Friday, January 9, 2009

Aimless Reading: The B's, Part 11

Bernanos, George
The Diary of A Country Priest


My purchase of this book was the result of simultaneous deliriums. One delirium was caused by my discovery that many paperbacks on the Amazon marketplace sold for less than two dollars, which caused me to purchase a lot of used books I might not otherwise have purchased. The other delirium was the one I felt after having watched most of Robert Bresson's films video and DVD, one of which was The Diary of A Country Priest. When I found out this film had been based on a novel, and that that novel could be purchased on amazon.com for less than two dollars, well, what else could I do?

These deliriums (is deliria a word?) did not, however, result in my having read the book. Here's the opening:

Mine is a parish like all the rest. They're all alike. Those of to-day I mean. I was saying to M. le Curé de Norenfontes -- that good and evil are probably evenly distributed, but on such a low plain, very low indeed! Or if you like they lie one over the other; like oil and water they never mix. M. le Curé only laughed at me. He is a good priest, deeply kind and human, who at Diocesan headquarters is even considered a bit of a freethinker, on the dangerous side. His outbursts fill his colleagues with glee, and he stresses them with a look meant to be fiery, but which gives me such a deep sensation of stale discouragement that it almost brings tears to my eyes.

No comments: