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Archive for January, 2010

An Introduction to the Devout Life continues, with some good advice on sadness and depression.

Book 4, Chapter 12: On Sadness.

7:21.

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An Introduction to the Devout Life continues, with some good advice on worries.

Book 4, Chapter 11: On Anxiety.

8:35.

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On the Soul and the Resurrection continues, as St. Gregory of Nyssa talks with his dying(!) sister about stuff that doubters say about the Resurrection, continuing to ask her as his old teacher to assuage his fears about her passing.

The freaky thing is that St. Greg was apparently really bothered by the whole question of how it works to be resurrected, to the point of imparting all these complicated Greek worries that sound like Dr. McCoy and the transporter. I guess St. Macrina was used to her little brother freaking out, though. (Indeed, his life story lends one to suppose that he did fret and jump to weird conclusions about something weird all the time. This isn’t to say that he couldn’t be reasonable; he was a great theologian and teacher. But it took him a long hard road to get there, and in this case he may have reverted a bit, under stress.) It’s obvious that he has no hesitation about asking her this stuff; he’s not afraid at all that he might make her lose faith. There’s something very family about that.

Part 11.

36:53.

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The Life of Sir Aglovale de Galis continues, with a chapter full of secrets and intrigue, love and hate, and all the Arthurian mood you could ask for.

One thing I like very much about this chapter is that, though the author clearly is interested in the psychological ideas of her day, she doesn’t beat you over the head with this. Rather, she finds reasonable ways to express her ideas in the language (and cast of mind) of a courtly tale of knights and ladies, and hermits and bandits. A lot of historical and fantasy writers could learn from her.

Chapter 3.

29:45.

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An Introduction to the Devout Life continues with more chapters on the nature of temptation, and how to avoid or defeat it.

Book 4, Chapters 3-10.

32:50.

Happy St. Francis de Sales’ Day!

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The Life of Sir Aglovale de Galis continues, as we learn more about the events which brought glory and shame upon Sir Aglovale’s name.

Chapter 2. Includes Notes at end.

34:41.

Sorry that posting has been so spotty. I’ve been sick a lot lately.

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An Introduction to the Devout Life continues, as we begin Book 4. Our good bishop encourages us not to care what people will say, and to have courage.

Book 4, Chapters 1-2.

11:00.

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An Introduction to the Devout Life continues, with a very short chapter for the unmarried.

Book 3, Chapter 41.

1:31.

This winds up Book 3. So after this chapter, we move over to another detail page over at archive.org for the next book. This should make downloading and finding chapters faster, with any luck.

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An Introduction to the Devout Life continues, with a chapter for widows who don’t intend to marry again.

Book 3, Chapter 40.

12:31.

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On the Soul and the Resurrection continues, as St. Macrina argues against reincarnation some more.

Part 10.

25:40.

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An Introduction to the Devout Life continues, with two chapters of advice for married people. I think most people will agree with most of it. However, being French, our good bishop of course insists on explaining the Theology of the Body parts of marriage. (Several centuries before the current theology, of course; but it’s not as if JPII just made this stuff up on his own.)

So in Chapter 39 he explains this all by talking about good eating habits, and inviting the reader to learn by analogy. Completely decorous, completely obvious what he means. Very clever. Enjoy.

Book 3, Chapters 38-39.

25:42.

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You don’t have to be a Malory geek to enjoy The Life of Sir Aglovale de Galis.

But it helps. So at the back of the book, Housman provided quotes from Malory, so that people could reassure themselves that it all was really in there. I’m providing them, too. Ignore them or listen to them, whatever you prefer.

Chapter 1 Malory reference notes.

11:20.

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The Life of Sir Aglovale de Galis is a little-known Arthurian fantasy novel from 1905, by Clemence Housman. (You may remember my reading of her Norse fantasy, “The Were-Wolf”, from last year.)

The idea of this book is that a disciple of Sir Thomas Malory is continuing the work of his “dear master” by writing a book about the life of one of his minor characters, the black sheep of King Pellinore’s sons. But unlike its later imitators, this book neither rewrites Sir Aglovale’s sins nor revels in his failings. Like so much of Morte d’Arthur, it’s a book about family, individual potential for good and evil, and repentance — as well as battles and feuds and intrigue. It does an interesting job of splitting the difference between medieval romance and modern novel. I like it, and I hope you will, too.

Chapter 1

25:07.

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