Friday, April 15, 2005

John Irving Revisted

I finished The World According to Garp, and in the end I guess I felt unsettled. On one hand, Irving is a masterful writer, but on the other hand, his books are of questionable morality and I was processing this and happend onto an interview with John Irving and he was talking about his book Widow for One Year, (which I'm checking out of the library right now...I literally mean right now -- as I post, I'm sitting in the library waiting for Caleb's storytime to finish). So here's what I think about Irving's writing... There's a theme that I've been observing in Irving's characters, that I've more or less confirmed after hearing Irving talk about some of the characters in A Widow for a Year. Here it is: I think first of all, that Irving's characters are all pretty messed up and if his characters were to come to life, most of them would be fairly unlikeable. However, I think that as Irving writes, he writes in such a way that causes you to feel a certain sympathy for the characters so that even while you may find the characters' actions abhorrent you are still seeking to find whatever good exists in the characters. It's really quite a Christian idea -- that we are all hopelessly flawed and yet, created in the image of God, there really is the mark of the Creator that shines through -- even though it can sometimes be quite difficult to perceive. This probably won't be my last "John Irving Post" -- like I said, I'm starting a new book today.

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