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Thread: The Way Of All Flesh by Samuel Butler

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    Registered User Prince Smiles's Avatar
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    The Way Of All Flesh by Samuel Butler

    The Skinny: The Way Of All Flesh
    A musty smelling Collins Pocket Classics Edition retailing at the time for 3/- on the nose.
    Initialed, M.G. Harris at some point in the past. This particular book is aging well and the same can be said about the contents.
    The novel itself was published in 1903 after Mr. Butler had already spun off his mortal coil.
    Autobiographical in nature, it follows four and bit generations of the Pontifex family.
    The main character, Ernest Pontifex and his relationship with his father, Theobald is a masterfully portrayed example of a father and son relationship, and well worth the price of admission alone.
    A certain Mr. Overton, supplies the narration and acts as Ernest’s godfather, the looker on, and actor in the unfolding events.
    Yes, the book is an attack on Victorian values, but it was the theological elements that offered the most in terms of further study; Beatitudes are in plentitudes, as are quietisms for the Quakers.
    Ernest struggles with the question of the authenticity of Lazarus of Bethany’s resurrection, with the whole question of how authentic the accounts of Christ’s resurrection and ascension proving to be the Tower of Siloam stumbling blocks for Ernest to truly believe in practicing what he is preaching.

    Butler obviously didn’t put pen to paper ex tempore, but did wish to return to the book and amend at a later date which unfortunately never came to pass. A shame really because one wonders how, and where he intended to revise a beautifully worded and plotted novel.

    If you enjoyed the theme of the role of religion in Dostoevsky’s ‘The Brothers Karamazov’, or Doctor Rieux and the preist, Paneloux’s dialogues in Camus’ ‘The Plague’, then give ‘The Way Of All Flesh’ a ‘pore over’ sometime.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Smiles View Post
    The Skinny: The Way Of All Flesh
    A musty smelling Collins Pocket Classics Edition retailing at the time for 3/- on the nose.
    Initialed, M.G. Harris at some point in the past. This particular book is aging well and the same can be said about the contents.
    The novel itself was published in 1903 after Mr. Butler had already spun off his mortal coil.
    Autobiographical in nature, it follows four and bit generations of the Pontifex family.
    The main character, Ernest Pontifex and his relationship with his father, Theobald is a masterfully portrayed example of a father and son relationship, and well worth the price of admission alone.
    A certain Mr. Overton, supplies the narration and acts as Ernest’s godfather, the looker on, and actor in the unfolding events.
    Yes, the book is an attack on Victorian values, but it was the theological elements that offered the most in terms of further study; Beatitudes are in plentitudes, as are quietisms for the Quakers.
    Ernest struggles with the question of the authenticity of Lazarus of Bethany’s resurrection, with the whole question of how authentic the accounts of Christ’s resurrection and ascension proving to be the Tower of Siloam stumbling blocks for Ernest to truly believe in practicing what he is preaching.

    Butler obviously didn’t put pen to paper ex tempore, but did wish to return to the book and amend at a later date which unfortunately never came to pass. A shame really because one wonders how, and where he intended to revise a beautifully worded and plotted novel.

    If you enjoyed the theme of the role of religion in Dostoevsky’s ‘The Brothers Karamazov’, or Doctor Rieux and the preist, Paneloux’s dialogues in Camus’ ‘The Plague’, then give ‘The Way Of All Flesh’ a ‘pore over’ sometime.
    Well, of course, all major religious leaders have to first be atheists. That's why an atheist looks so stupid in trying to build a case against them. The latter are just developing. Their questions are genuine often, but they have no genuine answer.

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