Friday, September 23, 2005

So let it be written...

So the C of E is having problems getting the kids into church. In order to bring people back, they have put out a 57 page Bible. This follows a way more interesting experiment where books of the Bible were published individually with an intro from a famous writer. For example, The Gospel of St. Mark was published with an intro by Nick Cave (!!!!) which you can read here.

I guess it is good to know that Europeans are as ADD as Americans, but shrinking the actual Bible to 57 pages like you would the latest biz book is odd. Business books, like academic books and most non-fiction, can be reduced to an argument. It is therefore easy to reduce the book to a short bulleted form of that argument. Literary or story-based works are meant to be experienced in the full or much of the value is lost. The meaning can be communicated but the best part of a good literary or story based work is experiencing the way the author communicates the meaning. I'm sure someone could condense Gravity's Rainbow in 57 pages, but would you want to read it?

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