalepsis said...

Wow that sounds like some retreat. What other books did you read?