Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Recent Reading

I had my sixth course today with a 25% dose reduction of the oxaliplatin. I already have the cold induced pins and needles, but let's wait and see if the dose reduction does reduce the side effects. Tomorrow I have a CT scan to assess response.

What have I been doing recently? Mostly reading. The books that I have completed in the past couple of weeks since finishing the new Lee Child are three thrillers: "Drop Shot" by Harlen Coben - with much borrowing from Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train" - "A Good Day to Die" by Simon Kernick and "The Last Watchman" by Robert Crais. I have also read Bernard Cornwell's "Sharpe's Story" a make weight done for charity and I have re-read CS Lewis's "Out of the Silent Planet". I last read that about 50 years ago and could remember very little of it. I read it in conjunction with "Planet Narnia" which I am working my way through. The first of the Science fiction trilogy is about Mars which looms large in the Lewis pantheon. "Prince Caspian" in my next book and also comes under the Martian influence. "War of the Worlds" by HG Wells expressly states the link between Mars and war and Lewis is an interesting Christian writer who clearly feels that pacifism is wrong. He famously wrote a piece entitled, "Why I am not a pacifist".

If I felt fitter I would write at length about this subject, but I will finish with a quote from the Cornwell book and invite my readers to comment on the question of Christianity and pacifism. "A soldier fights battles for those who cannot fight for themselves."


H Paul Garland said...

Pacifism: Well, during the Vietnam war I wrote my little brother's application to try and be recognized by the U.S. government as a conscience objector, and he got it. I on the other hand did serve in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam war. I believe much too little effort is given to talk and negotiation. But there are certain times when all decent men must fight. WWII was a good example.

I still can’t hardly remain civilized when listening to a Swede discuss how they were “neutral” during the war.

This is like taking a middle ground and working towards a compromise about whether the sun revolves around the earth or the other way around. Clearly one is wrong and the other is right. Being “neutral” during WWII was just cowardice. Sorry, that is my opinion and I’m pretty set in it.

Dissenter said...

I love the C S Lewis science fiction series. It gets better, Perelandra (2nd book) gives a beautiful picture of an unfallen creation and shows us some of Satan's tricks as he seeks to destroy. The last book (That Hideous Strength) looks at a horrid vision of a godless 'scientific' future which bears lessons for us today.

I am going to Oxford next weeekend where an opera based on Perelendra, the second book of the series, is being revived. There is an international colloquium of papers on aspects of the book. I was working on a paper on Perelandra and evolution, but it wasn't ready in time.

I recently re-read Lewis' essay on pacifism. The lecture was given to a group of pacifists during WW2. George Orwell, who fought Franco and was injured in the Spanich civil war, wrote on pacifism (Homage to Catalonia)...

'those who take up the sword, die by the sword. Those who don't take up the sword, die by smelly diseases'

all the best

Burke said...

Pacificism is moral cowardness--cowardness usually made worse by the fact that pacificists hide their cowardness by undermining those who actually do the fighting.