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Herod and Mariamne

Lovely passage from Par Lagerkvist's Herod and Mariamne:

One may wonder why it was that she needed no temple; but neither do trees, flowers and the beautiful stones to be found along the shore.

She was like the trees. The wind is the worship that fills them, and to which at times--though not always--they listen. Their divine service is within themselves.

It may have been this to which she listened during those still and solitary days.

The book was quite good, with the prose being even more spare and unadorned than the numerous other Lagerkvist novels I've read. Which posed somewhat of a problem--while the what and who was easy to follow, the why was more of a challenge. Particularly the reason why Herod finally turned away from Mariamne, and resumed his loathsome and murderous ways. But overall I liked it, and it was an extremely quick read--only 116 pages, one-and-a-half spaced lines, and very plain language made for fast and effortless reading.

May 6, 2004 in Books | Permalink