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The Power of the Book

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I accept the criticism that I’m sometimes too locked in on just one book, the Bible.  There are, as Clarence Darrow says in Inherit the Wind, “many other good books.”   True enough.  Shakespeare at his best wrote in ways that suggest some sort of extraordinary inspiration and insight.  Poets like Blake, Eliot and Frost get me to step outside myself and my framed reality while at the same time drawing me into deeper places and frameworks that I would not experience otherwise.

It’s true that the Good Book has been used for No Good more than a few times–which BTW, is one of the reasons I’m committed to studying it, to counteract some of the mischief made with it;  and to hopefully make sure I don’t fall into that same mischief-making trap myself.   It’s a patchwork quilt of prose and poetry, of wisdom and anachronism, of mystery and straightforward message.  It has inspired and continues to inspire literature and art, and its language continues to be drawn upon by the world’s great orators.   Remember Lincoln’s famous “A House Divided” speech?  He lifted the crucial phrase straight out of the New Testament.

Plus, I’d like to see a Pelican Shakespeare anthology do something like this:

It’s my favorite part of that strange film.  Ain’t nobody gonna move that book.  No, sir.  Nobody.

Speaking of that Good Book, I’d best get back to it since I’ll be doing some sermonation with it mañana.


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