Thursday, February 02, 2006
On the title of her novel "The Violent Bear It Away" (from Matthew 11:12)
One thing I observe about the title is that the general reaction is to think that it has an Old Testament flavor. Even when they read the quotation, the fact that these are Christ's words makes no great impression. That this is the violence of love, of giving more than the law demands, of an asceticism like John the Baptist's, but in the face of which even John is less than the least in the kingdom - all this is overlooked. I am speaking of the verse apart from my book; in the book I fail to make the title's significance clear, but the title is the best thing about the book. I had never paid much attention to that verse either until I read that it was one of the Eastern fathers' favorite passages - St. Basil, I think. Those desert fathers interest me very much.