March 15, 2004

Reading in Red Deer

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Today, I preached twice (morning and late afternoon services) at Grace Reformed Church in Leduc. I drove down to Red Deer, to my parents’ place, on Saturday, pleased to see that Friday’s snow had all disappeared and that the roads were bare and dry. This evening, it started snowing again, but the weather report says that Monday’s weather is supposed to be good again.

While here, I finished reading P. G. Wodehouse’s The Indiscretions of Archie. It was fun in spots, but not my favourite Wodehouse. Though it purports to be a novel, it is very episodic. Each episode is about two or three chapters long, but each has little connection to the preceding or following episodes.

I often felt that I wanted to know more about what happened after certain events. For instance, we meet the Sausage Chappie at a certain point in the book, but he disappears from the plot as quickly as he appeared. So, for that matter, does the waiter Salvatore, though he, at least, makes a brief appearance later on. The unscrupulous but Bible-quoting valet appears in the early part of the book but fades away.

In other novels, Wodehouse has the knack of tying things together. My guess is that The Indiscretions of Archie may originally have been a series of short stories for magazine publication (later slapped together as a “novel”). Either that or Wodehouse just had a number of story ideas all starring Archie and decided to write them up as a quasi-novel.

Oh, well. It was fun. I’m moving on now to Tim Powers’ On Stranger Tides.

In non-fiction, I’ve been reading Doug Wilson’s Federal Husband. It’s a quick read, and I was familiar with much of what Wilson has to say already (in part, from Reforming Marriage), but it’s been profitable. Here’s a quotation with regard to honouring pregnancy … or rather, with regard to the way that people fail to honour pregnancy:

We have rejected the contempt the world shows for the results of pregnancy, but we have not yet learned to honor pregnancy ourselves. If a pregnant woman enters a modern gathering of Christians in the condition that Luke describes concerning our Lord’s mother (i.e., great with child), the chances are good that she will hear three rude comments before the evening is out. Two people will want to pat her stomach, as though being pregnant makes one’s body public property, and one person will set up shop as a wit. “Does the doctor know what causes this?” A few more serious individuals will express some concern for her, the kind of concern that baits the snare for discontent. “Is Joe taking care of you? You look awfully tired” (p. 84).

Posted by John Barach @ 1:07 am | Discuss (0)

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