October 28th, 2011

Calling Eliot As Witness

Actually, so what if Canon Fraser is a tuft hunter as my friend wemyss suggests? I don't suppose you can reach the upper levels of the C of E without putting yourself about a bit. As a former Anglican vicar myself, I saw some of the politicking and brown-nosing that goes on. If most of our senior clergy are morally compromised careerists there's nothing to be surprised about. I've dealt with Bishops. Most of them are unimpressive.

Who knows why Canon Fraser took the stand he did? Perhaps he did it to get noticed. Perhaps he's thinking, "I'll take this hit now and suffer the glory of career martyrdom and wind up with a mitre in another couple of moves." Quite possible. But then who knows why anyone does anything? The peeling back of layer after layer of motive is such a nineteenth century game. Human beings aren't that rational. And even if his resignation is only a cunning move in the chess of self-advancement, what's so bad about doing "the right deed for the wrong reason"? That's a quote from Eliot- whose Thomas Becket agonises over the question as he waits for the knights to come and kill him.  He admits to ambition, to wanting the glory of being a saint and then pushes all that febrile stuff aside, because the right deed is still the right deed however self-interested one's motives for doing it. 

Here Lies Arthur: Philip Reeve

Yet another retelling of the Matter of Britain-  with Arthur as an averagely dumb and brutal warlord, Merlin as his spin doctor and a protagonist-narrator who keeps swapping gender. I liked it enough to consume it inside a day.