Friday, April 6, 2012

Good and Evil

I was reading a recent copy of Literary License, association publication for the Society of Midland Authors, when today's words, Good and Evil, jumped off the page and gave me goosebumps. I'll tell you why in a moment. First let me give you the context.

Robert Loerzel wrote that Marilyn Robinson, author of Gilead, a book I truly loved (I'm going to blog about that experience on my new GoodReads blog one of these days), recently "took part in a March 3 discussion on 'Literature and Evil'. The larger event, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference (strangely, I can't find 2012 info, which perhaps just isn't recapped yet?), was held in Chicago. Ten thousand people attended, Loerzel said. Somehow I missed the ginormous sold out conference was even taking place in my back yard until after it was over.

Yep, that's the way this author sometimes rolls. Oh, well ...

Loerzel said that the title of Robinson's event [Literature and Evil] "seemed to make her uneasy. What is evil? 'The greatest peril is in thinking that you know what it is,' Robinson said. 

'Too easily arrived-at definitions of good and evil do the work of the devil.'"

Whoa. Let me read that again!

I not only read it again, underlined it, put a star in the margin, and repeated it here, but I'm cutting it out and pasting it on the upper right-hand corner of my computer monitor. I might even photocopy the provocative line and put a copy in my wallet. I believe that is one of the deepest most profound and convicting truths I've read lately, especially when applied to ... just about any walk of life, and especially in this political climate.

I shall be holding my feet to the fire of that poignancy every time I make a snap decision, especially when I'm about to spout off on the good or evil of it--or him, or her, or "those people."

Think, Charlene. THINK! Maybe you are wrong.

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