Monday, December 9, 2013

Mr. White's Confession, by Robert Clark at EIL

Almost forgot to post that I have a new review up over at Escape Into Life. Check it out. As I mentioned there, I actually got a new perspective on this book when I realized that the epigraph is from St. Augustine's Confessions. Since it's in Latin, I even managed to find a translation of it, and found its reference to memory linked it to Clark's novel in significant ways. But I wasn't able to work in a part slightly ahead of this in the Confessions which I think is even more apropos, so I think I'll post that here:

"Great is the power of memory, a fearful thing, O my God, a deep and boundless manifoldness; and this thing is the mind, and this am I myself. What am I then, O my God? What nature am I? A life various and manifold, and exceeding immense. Behold the plains, and caves, and caverns of my memory, innumerable and innumerably full of innumerable things." (10.17.26)

By the way, this is from an article on the Confessions by James J. O'Donnell, which you can find HERE.

I have to admit that I have never had a lot of interest in reading Augustine, perhaps early influenced by Rebecca West's dislike of him. But I have to admit that his explorations of self and memory in relation to faith and God in the Confessions look quite intriguing.


  1. I have always found Saint Augustine tiresome, but not so much so as Thomas Aquinas who is the patron saint of booksellers.

  2. Yes, these church fathers have a bit too much sway for my liking, but for some reason this way into his thinking stripped away a lot of the baggage for me. I can see him as a young man rather than a saint. He also seems much more our contemporary than I'd have thought.

    Of course, I haven't actually read the book yet...