Monday, November 26, 2012

Marilynne Robinson's Birthday

No living author has had more of an influence on my thinking than Marilynne Robinson, her great, suppressed book, "Mother Country", is one of the greatest of little read books of the past century.   It is the Rosetta Stone  that explains why much of  the modern culture of English speaking people is inimical to the continuation of life and the morality that is required for it to continue.   Her collections of essays, "The Death of Adam" and "Absence of Mind" continue her exposition on that theme, the most important possible and among the most neglected in the superficial and celebrity addled intelligentsia current today.  Her non-fiction writing is the most significant body of work by a single, living,  author on those topics I'm aware of.

Her great novels, especially "Gilead" and "Home", show how imperfect people can strive to live moral lives, even as they don't understand so much and fail.  "Home" helped me to cope with the death of my brother from chronic alcoholism and helped me to understand many things about that which I am still dealing with.   For that I'm in her debt in so many different ways.

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