Follow The Discreet Traveler by e-mail!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon is a movie ("The Big Chill for the '90s") about an ensemble of people, all of whom go to the Grand Canyon in Arizona and experience something bigger than themselves.

It is also a song by Susan Ashton, in which the Grand Canyon represents the gulf between the human and the divine.

I was at the bottom of the Grand Canyon on Holy Saturday, the day when, according to Christian tradition, Jesus was harrowing hell. From down there, in the heat, looking up, I heard Susan Ashton's song a different way. It felt to me like being somewhere so big was rather like being very close to God.

Reading: Dupont Circle by Paul Kafka-Gibbons
The Gospel of John
The Vision of Theodorus Verax by Bryce Blair

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The eighteenth century

I am not a formal student of literature. In fact, I've taken exactly one English class since high school, and that was only to impress a girl.

The "long" eighteenth century (starting in the 1660s) was a great time for literature, though. Women were back on the stage, Nell Gwynn was running around with the king of England, the novel was invented, and satire bloomed. The comedy of manners (with character names like Flit and Flounce, the women of the town) came over from continental Europe. Life was good.

Reading: William Wycherley
The Gentleman Dancing-Master
The Country Wife
The Plain Dealer
(not to be confused with the Cleveland newspaper of the same title)