Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #345 on: August 11, 2007, 09:19:36 PM »

Kingsolver presents Nathan as the Old Testament God.  The children see him that way, even Adah the heretic who can't be a heretic without a God.  The children certainly speak of him that way; even Orleanna seems to in the first half or so of the novel.  He acts that way.  He decrees.  As Young might say, he makes the rules.  He says what's fair.  He too though is a thing they carried.  He too is a burden and Kingsolver is saying through Nathan that their God, their version of God, was a thing carried, a thing that burdened.  But what -- in this context -- was the thing they found?

They see God as a father to be feared.  This related back to my previous post, and the idea that the only faith Nathan can engender is a faith based on fear.  You can't give what you haven't got.
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madupont
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« Reply #346 on: August 12, 2007, 11:38:29 AM »

"at Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum, an outdoor theater nestled in a copse of fine old oaks."

I knew Will Geer's daughters, as I mentioned to Francesca when she discussed the tearing down or closing down of the theater bar and restaurant once attached to the theatre. I can't remember which production they were in.  He occasionally made appearances but was mostly immersed in television drama by that time as a very popular character actor.  At the time, I would have had no idea that he had withstood the persecution of the McCarthy era in the days when HUAAC under Senator Nixon was getting the so-called "Hollywood" community to fink on each other. I was a green actor doing Thornton Wilder and Jean Anouihl.  But I can still hear how he pronunced his lines. He had a particular tonality that Bruce Dern now sometimes borrows for his periodic role in Big Love.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #347 on: August 12, 2007, 11:59:45 AM »

"the idea that the only faith Nathan can engender is a faith based on fear"

sounds like the old testament -- an earlier 'colonial' attempt

I didn't quite think of it that way, but yes, that would take us down to the bare-bones meaning of the title.  Pretty profound when you get down to it.
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madupont
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« Reply #348 on: August 12, 2007, 01:05:19 PM »

Of course not, that was our point to begin with that the books of a Christian New testament could not have existed without the original books of the Old Testament in Hebrew long before Jerome. I mean who cares about Englishmen reading in the shadows of Hadrian's wall? The books translated into Greek from Latin(and Hebrew) are more purposive of  translating Kingsolver's literary themes although she writes in English. 

It is the same way in which the Ariel theme arises under repeated inspiration to write poetry although we know he was a Hebrew angel
before  Shakespeare ever heard him whisper.

or, as lhoffman said,"I didn't quite think of it that way, but yes, that would take us down to the bare-bones meaning of the title.  Pretty profound when you get down to it."  An idea that was contributed by  donotremove, that the title, The Poisonwood Bible, implies that missionaries poison the locals attitude and softens them up for the colonialization, which it was pointed out to me was coming to an end with the start up of the CIA financing of the Mobuto dictatorship. Mobuto simply put them on the bus and got them out of there, first the Asians, and then the Europeans before they noticed too much more of what was going on.

Ps. I didn't know Ellen nor Willow from California when I was there at the end of the Forties and then not again until the end of the Nineties.  They would have been more Manhattan based at that period, where I was at the end of the Fifties. Theaters on the West Coast develop as actors decide to teach and run a repertoire company. My great-nephew thought about staying last year in the Autumn, after doing the Fringe Festival out here, and then going on to San Francisco on tour where they decided to rent, the company that is, rather than stay in a hotel, and live as a commune across in Marin County for the continuance of the run, and was tempted to give it awhirl in  Southern California but still had something or other to finish where the company is located in Chicago(I can think of many reasons for that).
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madupont
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« Reply #349 on: August 12, 2007, 01:15:52 PM »

I seem to recall that Shakespeare insult generator some years ago in the NYTimes forums(Meander?) was a hoot.

That's right, it was right in the middle of the Greenblatt discussion and closed the whole thing down, I recall about three of them having sport, one point of which was our "egos" (in discussing what was read?) while they were vaunting their own higher experience. Non-egotistically, of course. (although, I can't recall their reading the book with us. I read the Marlowe section, as pertinent to the times; as I already had my own opinions on Merchant of Venice, and some other "readings" line for line in which I was coached.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #350 on: August 12, 2007, 01:51:02 PM »

On the History of Biblical Translation:

http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ac66
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madupont
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« Reply #351 on: August 12, 2007, 06:00:53 PM »

Lhoffman
Another excerpt after I had the experience of a fellow in the National Security forum nytimes bringing in  papers from Fordham University so he could convince us that Muslims were our natural enemy.  Then I told him about what is in the following excerpt from same source as your link. Cathars essentially did not believe some of the things other Christians bought, since many of them were executed at Monsegur, it is likely like the anti-Paulists of today that they knew Christ had died,risen, and so on, thus did not necessarily believe in the transubstantiation that took place in the Christian  communion sacrament.   So this fellow considered these heretics on the same level as Muslims. As you can see from the following the ancestor of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec defended them. Irony is that survivors may also have done things contra what this fellow with the Fordham paper expected because he next brought  the records of the Huguenot society(originally supporters of Henri of Navarre [Henry IV] on which I pointed out two ancestors of mine; and I chided him that another
became one of the knights Templar at an earlier period. After that, we just went around printing bibles in the colloquial at Berlin.

"The strongest medieval demand for vernacular texts comes in France from a heretical sect, the Cathars. The suppression of the Cathars is complete by
the mid-13th century. But in the following century the same demand surfaces within mainstream western Christianity. "
                                                                                                                             
the heresy. It spreads westwards during the 12th century and gives new energy to a similar sect, already in existence, in northern Italy and southern France. These western heretics become known as Cathars (from the Greek katharoi, 'pure').By the second half of the 12th century both Bogomils and Cathars have church hierarchies of their own. Bishops are appointed, councils are held. At the end of the century there are eleven Cathar bishoprics in France and northern Italy. There are also Cathar versions of the Bible in vernacular languages, with the text edited to fit the doctrine. Jesus in these gospels is not a man but an angel, whose sufferings are an illusion.

The heresy is strongest in southern France, particularly in Toulouse. (Albi is only involved to a lesser extent, yet the Albigenses becomes an alternative name for the Cathars). Inevitably the papacy takes steps against such a sect.
   
Early in the 13th century Innocent III sends bishops to Toulouse to preach against the Cathar heresy. But the pronouncements of these grandees of the church do little to convince the heretics. They are much more readily swayed by the certainties of their own self-denying leaders.

In 1206 a different approach is proposed by Dominic de Guzman (better known now as St Dominic), a canon accompanying a Spanish bishop to Toulouse. Christian preachers, he argues, should learn from the Cathars. They must live an equivalently simple life if ordinary people are to listen to their message. It is the beginning of the Dominican system of evangelical preaching.
   
Dominic's approach achieves early successes. In 1207 he establishes a convent at Prouille, in which the nuns are converts from the Cathar heresy.

This convent becomes the headquarters of his mission until an act of violence puts preaching in second place. In January 1208 the pope's legate to Toulouse is assassinated.
   
The Albigensian crusade: AD 1208-1255

Toulouse is a centre of the Catharist heresy but its count, Raymond VI, appears to view the heretics with undue tolerance. The pope, Innocent III, sends a legate to remind the count of his duties. The legate, making little progress, excommunicates Raymond in 1207 and is murdered - it is said by the count's men - in 1208.

Innocent preaches a crusade against the heretics. The nobles of France rally with enthusiasm to the cause. Over the following decades Cathars are treated with great brutality wherever they are captured. But as with the crusades to the east, territorial greed is mixed inextricably with the passion of outraged orthodoxy.
   

 The first leader of the crusading army is Simon de Montfort. His defeat of Raymond at Muret in 1213 is often described as the end of the crusade, but it merely transforms this particular struggle into a baronial war. In 1215 a papal council grants Simon the extensive territories previously belonging to Raymond. Raymond recovers Toulouse in 1217. Simon dies in 1218 trying to win it back.

Meanwhile there are many surviving Cathars. And Louis, heir to the French throne (as Louis VIII), has his own good reasons for campaigning into territories held by others in the south of France.
   
Louis, together with Simon de Montfort's son, takes Marmande in 1219 and massacres the Catharists of the town. A few years later Toulouse, under a new count (Raymond VII, son of Raymond VI), seems once again a hotbed of heresy. A new pope, Honorius III, asks the French king to lead a crusade into southern France. Louis VIII besieges and captures Avignon in 1226. By 1229 Raymond of Toulouse agrees terms which after his own lifetime will transform much of southern France into a possession of the French crown.

Territorial purposes are thus satisfactorily achieved. But the battle against heresy rumbles on intermittently for another two decades, after the Cathars withdraw to the foothills of the Pyrenees.
   
Small communities of Cathars hold out in isolated castles. The last to fall is the stronghold of Qué ribus in 1255. But the effective end comes earlier, with a gruesome display at Montségur.

The Cathars of Montségur are besieged by a crusading army for ten months, from May 1243 to March 1244. When they finally capitulate, some 200 refuse to deny their heretical faith. They are herded within a wooden stockade below the castle walls and are burnt as a group. The sect, with its undeniably high ideals, fades from history. Its main legacy is the Inquisition.
   
Inquisition: AD 1233-1478

 The survival of the Catharist heresy in parts of France, even after the brutality of the Albigensian crusade, persuades pope Gregory IX that specialists are required. In 1233 he writes to bishops in France saying that he is sending them some Dominican friars to help them in this necessary task of rooting out heretics.

Some of these first inquisitors have the special expertise of poachers turned gamekeeper. Robert le Bougre, the most severe of those sent to France in 1233, was drawn into the sect as a young man for love of a Cathar girl. St Peter Martyr, appointed inquisitor for northern Italy by Gregory IX (and assassinated by a Cathar in 1252), was born into a Catharist family.
   

The work of the Inquisition is accompanied from the start by alarming ceremonies. An inquisitor, arriving in a place where heresy is suspected, commands the local people to divulge what they know of their neighbours. The names of witnesses are concealed, so there is a strong temptation to settle scores. From 1252, by a bull of Innocent IV, suspects may be tortured to obtain confessions.

The inquisitor's announcement of the penalties imposed provides an exciting public spectacle, with the condemned on parade to hear their fate.
The inquisitor may prescribe penalties such as fasting, pilgrimage, the wearing of a yellow cross, the confiscation of property, flogging, or imprisonment for any period, including even life. But he cannot impose a death sentence, on the grounds that the church does not shed blood.

Instead, those condemned to death are handed over to the secular authorities - who know their Christian duty and are happy to comply. Death by burning at the stake, long the traditional punishment for heresy, has the added attraction of maintaining - in a very literal sense - the fiction that no blood is being shed.
The medieval Inquisition is mainly used against the Cathars in France, though the burning of both John Huss and Joan of Arc follow investigations by inquisitors. The inquisitorial procedure becomes firmly established in the two centuries from Gregory IX's creation of the Inquisition in the 13th century to the deaths of Huss and Joan of Arc in the 15th.

It is therefore a simple matter for pope Sixtus IV in 1478 to authorize Ferdinand and Isabella to appoint inquisitors who will ensure that Spanish Jews are genuinely converting to Christianity. And it remains the tradition that Dominicans, among them Torquemada, will undertake the task. The Spanish Inquisition is an extension of what has gone before


Ps. there was a very good review with sample Chapter in the nytimes
about redactors of the Hebrew tracing the different voices of interpretation, and I was sorry that I didn't save it back then before I started posting in any of the forums; as it no longer exists in their archive as far as I know.  Much material is being weeded out of nytimes come but to go where? Is it being dumped? When looking for some movie material again today, the stuff is gone; somebody is editing like crazy.

A redactor is one who brings back what has been made to disappear and publishes again in a new edition.

Of course, the above material on the Cathars of France is even more pertinent to the discussion of the Aleph, in Latin-American Literature where it probably belongs.

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Lhoffman
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« Reply #352 on: August 12, 2007, 06:24:46 PM »

The Catholic hierarchy was put out with the Cathars for several reasons.  They didn't believe in a priesthood, they followed a practice of fasting that the Catholics looked on as suicide, they were Gnostic, they weren't much for multiplying and filling the earth as the ultimate expression of Catharism was to become a consolant.  The Consolants abstained from sex, left the wife and kidlets behind, and went off wandering in the forest for months and years at a time.  And, of course they didn't pay tithes.  The Abbot Arnaud spent much of his time trying to convert the Cathars, which apparently was quite a bust, and so, having the ear of the Pope, Innocent at that time, whispered the word "Crusade." 

Karen Armstrong does a nice job of writing on this in Holy War  The Crusades and their Impact on Today's Society.

I'm going to see if I can't find that NYT article on redactors.
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madupont
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« Reply #353 on: August 13, 2007, 02:21:21 AM »

Lhoffman:

"The Catholic hierarchy was put out with the Cathars for several reasons.  They didn't believe in a priesthood..." because they had their own Cures/the Perfect.
"they followed a practice of fasting that the Catholics looked on as suicide"; now the conventional method of hospice provision among our contemporaries.

"They were Gnostic..."  Of course they were; descended from that tradition and are the missing link between the arrival at some point on the Cote d'Azur close to Montsegur of the so-called, or legendary, Holy family, or what was left among the relatives following the Resurrection, and the eventual Huguenots of the Reformation,

More on Gnosticism: "In the 9th century the Greek brothers Cyril and Methodius, sent from Constantinople to Moravia at royal request, translate the Gospels and parts of the Old Testament into Slavonic." (this is from your link: http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ac66  )
The descendents of this "mission", the Moravian church, to my surprise,were some of the few Christians unflappable enough to run a hospital in Palestine at Ramallah for the seriously injured children disfigured either physically or mentally during what had been a continuing state of on and off war. I learned this about two years ago at Christmas season when going to one of their sales to raise money at their local church in my neighbourhood; this is one of the areas that has long been devoted to Moravian education, schools for young women, etc.

The earlier Gnostic is the apostle Thomas Didymos,putative twin brother  of Jesus, who wrote about the childhood of Jesus from recall, nonetheless this apostle to India,Iran,Afghanistan, and his gospel, the Gospel of Thomas, was perfectly legitimated by Elaine Pagels of Princeton Theological Seminary.
In 1982, Pagels joined Princeton University as a professor of early Christian history.Her study of the Nag Hammadi manuscripts was the basis for The Gnostic Gospels (1979), a popular introduction to the Nag Hammadi library. The bestselling book won both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award and was chosen by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best books of the twentieth century, She took her B.A. and M.A. at Stanford in 1964-1965 and then her Ph.D. at Harvard.  The Church, of course, by which I mean Roman Catholic, is naturally entirely against her. Why?

Gnosticism attracted women in particular because of its egalitarian perspective which allowed their participation in sacred rites. That's the part that you referred to as: "... the ultimate expression of Catharism was to become a consolant.  The Consolants abstained from sex,... And, of course they didn't pay tithes."
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #354 on: August 13, 2007, 11:51:37 AM »

Yes, I remember Pagels book, and there was for a while a sort of hipness to the idea "Pick up a stone...." which led to making of the movie "Stigmata" which managed to be cheesy and horrifying at the same time.  Quite gory...I recommend it for late-night viewing.

People will always be searchers, in matters religious or laic.  Probably why we read.
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Charles
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« Reply #355 on: August 13, 2007, 12:15:33 PM »

Pleasure, too?
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madupont
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« Reply #356 on: August 13, 2007, 12:47:18 PM »

  Lhoffman,re:#523   

"Pick up a stone...." which led to making of the movie "Stigmata"..."

Have no idea what you are referring to in the quote.  Never saw the movie.

But your tone is very dismissive, so I'll leave.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #357 on: August 13, 2007, 12:52:43 PM »

Pleasure, too?

LOL...I suppose there is that too.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #358 on: August 13, 2007, 12:55:10 PM »

  Lhoffman,re:#523   

"Pick up a stone...." which led to making of the movie "Stigmata"..."

Have no idea what you are referring to in the quote.  Never saw the movie.

But your tone is very dismissive, so I'll leave.

Not dismissive.  The quote is from the Gospel of Thomas, which I assumed you were familiar with, having read Pagels and all.  My bad.
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madupont
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« Reply #359 on: August 13, 2007, 02:56:05 PM »

  Lhoffman,re:#523   

"Pick up a stone...." which led to making of the movie "Stigmata"..."

Have no idea what you are referring to in the quote.  Never saw the movie.

But your tone is very dismissive, so I'll leave.

Not dismissive.  The quote is from the Gospel of Thomas, which I assumed you were familiar with, having read Pagels and all.  My bad.
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