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Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Annie Dillard

"Here is no gentle romantic twirling a buttercup...Miss Dillard is stalking the reader as surely as any predator stalks its game...Here is not only a habitat of cruelty and 'the waste of pain,' but the savage and magnificent world of the Old Testament, … see full wiki

Tags: Book, Cafe Libri
Author: Annie Dillard
Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics
1 review about Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

A book dazzling with prose and mind-shattering knowledge!

  • Mar 21, 2000
"Cruelty is a mystery, and the waste of pain" (p.7). That is just one wonderful quote out of many that make up the bulk of Annie Dillard's Pulitzer winning Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. The book's themes are a combination, an amalgam, of natuure, science, philosophy, theology and mysticism. What is God's relationship to man? What is man's relationship to God? Although there are a lot of Christian elements imbued in (PTC), Dillard has a mystical view of life and creation as well -- a direct, unmeditated experience of the presence of God. In (PTC), nature, more often than not, is the stimulus that inspires the mystical union. The book has a permeating aura of panentheism to it, meaning, the natural world is contained within God but sees God extending beyond the natural world. God is both immanent and transcendent, both within the natural world and beyond it. Dillard uses the natural world, the insects, the minute organisms and animals of Tinker Creek and Tinker Mountain to try to answer a far greater question regarding humanity: how does the creation and destruction in the natural world relate to the human world? What is God's role in that? The themes are so complex but yet startlingly simple.God is the Creator of both horror and beauty. It is in both the former and latter where the human understanding comes to play; it is where the 'lesson' lies, if you will. (PTC) is a book that needs to be read more than once in order to fully comprehend it. The reader has to wait and digest what is being offered, as in (p. 258): "It is merely the slow cessation of the will's sprints and the intellect's chatter: it is waiting like a hollow bell with stilled tongue. Fuge, tace, quiesce. The waiting itself is the thing. That is so true about almost everything in life.

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