Sunday, September 04, 2005

Death Comes for the Archbishop

Furiously reading. I just started Helena, by Evelyn Waugh, having finished Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop. I can't believe I got out of high school without reading that book. It was wonderful, especially for a book written by a Protestant. Obviously Cather didn't get the details of Catholic devotion, but she understood the big picture and did a pretty good rough sketch of what it means to be a faithful priest.

On top of that, the setting of Northern New Mexico was wonderful. Having spent a lot of time around Taos and Cimmaron and Santa Fe as a kid, it was a bit of a thrill to read about what those dusty holes we drove past were like a 150 years ago.

Someday, I'd like to read a little more about Archbishop Lamy. But now, I have Helena before me. After that, I think I'll change things up and read something contemporary--Richard Hitchens' book The Abolition of Britain. It comes highly recommended (at least for a modern journalistic-type book). I also want to read A Handful of Dust, the last major piece of Waugh fiction I haven't read, and then some Hillaire Belloc (but where to start there?)

No comments: