“All creationists are mortal”

January 24, 2008 at 8:38 pm (books, Eloquence, Spiritual)

creationists.jpg doctorow.gif “Genesis” is the first essay in E.L. Doctorow’s collection Creationists. In it Doctorow makes a provocative observation on the art of the storyteller: “If not in all stories than certainly in mystery stories, the writer works backward. The ending is known and the story is designed to arrive at the ending.”

Later, there is this passage:

“The cosmology of Genesis is beautiful and for all we know may even turn out to be as metaphorically prescient as some believers think it is. One imagines the ancient storytellers convening to consider what they had to work with: day and night, land and sea, earth and sky, trees that bore fruit, plants that bore seed, wild animals, domesticated animals, birds, fish, and everything that crept. In their brilliant imaginations, inflamed by the fear and love of God, it seemed more than possible that these elements and forms of life, this organization of the animate and inanimate, would have been produced from a chaos of indeterminate dark matter by spiritual intent–here was the story to get to the ending–and that it was done by a process of discretion, the separation of day from night, air from water, earth from sky, one thing from another in a, presumably, six-day sequence culminating in the human race.”

genesis.jpg This essay was originally written for the Pocket Canons Bible Series, published in 1999 by Grove Press.

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