Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Apologia pro Lameness Mea

Well, I haven't touched Newman in a couple of weeks. I'm trying to pack up my household these days in advance of our move the week of Christmas. Where is everyone else? Do you want to continue with Newman after Christmas, or should we throw in the towel on him and move on to Melanie's pick, which will undoubtedly be more readable?

14 comments:

Otepoti said...

Lameness mea! Funny!

Yeah, I'm about the same as you, though not as swamped. I couldn't get past the thicket of names and controversies long forgotten. If there's spiritual nourishment there, it may not be for me.

I'm a mental lightweight.

Otepoti said...

On the positive side though, I did get some new curtains up yesterday.

I cut them out five years ago...

BettyDuffy said...

Count me lame as well. Maybe this is a sign we should move on.

Melanie B said...

You aren't lame. Or at least you're not alone. I keep picking it up and putting it down and going to something else. But yeah haven't touched it in a couple of weeks. Like Otepoti, I'm getting bogged down in names and controversies that mean nothing to me and I keep waiting for it to get to the spiritual nourishment part. I'd be wiling to push on if only I knew when it start getting to the part that makes everyone rave about Newman (I assume it does get there eventually right? I keep asking myself when do we get to the part that makes everyone say this book is a spiritual classic?) I'd skim till I got there; but I'd get there if I knew there was a there there.

But... I have a confession about my pick. Which is that I don't have one.

I've been thinking of re-reading Father Elijah by Michael O'Brien. I didn't quite get it the first time but I've since read the other books in the series and liked every one of them better than I liked Father Elijah. I think I might like it much better with those under my belt though. So with that rave recommend, anyone interested in reading it with me?

I've also got Graham Greene's A Burnt Out Case sitting around waiting to be read.

Pentimento said...

I feel the same way about Newman. When are we going to get there?

Now, I don't think I could happily take up Fr. Elijah right now. I read it fairly recently and then read A Cry of Stone, which I loved (though I thought it was much too long). I wouldn't mind reading something else by him though. Just not A Landscape with Dragons. I haven't read it but I'm annoyed with what I understand is his fear of my beloved Madeline L'Engle.

Melanie B said...

Oh I was so annoyed by Landscape with Dragons. Especially the treatment of L'Engle. Writers of fiction often make the worst critics. I've read his other books too recently for a re-read. Loved Cry of Stone, didn't mind the length.

Pentimento said...

Cry of Stone *was* great. I wouldn't mind reading it again, though I'd like to read something else by him. Have you read Sofia House?

I just read Arm of the Starfish and liked it much more than Newman . . . sigh.

Melanie B said...

I loved Sophia House. Read it earlier this year. I just finished Eclipse of the Sun last week. Not quite as good; though it had some great moments. It's the third in the trilogy within the series that starts with Strangers and Sojourners followed by Plague Journal.

Melanie B said...

It's been a while since I've read Arm of the Starfish, can't remember if that's one of the ones I liked or that I was meh about.

Pentimento said...

It's actually a pretty exciting thriller -- a young man goes to help Dr. O'Keefe in his top-secret experiments on an island off Portugal and is betrayed by a beautiful woman. But I felt like I wanted more background to some of the characters; it had the feeling of a sequel.

mrsdarwin said...

I hope it doesn't sound prejudiced of me to say that I've never had any desire to read Michael O'Brien's novels after encountering his arguments in A Landscape with Dragons. Maybe he writes better fiction than literary philosophy.

But anything Melanie picks is sure to be a good read.

mrsdarwin said...

Otepoti, I'm waiting for the five year anniversary to roll around before I finish the quilt that's been sitting packed away, 3/4 complete, for more than a year.

Pentimento said...

I fear I would have felt the same way if I'd read Landscape with Dragons. I read Fr. Elijah and Cry of Stone last year, and since learning of Landscape with Dragons I'm just mad at him now. I also thought his comments on the US election last year were over the top, and that he shouldn't be solicited for expert commentary as some sort of authority on the anti-Christ.

Emily J. said...

I almost suggested as an alternative to Apologia Newman's Loss and Gain, his fictionalization of his drama of conversion. But I have picked it up and set it down more than once in favor of more dramatic stories. . .For spiritual nourishment maybe we should have read his sermons, but I have to admit I like to get spiritual nourishment from novels. That said, I have already read the O'Brien books, except Sophia House, and while I enjoyed them, I wouldn't mind reading something new.