A little reading and reflection

What I’m reading. After reading and reflecting on the book of Job I went back to the start of the Bible with Genesis, with the intention of noting facts of the scripture rather than reading primarily for themes. Thematic analysis is what I had been doing, but I wasn’t sure if I was being true to the text by seeing themes that may or may not be there, for what was the purpose of writing devotionals.

I’ve also finished Star Wars, the original novelization of the film. This year it’s been re-published in a trilogy of books. This trilogy is the original Star Wars trilogy, from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, to Return of the Jedi. I was surprised how they condensed two hours that seems longish into a shortish book. I expected longer, but that’s how this film-tie in went.

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Reading week

Visceral entertainment and thought-provoking, reflection, and the off-putting: my reading week so far.

The original Star Wars novelization was the first.

The book of Job the second.

And Dante’s Divine Comedy the last.

Star Wars the novel doesn’t seem to compare to the movie, but with the movie in mind, the novel is added entertainment on top of the movie and a good read. Thought provoking in the sense that where is Luke Skywalker’s journey taking him and how? And I love the peppering of words that require a dictionary. Not that there are many.

The book of Job is reflection and a very centering one. I love it, although I admit takes a bit of effort.

But I am surprised that I officially no longer like Dante’s Divine Comedy. I have read the first part and saw the point although the poetry itself was hit and miss. I skipped the second part and went for what I thought would be the best part, Paradiso. But this is when I realized that the Divine Comedy makes some good points, but not everything stacks up for me. I’d rather read Job and the Bible for spiritual reflection. And Dante’s poetry just didn’t jell this time.

Well, that’s how my reading week may have ended, but the last passage I read was from Star Wars and I’m in the throes of taking the Divine Comedy to the second hand bookshop.

Back to Dante. Yeah!

The experience of reading Dante’s Inferno made me think that the original Star Wars trilogy of books is a lighter read–for escapism and a lightness of step–compared to the heavy, hellish, grotesque imagery in Dante’s Inferno.

Having read it, I transfer my reading of Dante’s Inferno to my experience of watching the hellish Revenge of the Sith years ago.

Revenge of the Sith is not something to really enjoy like the first Star Wars trilogy. Like Inferno, it’s about a descent into hell, literally and figuratively, depending on the story.

But both make interesting points so are worth a read and a watch.

I have two translations of Dante’s Inferno. The first, which I have read, is eloquent and sometimes difficult, not an easy read. The second translation, which I am reading, is readable. The readable translation is the one I would pick over the eloquent translation because I want to follow what I am reading every step of the way. The introductions of both books are useful in their own ways.

Dante makes me think

Six parts to read of Dante’s Inferno, having read a further five parts today, so am closing in on the target.

The main thing I gathered from today’s reading is how evil distorts humanity, bends it out of shape, manifests in all sorts of contortions from what is good.

The reading today brings into focus the existence of evil and the origin of evil being Satan himself.

Dante has made me think. I have heard the question before. Why did God allow evil? But when one is affected by the distortions of sin, the question is how does one get back into shape? Therefore, spiritual need outweighs theological questions.

I keep on thinking because of Dante. When in need there must be an answer for that need, not ever spiraling out of control questions that may breed dissatisfaction to the needy.

I think again. In the end, God gives us what we need to overcome evil and the theological questions pale in significance. Spirituality should deal with the basic needs of humanity because humanity can be bent out of shape. But God has provided the way out if we take that path.

Heavy in small, but memorable, doses

Been a week away from reading anything. Haven’t read Dante’s Inferno for a week. It concerns me because I should be reading something every day nearly.

A week is too long absent from a book. But, alas, there is a time for everything under the sun. There is a time to rest from reading.

Predicting in a week I’ll be back to the book and from there on to the finish line–when the book is finished.

Reading books is interesting, but it can also take it out of you. Inferno is ‘heavy’ in the sense it’s about lost souls in hell and Dante is giving a commentary on it. His commentary is sometimes caustic though I know it’s sort of humorous because he meets people he disliked in hell. Dante is also very serious about what’s going on in the underworld–it’s horrific.

Half-finished

At the end of this week I read less of Dante’s Inferno and am listening to music. Inferno is still on my radar to finish because I just want to. I don’t like to say that I finished the book half-way through. That’s not even finishing it. If I stopped reading it, I would become a statistic, the half finishes statistic. Following through on reading the book is a must, but at my leisure.