So it would appear that beer has quite an influence on my a) perception of spirituality and b) choice in vocabulary. In particular, after tossing back six drinks at a happy hour with friends last night, I proceeded to come home and write a rather angry review of Gilead that features no fewer than four instances of the word “beautiful” and a sentence that includes both “bequeath” and “kin.” I am a rather verbose drunk.
I feel in retrospect that I was a little harsh on Gilead (or maybe I’m feeling residual guilt about having panned a Pulitzer Prize winner). So to make amends, and reiterate how impressed I was by the book’s language, if not its subject matter, here are my favorite quotes from Gilead. (Full disclosure: I have a rather neurotic habit of dog-earing the bottom of pages when a particular quote resonates with me, so perhaps sharing these lines would be a way of turning what is otherwise a literary quirk into useful blog fodder).
“A little too much anger, too often or at the wrong time, can destroy more than you would ever imagine.”
“I’ve developed a great reputation for wisdom by ordering more books than I ever had time to read, and reading more books, by far, than I learned anything useful from, except, of course, that some very tedious gentlemen have written books.”
“Sometimes the visionary aspect of any particular day comes to you in the memory of it, or it opens to you over time.”
“These people who can see right through you never quite do you justice, because they never give you credit for the effort you’re making to be better than you actually are, which is difficult and well meant and deserving of some little notice.”
“There are a thousand thousand reasons to live this life, every one of them sufficient.”