Thursday, December 11, 2008

Top 10 angel books

Karl O. Knausgaard, author of A Time for Everything, named "his 10 favourite depictions of these not always divine creatures" for the Guardian.

One title on his list:
Pig Earth by John Berger

Hardly anyone writes better about animals than Berger, or about rural life in general. This beautiful book of stories is set in the French Alps, and has nothing to do with angels at all. The soil, the hay, the sheeps, the trees, the barn, the village and its inhabitants, yes – Berger's subject is as solidly material as prose gets. But then a priest suddenly makes a remark about angels. Although the angels that Jacob saw, had wings, he says, they didn´t fly, but climbed the ladder step by step. That´s all there is about angels in this book, but like those occasions when everything is quiet, and you suddenly hear a noise, and then it´s quiet again – the meaning of the sentence echoes through whatever follows. Berger's world of concrete detail and worldly toil is strangely reminiscent of the Old Testament's world of very earthly toil. It's as if he´s saying - it´s still all here, enough in itself, inside our reach. No need for wings.
Read about Number One on Knausgaard's list.

--Marshal Zeringue