Archives for December 2005

The Mind of the Maker, by Dorothy L. Sayers

Contrary to popular belief, this is not primarily a book about God. Sayers wisely does not try to tell us about God directly, but about what is godlike in ourselves. ‘The characteristic common to God and man,’ she says, is ‘the desire and ability to make things.’ She draws a vivid and detailed analogy between the Christian Trinity and our own creative imagination. In working out the details of this analogy, she tells us a great deal about them both; but, inevitably, more about our own minds than God’s. [Read more…]

A Reader’s Manifesto, by B. R. Myers

Even before B. R. Myers lobbed this magnificent stinkbomb into the mailbox of the New York literary establishment, I think most of us knew what this book tells us. Yes, the emperor has no clothes; yes, the book reviews will praise the most ridiculous tripe rather than risk losing an advertiser, and the bigger the author’s name, the more blatantly they will cringe and fawn. And yes, too many ‘literary’ authors today have inherited all the pretentiousness of their predecessors, but none of their skills. After all, why learn skills when attitude is so much easier?

For readers, this is pretty good fun, and Myers’ caustic wit makes the journey doubly worthwhile. But for writers, it is a message that we ignore at our peril. [Read more…]