Sincerely, Craig Ferguson

17 Mar

A departure from Kira’s Favorite Awesome Quotes’ standard format (a list of my favorite awesome quotes) this week. It’s been bugging me for a few days that I perhaps didn’t do Between the Bridge and the River Justice in my review, or at least didn’t succeed in giving any indication what it’s about. Lo and behold, at the end of the novel, Craig Ferguson himself provides a “reader’s guide,” which turns out to just be a letter to readers, full of questions.

Still, this letter actually does more to explain Between the Bridge and the River than my review even came close to doing. So, for your enjoyment…

Dear Readers, 

If your group has decided to discuss my book then let me first of all thank you for your attention and time.

Here are a few random thoughts that may stimulate your discussions.

I began the book with five statements. Apologia, History, Confession, Time, and Science. Why are these statements made so early? Are they rules for the world you are about to enter? If they are, are the rules followed? Are the statements truthful or accurate? Does this matter?

The first chapter of the book is entitled Alpha Wolves, the last chapter is called Omega Man. This is obviously a biblical reference. Do you think I’m drawing any conclusions about God in the book? Is this a religious work? What constitutes a religious work or act? Can writing, even if it contains dissension and doubt, be an act of worship?

Is all art an act of worship?

There are some sexual acts described in graphic detail. Is this salacious? Why is photographed sex “pornography” but written sex “literature”? Is that true? Is fictional sex better than the real thing?

Someone who read the book early on said that Carl Jung [ed. note: Jung appears to one of the book’s characters in a series of dreams] was my father figure. I thought Jung might be an imagining of the Deity, or maybe just the ghost of Carl Jung.  What do you think?

A few characters in the book are already dead but this doesn’t seem to slow them down much.  Does the continuance of life after death prove the existence of God?  If it does, then does the existence of life before death prove the existence of God? Is it a good idea to prove the existence of God? What happens to faith if you have proof? Do you need faith if you have proof? Is the existence of faith an admission that there is some doubt as to the existence of God?

Claudette believes that evil is born in the victim excuse.  Do people really use injustice committed on them in their past to justify their actions? Do you do this? Does your country? Your family? Your ethnic group?

Is it valid to use aggression or antisocial behavior on the descendants of those who persecuted your ancestors? If not, how are the wrongs of the past dealt with? Should they be dealt with at all? Is it enough to simply apologize? On a personal or even international level?

George attempts suicide.  Is he morally wrong to do so?

The church founded by Saul and Leon is built on lies and deceit, yet Fraser thinks that this ultimately doesn’t matter because it helps some people.  Is he right?

There are many hidden literary references in the text. For example, the old Icelandic boatman who ferries Frasier across the underground sea is called Arne Saknussem, a lesser character in Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. Why do you think I did this? Was I just showing off or is there a reason for it?

What do you know of Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious? Does it seem valid to you?

My heart was broken when I wrote this book. Is that the kind of thing necessary to stimulate creativity? Can a person be happy and creative?

I know the answers to maybe two or three of these questions.

I wish you better luck figuring things out.

Peace and Love,

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