At various points in his analysis, Anastas points to Susan Sontag's journals (published as Reborn), Puritan minister Jonathan Edwards's sermons, and contemporary fiction by Marilynne Robinson and Chris Adrian. Overall, it's an interesting article about the intersection of faith and fiction (though I wish it were longer).
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Fiction and Faith
In the current issue of Bookforum, Benjamin Anastas asks "how might the novelist reconcile fiction and faith" in God, Living is Enormous. Anastas starts with the notion that, much like God created the world and its inhabitants, the novel "creates its own firmament between two covers, divides light from darkness, fills the waters with odd life-forms, and chokes the earth with abundance." Before the novel can undertake its work, it must take care of the competition: "[God] must be killed, captured, or paid off handsomely and sent into exile. He must be dealt with." Often, this is accomplished via "enshrinement of the individual."