Monday, 7 December 2015
Earthly Powers as a Christmas read
As Christmas is coming, I am giving you a few suggestions to fit Yuletide 'Tis the season to be reading and all that. I don't know if you have noticed, but it is one of the many traditions of Vraie Fiction. Today's suggestion is Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess. He is of course my favourite writer, as long-time followers of this bog know. Not that the novel set around Christmas exclusively or indeed all that much, in fact it covers most of the XXth century, but there are some key elements related to the season: it is at Christmastime that the homosexual narrator goes to confession and ends up renouncing his Catholic faith, he makes his coming out to his mother at the same time and one of the stories of the legend of Saint Nicholas (where the saint resurrects three children that had been murdered by a butcher) is used to illustrate the nature of free will and the problem of evil. Deep stuff. Also it is maybe Burgess' greatest novel, so now's a good time as any to give it a go. Or ask Santa to put it under your Christmas tree.