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Politics, Faith, Love

Your life has three topics. Believe me. I am going to convince you of that. When I am done, you will see yourself differently.

I want you to recognize that as you live each day, your rhythms, your decisions, the flow of your day, all oscillate among three great topics, three great forces—even when you do not know it.

Even if you have not thought about it until now, you will come to agree that politics, faith, and love are the three forces of your life.

It is going to be a fast ride. Enjoy!




Five Proofs of Christianity: A Circuit Court Judge Looks at His Life

This is a serious book, but it is full of whimsy. A veteran trial-court judge writes about his faith life, which ought to be boring, right? Far from it. You are in for a joyous ride.

The Techniques Of Softening: E.T.A. Hoffman’s Presentation Of The Fantastic

This is my attempt to isolate the devices of narrative technique which any author can call upon to convey fantastic material to a rational public.  Nora Roberts does not travel this route.  She presents fantastic material  with no apologies:  “Get ready.  This is a story about faeries today in Ireland.”  Shakespeare does not hesitate to put the ghost of Hamlet‘s father on stage, or the three witches in Macbeth.

Algernon Blackwood on the other hand will not assault us frontally.  He introduces ambiguities.  What exactly did happen to that hunting party in Canada?  Was there really a wendigo?  The most reliable observer, the sober Dr. Cathcart, does not know.  The mind can play tricks, he says . . .

Washington Irving also waffles.  What really took place with Ichabod Crane in “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” ?  No one knows.  There are various opinions among the villagers.

Hoffmann was a master of carefully presenting the fantastic.  Since his devices operate to cushion the shock of confronting rationally inexplicable elements in fiction, I call them the techniques of softening.  In my estimate, E.T.A. Hoffmann has six such  devices, some more successful than others.  My fascination with narrative technique began with Hoffmann.