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The Preacher

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Apr-3-2010

I suspect that no one will ever ask me what my favorite book is again. I can live with this, this is a small talk question used to pick up a girl. And I am no longer a girl.

For a very long time, my answer would have been The Great Gatsby, then I realized that what I liked about Scott was Zelda.

Next option would have been Edith Wharton, The House Of Mirth. This is a great book. Edith Wharton was so astute, so honest, so herself. She was so very American.

So was Scott.

But my favorite piece of writing is what I have always called The Preacher. It from the Old Testament and most people know it as Ecclesiastes.

I wanted to write a paper about The Preacher ( I had just finished one on The Book of Job and actually won a prize- I suspect that there was little or no competition) but my roommate was threatening to kill herself. I had to do some fast triage and she won. She is now mad as a hatter, but she is alive.

But this piece of writing floors me. It is from about 2000 years ago and we are hearing the same questions being asked that we ask now. People have not changed, we are not more in the know, we are the same. This is what I tend to think of as archeaology of the mind. It simply stuns me, every time I read it. How could we be so alike, with so much time between us ?

That is my favorite bit of writing.

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