Jon Kennedy
Jon Kennedy

Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
the Nanty Glo in My Mind'

Nice to be back

Happy New Year!

Today's title may not be completely sincere. It's nice to be back in sort of the way Kenneth McFarland used to say, considering his airport and airliner lifestyle as one of the nation's most-in-demand public speakers, that it's nice to be here in—where is this again?—where's nice to be anywhere. After writing 100,000 pages—er, only feels like pages—in 10 weeks during my "down time," I just want to have a long mid-winter hibernation. Fat chance.

So I think I'll ease back in by sharing some thoughts about my winter reading. One of my nicer Christmas presents was Anne Rice's new novel, Christ the Lord, Out of Egypt. I had put it on my Christmas wish list because I'd read reviews and news articles about the book. It's a fictitious account of Jesus and His family immigrating from Egypt to Galilee (more specifically, Nazareth in Galilee) when He was seven years of age. The story is told in His voice. I had had reason to make references to her book in my book, so I thought it would nice to be able to read her book, even though by Christmas I was 15 or 16 chapters farther on from where I'd discussed Jesus' "silent years," his childhood. But during the cross-training portion of my daily workouts I'm reading it.

I had commented in my Xnmp blog when Rice's book first came out that trying to write fiction in the voice of Jesus was skating on the thin ice of blasphemy, but I was open to being convinced it's possible not to fall through. Now over halfway through Rice's book I'm convinced, it's not blasphemous. It's a reverent fiction, 300 pages or so of what might have gone through the mind of Jesus the incarnate Lord of the universe at seven years of age in what we now call first-century Israel or Palestine. The fascination, based largely on RIce's skill as an author, is derived from getting an inside view of what it was like to be part of a large Jewish family in places like Alexandria, Egypt, and Nazareth, Galilee, in that tumultuous time, the generation the Apostle Paul refers to as "the fullness of time."

Rice's theory is that Mary and Joseph tried their best to give the Son of God as "normal" a childhood as possible. Just that concept is mind-blowing. Assuming that they were not given an instruction manual by Gabriel, what would they do? Play it by ear is the easy answer, but it does sound rather Jewish, and appropriate to Rice's way of unfolding her story which, though entirely speculation, manages to give her readers lots to ponder and even learn that's worth knowing.

We'll revisit this topic anon.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy


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Today's chuckle

Things to ponder—

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

— Sent by Trudy Myers

Thought for today

The Body of B. Franklin, Printer / Like the Cover of an old Book / Its Contents turn out / And Stript of its Lettering & Guilding / Lies here. Food for Worms / For, it will as he believed appear once more / In a new and more elegant Edition / corrected and improved / By the Author Benjamin Franklin

—On his gravestone in Christ Church Burial Grounds; Philadelphia

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