Friday, August 07, 2009

Live from Omena.

Since Monday, I've been relaxing in the company of other Jesuit priests, brothers and scholastics at Villa Marquette in Omena, Michigan. I've spent some time at Omena every summer since I entered the Society, and I always look forward to coming back to visit with my peers in formation and to enjoy a bit of a break before the start of a new academic year. Next week, I head to Detroit to watch the second-year novices profess First Vows; after that, I return to Philadelphia to put the finishing touches on the courses that I will begin teaching at the end of this month.

I tend to do a lot of reading while I'm at Omena, often focusing on particularly long or dense books that I might struggle to complete amid the distractions of daily life during the school year. Two books that fit into this category are Rebecca West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon and Catherine Pickstock's After Writing, both of which I've been reading this week. An unexpected but very welcome addition to my Omena reading has been Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, which I recommend without hesitation. As for the other books, I'll refrain from potential comment until I've finished reading them. Until I post again, my prayers and best wishes go out to all readers. AMDG.


At 8/07/2009 9:39 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

I looked at "After Writing" and decided perhaps not this summer - it needed far more space than I could give it. I'll be curious to see what you think when you're done.

Instead, I've been reading The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard - not quite as dense as Pickstock. Bits of that will appear in the retreat I'm giving next week...

At 8/08/2009 10:55 AM, Blogger Joseph Koczera, S.J. said...

Michelle -

I'd been putting off "After Writing" for a while for precisely the same reason. I figured I would be able to focus on it better while I'm on vacation than I would when I'm busy with academic work (and, soon enough, teaching) and can only get in a few pages of pleasure reading each day.

I'm about two-thirds of the way through "After Writing," and my instant reaction is that it is subtle, sophisticated and provocative - but could also use a bit more development, as some of her points could probably use more demonstration than they get in the text. That said, it's definitely worth reading.


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