The Other I

November 16, 2014

Today’s news

Filed under: Just Stuff — theotheri @ 3:48 pm

This Sunday’s paper carried a story today about Muriel Spark (the author probably best known for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie).  As a teenager, she wrote letters to herself from imaginary admirers and pushed them between the pillows of the couch for her nosy mother to find.  One such letter included a pseudo reply from Muriel which read “Dear Colin,  You were wonderful last night!”

Ah, what a good little girl I was by comparison.  I completely lacked the creativity to even think up such naughtiness, but even if I had, I was a rigid rule-follower.  I didn’t even break the “no-talking-after-lights-out” rule at the boarding school I attended as a teenager.  I can only hope I’ve grown up a little in that regard.  One thing I do know is that I no longer have all the right answers I had then.

The second item that struck me from the papers today is an advertisement from Harrod’s department store for a Gingerbread House.  It’s quite a fabulous house, and resembles the houses we used to make at my German  grandmother’s house every Christmas Eve.

Harrod’s is selling their Gingerbread House of £150 (about $250).  We children might not have eaten our houses so readily if we thought we could make so much money from our efforts.



  1. Muriel Spark, I believe, lived in Greenwich Village in her later years. I had a kind of crush on her and thought, if I wasn’t so shy and didn’t really have any reason to bother her, I’d go looking for her there, since I live not far away. I never did, of course, and then she died.

    I read everything of hers I could get my hands on. She was one of those British converts to Catholicism, if I remember rightly, and I do recall being annoyed by the bit of the supernatural she injected into books like Memento Mori. I wonder it she stuck with her Catholicism to the end or, as Graham Greene seems to have done, dropped it the way someone might drop a sport they had tired of playing.

    I don’t like converts, Waugh being another on my list. They get to pick and choose a la carte, while we real Catholics know what the experience of being Catholic from the beginning is like. Any religion can be presented in its best light by a clever priest or rabbi. I tend to think the same way now about the people who proselytize for Eastern religions/philosophies, Alan Watts being the latest to be added to my list (a convert from C of E, a priest, I believe). Great talker, fascinating insights, but on a mission.

    Maybe I’ve been watching too many Richard Dawkins videos. He’s such a gentle, considerate man, but so adamant about his atheism. I hated the late Christopher Hitchens, who had much the same agenda as Dawkins but was such a narcissistic, condescending bastard. I’d as soon listen to some Redemptorist rave about the exquisite tortures of hell. If Muriel’s youth had included said Redemptorists, would she have glommed onto the RC church?


    Comment by Thomas J. Hubschman — November 18, 2014 @ 2:50 am | Reply

    • I know what you mean about not trusting converts. Cardinal Newman always puzzled me.

      But I rather think that born and bred Catholics who are still are committed and fully-believing Catholics feel much the same way about those of us who no longer consider themselves practicing. believing Catholics. I get occasional comments to that effect on this blog. Actually, one just arrived today following my Apr 22, 2014 post on Catholics and confession. I profoundly hope that I am not as angry as the commenter appears to be. Though one never knows, does one? I would never have described Dawkins as gentle and considerate. In fact, I rather thought that he must have a deeply unresolved conflict with his father — he often sounds so angry to me. Although, as you know, I certainly agree with his rejection of our anthropomorphic dictator God.

      On Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 2:50 AM, The Other I wrote:



      Comment by Terry Sissons — November 18, 2014 @ 9:34 pm | Reply

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