The best of Donald Westlake's pseudonymous thrillers about Parker, the toughest burglar who ever lived. . . .Out of print for years and years, Butcher's Moon is the ultimate Parker novel, best read as an installment in the series as a whole but comprehensible and wholly satisfying on its own.
One of the most amazing and perplexing features of mainstream Christianity is that seminarians who learn the historical-critical method in their Bible classes appear to forget all about it when it comes time for them to be pastors. They are taught critical approaches to Scripture, they learn about the discrepancies and contradictions, they discover all sorts of historical errors and mistakes, they come to realize that it is difficult to know whether Moses existed or what Jesus actually said and did, they find that there are other books that were at one time considered canonical but that ultimately did not become part of Scripture (for example, other Gospels and Apocalypses), they come to recognize that a good number of the books of the Bible are pseudonymous (for example, written in the name of an apostle by someone else), that in fact we don't have the original copies of any of the biblical books but only copies made centuries later, all of which have been altered. They learn all of this, and yet when they enter church ministry they appear to put it back on the shelf. For reasons I will explore in the conclusion, pastors are, as a rule, reluctant to teach what they learned about the Bible in seminary.
Bart D. Ehrman
In the same essay, Said (who is reviewing Peter Stansky and William Abrams, co-authors obsessed with the Blair/Orwell distinction) congratulates them on their forceful use of tautology: 'Orwell belonged to the category of writers who write.' And could afford to write, they might have added. In contrast they speak of George Garrett, whom Orwell met in Liverpool, a gifted writer, seaman, dockworker, Communist militant, 'the plain facts of [whose] situation-on the dole, married and with kids, the family crowded into two rooms-made it impossible for him to attempt any extended piece of writing.' Orwell's writing life then was from the start an affirmation of unexamined bourgeois values. This is rather extraordinary. Orwell did indeed meet Garrett in Liverpool in 1936, and was highly impressed to find that he knew him already through his pseudonymous writing-under the name Matt Lowe-for John Middleton Murry's Adelphi. As he told his diary: I urged him to write his autobiography, but as usual, living in about two rooms on the dole with a wife (who I gather objects to his writing) and a number of kids, he finds it impossible to settle to any long work and can only do short stories. Apart from the enormous unemployment in Liverpool, it is almost impossible for him to get work because he is blacklisted everywhere as a Communist. Thus the evidence that supposedly shames Orwell by contrast is in fact supplied by-none other than Orwell himself! This is only slightly better than the other habit of his foes, which is to attack him for things he quotes other people as saying, as if he had instead said them himself. (The idea that a writer must be able to 'afford' to write is somewhat different and, as an idea, is somewhat-to use a vogue term of the New Left-'problematic'. If it were only the bourgeois who were able to write, much work would never have been penned and, incidentally, Orwell would never have met Garrett in the first place.)