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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Godric, by Frederick Buechner


"Aedwen named you well, Father," says Reginald in his coddling lilts.
I say, "Father my bum."
"A holy name for a babe born to be holy," he says.
"Fiddle my faddle," I say or nothing at all in words but something instead in the fingertalk he doesn't know. He's better off not knowing, if he only knew.
"The god means God. That's plain as your nose, I mean no slight. The ric is Saxon reign. So God and ric in sum means God reigns, Godric. It means God reigns in you. It means when God comes down at last to weigh the souls of men, he'll not find Godric's wanting, Father Godric."
"Fetch me a bowl to puke in," I tell him. He's got him such a honeyed way I'm ever out to sour it.

And thus is our introduction to the Saint Godric, in Frederick Buechner's Pulitzer-Prize winning novel called, _Godric_. Written entirely in iambic, this novel recreates the life of the real man. He was a rascally man, a skirt-chaser, a pirate, a murderer, who was deemed a Saint by the time he died. My mentor professor has taught this book for several years. He quotes Buechner, "A saint is not a moral exemplar. A saint is a life-giver."

This novel is vibrant, witty, heartbreaking, and profound. I don't know how it took me so long to find it. Now that I've read _Godric_, I want to buy a rich old copy of it, frame it on my book shelf. I want to read it ten more times, teach it to my children, and make it an heirloom of our family. The last time I was this taken with a book, it was written by C.S. Lewis or Tolkien.

It's hard not to write about this novel, without using superlatives, so I will just tell you simply - read it. I'll leave you with this lovely quote, taken from its pages - "What's friendship, when all's done, but the giving and taking of wounds?"

3 Comments:

Anonymous Dustin & Los said...

You have been SpitBoxed!

6:30 AM  
Blogger Annie Wright said...

hey, when is your piece going to be up on zinkzine?

12:54 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

oooh. it totally sounds like something i would LOVE.

6:30 PM  

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