Reading Antigone this week made the death of a friend's father all the more poignant. I found myself thinking about what we believe when life ends. And I compared Antigone's primal need to bury Polyneices so that he could share in eternal life and not be condemned to the Place of Ashes to Christian beliefs about baptism and Catholics' ideation of Limbo or Purgatory. Events of the week made the reading rich for me.
I spent Saturday reading the day away. I devoured Herman Koch's The Dinner. Set in the Netherlands, two teenager cousins are caught on survellience video beating and harassing a homeless women. When they throw a gas can at her and a lit Zippo she is engulfed in flames. The boys parents recognize them in the video that is shown on the news, but keep their discovery secret. The parents meet for dinner to discuss their "children" but each couple goes to the meeting unaware of what the others know or believe. Suspenseful and supremely structured through the dinner's courses, Koch's book calls to mind issues of responsibility, duty and loyalty. I read the book in one sitting and then wished I had it in hand to pass off to students today--several wanted it after my book talk.
My son recently read, Obrien's Z for Zachariah and recommended it, so I'll be reading that this week among other titles yet discovered. If you know of additional titles that frame the story around a meal, could you leave me the title in comments? Thanks!