I Know Something You Don’t know… Part 2

EDIT:

I was asked to keep the earlier reported news to myself since, in their words, nothing is finalized yet. I will honor that request.

Just remember if you saw this before that it had to do with my communication with someone in the publishing field on the republishing of Lafferty’s novels. Not finalized yet… that’s pretty good though, right?

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5 thoughts on “I Know Something You Don’t know… Part 2

  1. I picked up Fourth Mansions yesterday at Half Price Books (Ace edition, 1969, original price: 75 cents, HPB’s price: $1.99 — ha! — still cheap). I’m about 100 pages in (VI: Revenge of Strength Unused). Very original style but I’m not sure what to make of it yet.

    1. Sometimes I have no idea what I have just read even if it was enjoyed. Fourth Mansions is based off of St. Teresa of Avila’s The Interior Castle

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Interior_Castle

      Shortly the fourth level or mansion is the level of danger where evils and principalities come out in force to thwart the soul (or, in Lafferty’s book, the soul of the world).

      I regret having read Fourth Mansions without first having read The Interior Castle as it seems without that as a backdrop the events in Lafferty’s book can seem rather arbitrary.

  2. Thank you both — sincerely. To some extent, I’m sure I’ll follow up on your suggestions after I’m done (soon). I picked up very early on that I was dealing with allegory but, at the moment, I’m just going along for the ride to see where it takes me as I ponder the path that’s been laid out. I initially want to get the story undiluted before going to any secondary materials.

    I appreciate the hermeneutical value of literary allusion as much as anyone and certain inter-textual influences are not only common, but unavoidable. However, I do not believe Lafferty assumed his general audience would be familiar with the writings of Teresa of Avila. Granted, extraneous resources can bolster understanding and enjoyment, but they should not constitute a component required to give a text coherence. If this is the case, that is, if a reader must have some missing esoteric key to a book’s meaning, then I think this would be a defect in a work and not a strength.

    1. I don’t think it is necessary – at a certain level.

      There may be deeper layers that would require St. Teresa’s book or a deeper knowledge of theology. That is why I plan on a reread. I don’t fault a writer for adding as many layers as he feels he can get away with.

      Then again I would never have understood his book East of Laughter if it hadn’t been for my recent interest in theology. Five years ago I knew absolutely nothing about theology or the Bible or anything related to it. I knew what your typical modern atheist knows – close to zero. The book would have been, while entertaining in his style and off-beat content, completely over my head.

      That said, I did find Fourth Mansions a little harder to digest than some of his other work. His other novels Past Master and East of Laughter (very bizarre little book) were pretty straight forward.

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