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There are, of course, facts aplenty here: the author is among our keenest living observers of the natural world (check out her soft-core account of two snails mating in chapter 7). But all roads lead Dillard back to God, who seems to be practicing a divine variant of benign neglect:
God is no more cogitating which among us he plans to be born as bird-headed dwarfs or elephant men--or to kill by AIDS or kidney failure, heart disease, childhood leukemia, or sudden infant death syndrome--than he is pitching lightning bolts at pedestrians, triggering rock slides, or setting fires. The very least unlikely things for which God might be responsible are what insurers call "acts of God."Natural calamity is an old fascination of the author's, going clear back to Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and Holy the Firm. Here it allows her to make her strongest argument yet on behalf of the Almighty's laissez-faire policy--while suggesting that His immanence in fact depends on our belief.
Yet even in her earnest pursuit of holiness, Dillard tends to hit the occasional speed bump. At one point she throws up her hands in exasperation and declares: "I don't know beans about God." This is hardly the stuff of an airtight theological argument, is it? But happily, Dillard possesses the same quality she ascribes to Teilhard, "a sort of anaerobic capacity to batten and thrive on paradox." So her contradictions are worth more to the reader than her consistencies. They enrich her narrative, yanking her back from the precipice of easy (or even moderately easy) belief. And Dillard's penchant for paradox ensures that For the Time Being--which aims, after all, to encompass God and all his works--always operates on a human, heartbreaking scale. --James Marcus --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
this is a wonderful meditation on the spirit of humanity. i preferred being in the middle some where, any where, rather than the end. the end seemed a bit crushed up in itself. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Michelle
As always, Annie Dillard weaves her subjects into an incredible tapestry. I found myself wrapped up in the odd nature of her chosen topics and then she'd come along and throw down... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Julie Kenward
This is one of the most memorable and transcendent books I ever encountered. It is a magnificent meditation on life & the universe but have read it only 4 times....Published 4 months ago by Farblonzhent
Excellent interwoven stories, past and present, bought it as giftPublished 4 months ago by Natalie Kellogg
An off beat but very thought-provoking work which is many-faceted and well written. It's like wandering parts of the world, both interior and exterior with the author.Published 5 months ago by Faith Weathington
I had never read any of Annie Dillard’s works prior to this, and even after 2 hours of listening to _For the Time Being_, I hadn’t figured out exactly what was going on or even... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Denny McBride (The Ceaseless Reader)
So disappointed. Dillard came upon a text book of horribly deformed babies and uses it as a basis for her meanderings. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Nancy Ervin