We asked the very merry Rev. Paul Zahl to contribute a year-end list, and he graciously obliged (Thanks Dad!):
1. Anything by Thornton Wilder, author of “Our Town”. His two novels that are absorbing me right now are “Heaven’s My Destination” from 1934 and “The Woman of Andros”. I had a most illuminating visit recently with his literary executor and nephew — Wilder touches important nerves Christianly and contemporarily.
2. Jack Kerouac’s notes on religion remain stunningly up to date. Those are worth keeping under your pillow.
3. I am also looking forward COMPLETELY to the Roberto Rossellini television reissues on DVD in January: Cosimo de Medici, Blaise Pascal, and Cartesius — it’s the number one DVD event of the early new year, so far as I am concerned. These were done in the late 60s for Italian television, and are just full of inspiration (I trust) — and almost no one has ever seen them.
4. Mark Rutherford’s (aka William Hale White’s) short story on marriage and eternity, entitled “The Sweetness of a Man’s Friend” from his very, very last publication, entitled “Last Pages from a Journal”. “Sweetness” has a definitely “Our Town” feeling, with a strong Christian feeling and theme.
Oh, and let’s not forget “I don’t want to be a freak (but I can’t help myself)”.