3 Days, 3 Quotes: Day 1 – Wise Blood

Weezelle nominated me for this challenge. Thanks, Weezelle! At first I was flummoxed. I’m not the best at remembering quotes from anything. I’m more a “this was about this and it made me feel this” kind of person.

I had a think, though, and decided I would use the challenge to talk about three life changing books, and find a quote that summed up why each book meant something to me.

There are rules to the challenge, but I don’t always like following rules, which is also a theme in the books I’ve chosen, funnily enough! So, I will nominate three book-related blogs that I really enjoy, but not with any expectation their owners will join in. More as a recommendation that you should read them too.

These are the rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Post a quote for 3 consecutive days
  3. Nominate 3 bloggers each day

These, for one post only, are my nominees:

Gwen @ It’s A Long Story
Brontë @ Brontë’s Page Turners
Mugginshere @ Muggins Here

And now, to Wise Blood.

I preach there are all kinds of truth, your truth and somebody else’s. But behind all of them there is only one truth and that is that there is no truth.

Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor is one of my favourite books ever. I love how bleakly funny it is. O’Connor described the book as being about freedom, free will, life and death, and the inevitability of belief. For me, there are also themes of abandonment, loss, and the search for meaning.

Haze Motes is a man in despair. His experiences in World War 2 cause him to finally admit that he doesn’t believe in God. He becomes driven to disabuse the rest of humanity of their notions of faith, truth and justice, starting with the inhabitants of Taulkinham. He is as evangelical about atheism as the most fervent believer of any religion. The book follows him as he tries to convince the people of the town that there is no God. Chaos ensues as he picks up a credulous acolyte who, in the funniest episode in the book, steals a mummified dwarf from the local museum to act as some kind of relic for Motes’ new church. Motes also unmasks a conman working as a preacher and inadvertently inspires a second conman to start another church in direct competition with his own. His rival becomes rich, and a series of surreal and horrific events follow. Throughout, Motes’ disgust with the corruption of society shines through, mixed with his constant ruminations on the theology he claims to reject.

The quote I’ve chosen makes my head swim. Such nihilism frightens me. I don’t like to think that there’s no meaning at all behind our existence. I don’t like the implications it has for society. If there’s no meaning, there’s no responsibility. But equally I don’t like the idea that the truth of one group has more power than that of any other. Because that way genocide lies.

Life, eh? It’s tricky. Why can’t we all get on?

 

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