Apocryphal Tales: with a selection of fables and would-be tales
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Oh, Lord, if only I were healthy! Martha sat down quietly in the courtyard, staring straight ahead with dry, fixed eyes.
Jewish fables and tales
The black hens drew near to peer at her, one eye cocked; when, contrary to their expectations, she tossed no grain their way, they left to drowse in the midday shade. Lazarus crept quietly out from the passageway, deathly pale, his teeth chattering. What would I do here all alone?
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Martha got up. At that moment Mary stepped out into the courtyard, dressed for the journey. A priest once wrote to me referring to Saint Thomas, who doubted as the Gospels tell us and said that unless he put his finger into the wound in the side of Jesus, he would not believe in the Resurrection.
My friend said he thought doubt was fruitful. It seems to me, rather, that doubt is irrelevant. Common enough, but not crucial to our relationship with God. It is what we do with the doubt that matters. Anyone who says they wish they could believe but they have not been given the gift of faith misunderstands the nature of faith. It is indeed a gift, and God holds it out to everyone. Whether or not you feel it is true is irrelevant. Oh, how one needs to stress and repeat that feelings are merely subjective.
If you want faith, ask for it. God gladly gives it. Then, with this newborn faith, you can begin the long and lovely process of understanding what it is to which you have committed yourself. Lazarus knew it, too, reminded again the moment his tremblingly honest, and very human, confession passed his lips. And that Sister Wendy quote! Wonderful, wonderful stuff, Josh.
Thanks DZ! Once you do, though…wow! Sister Wendy continues to be full of surprises! Thank you, Josh, for your post. I, too, had never heard of Karel Capek before. How sad, that Karel died just before WWII, and that his brother Josef died in a concentration camp before the war ended. And I feel for you, about your fear of heights! Thanks Patricia! There is a story about Martha in that collection of stories, set right after the famous Mary and Martha moment with Jesus that is incredible. Click here to cancel reply. WHAT: Mockingbird seeks to connect the Christian faith with the realities of everyday life in fresh and down-to-earth ways.
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Apocryphal Tales: with a selection of fables and would-be tales
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Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book. Published in newspapers between and , the year of his death, the short stories here are imaginative takes on stories or figures from classic literature, the Bible, or history. His work includes a book on gardening, an idiosyncratic biography of T. Masaryk, travel writing and short stories in several genres. Despite the fact that the occasional murder pops up, I always remember the book with a smile.
The stories are casual and funny; they usually have one interesting or humorous idea and end after a few pages. The day-to-day irritations are more important to his characters than the history that they are living. This is especially true in the Apocryphal Tales. However, one would never know that when reading them straight through. This book organizes them by time period and Capek touches on well-known moments in Western history and literature. Usually we see the story from a side character or a different angle.
Tales Too Uncomfortable to Be Apocryphal | Mockingbird
Alexander the Great has a whole string of justifications for his conquests. Hamlet struggles over his desire to be both a poet and an actor and a priest tells the real story of Romeo and Juliet. These stories feature an ersatz libertine, an out of control lawsuit, a man who can fly, and a solution to the problem of being the first guest to arrive at a party. Some of the Apocryphal Tales can be seen as a comment on the political events of the day — the stories include vicious mobs, blind nationalism and unquestioning prejudices.
Two from the Would-Be Tales also touch on the atmosphere in The Anonymous Letter has a journalist who receives vicious hate mail much like Capek was at the time accidentally bumps into one of his persecutors. The man is polite but insignificant, at odds with all his detailed threats. The journalist feels surprise and finally pity and I thought of internet trolls who are probably for the most part normal people except for the online hate that they spew. Capek has a happy ending for that one as Varga finds out that not everyone shuns him.
Overall, very enjoyable stories. The bulk of this volume is comprised of tight, pointed retellings of stories from classical literature: the Greeks, the Bible, and even Shakespeare. By taking a unique slant on some well-known stories, usually with humorous or sardonic overtones, Capek creates modern fables with clearly implied morals that provide practical advice for even the most contemporary readers. Themes range from fear of change, and the importance of the work ethic, to contempt for mob mentality. By placing these tales in the distant past, he is able to present specific political arguments without too openly offending the powers-of-the-moment.
Members Reviews Popularity Average rating Mentions 6 95, 3. In one story, a baker describes Jesus' miracle of loaves and fish, in another, townspeople argue who is to blame for the invasion of the Huns. Thirty stories in all.