Friday, April 8, 2011

The Way of All Flesh

Five years ago, for really no reason at all, I read a novel called The Way of All Flesh. I had no idea that it existed before I stumbled across it, and I decided to read it because I thought anything with a title that good must be worth the while.

Worth the while is an understatement.

With the benefit of hindsight it is quite easy to see God guiding me to this book. Why he did it was simple, he likes to give his children good gifts. It's plain to me now that I was meant to meet Samuel Butler (the author), that he and are kindred spirits, but more on that in a moment.

Two years ago I happened across a copy of the book that was published in 1945 (it was originally published in 1903) in a Goodwill and I snatched it up. Onto my shelf it went and I haven't had much cause to think about it since.

For some reason I started thinking about it today. From work I texted Jess and told her that I would begin reading one page a day to her until it was done. There are three prefacing pieces to the novel. This quote from one of them tickled me so thoroughly that I thought I would gift you with it:

"The starting point of his thinking was this: Whatever is generally held to be truth is in error, whatever is generally held to contribute to the good of life is full of evil, and whatever is generally held verifiable is compact of humbug and fallacy."

A smile will rest upon my lips as I rot in my grave if the same, or something close, is said about me after I've left.

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