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IMAGEIMAGE

IMAGE Issue 96

Now one of the leading literary journals published in English, IMAGE is read all over the world—and forms the nexus of a warm and active community. The publication seeks out and brings to its readers work of high artistic quality that engages with the historic faith traditions on a profound level, without easy answers or false uplift, and with a serious respect for beauty and truth.

País:
United States
Idioma:
English
Editor:
Image Journal
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1 Año

EN ESTE NÚMERO

access_time9 min.
the redemption of hester prynne

BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN A STAPLE of the high school classroom, it is nearly impossible to approach The Scarlet Letter with the sort of wonder and respect it deserves. Somber and at times melodramatic, The Scarlet Letter is an altogether quieter book than, say, Moby Dick, which can make it feel tame by comparison. But that is an unfortunate misperception. In this tale of American origins and purposes, Nathaniel Hawthorne found the form that he had sought for so long: a historical tale of “human frailty and sorrow,” tinged with tragedy, rich in ambiguity and symbolism, and supported by a profound understanding of the philosophical undercurrents running beneath the surface of American life—a book that continues to speak with urgency to us today. The tendency has been to reduce The Scarlet…

access_time20 min.
yoineh bodek

IN THE AUTUMN OF 1854, in the village of Grezhiv, in what was then known as the Congress Kingdom of Poland, Yoineh Bodek, aged six, in his second year of cheder, decided to become a vegetarian. At the time of his decision, Yoineh, the only son of the town’s ritual slaughterer, was listening to his teacher, Reb Chaim, chanting the first chapter of the first book of Moses. After chanting the chapter’s twenty-ninth verse—the one in which God tells man what is to be his food—Reb Chaim noticed that Yoineh was crying. After class, as the boys were gathering up their things to leave, Reb Chaim asked Yoineh to stay behind. “Yoineh,” he said when they were alone, “I saw you crying earlier. Is something bothering you?” Yoineh did not look at…

access_time1 min.
vespers, gordes

Sentient, it seemed, the snowflakes’ descent,making a midair lake, hovering in the somewherebetween weakness and ghost, careless as orchids after Christmas. Beyond the veilof a twelfth-century statue, onecongregant took off his Reeboks to pray more ardently in the aisle. The monkswere in agreement, voice-wise, with the twilight,the work of harvesting lavender in late summer over, the empty field lying in fog.In Latin, white birds soared. Observe, it seemed,was the holiest of words. At lunch, six teaspoons of saltwaterwere eaten with oysters. After that,the small front leg of a lamb. Now the kneel and rise to dancerly postures of candleson the nave, where one moth chases another.A widower sits glossily, immobile as a door painted to its frame, the brush like a lullaby,locking it in sleep. A snail watches from under itshood, as frailty evident, acknowledged.…

access_time1 min.
slaughterhouse pond

Sleepless, the fish waitfor the steer’s head,a ceremony they have learned to require—primordialas the filaments of gillsbut honed in this economy of flesh: the apprentice’s arcingheave, the silvery shatteringof the surface, then, slowly, their prize’s descent. By the timeit reaches them, its mute bewildermenthas relaxed into nothingness, and even that is soon lost to the fever oftheir feeding. Stripped clean, the huskglides to the pond bed, awaiting its dredging, rescuing, bleaching,sale. Their memory will beof its gaze and that only: its watchfulness like a god’sas they circle and finally school.Its unbearable, unbearing patience.…

access_time1 min.
the censor

When an Iranian Jew tells me that, in the nineties,the man who censored films for the regime was blind—that his assistant, a teenage boy, had to describe to his master every frame that might make imperfecttheir revolution—I think, of course. What better metaphorcould there be to explain such foolishness? How else might God express what must be, what has to be,his outrage? Only later do I think of the boy’s terror,if terror he had, about what slipped by him—what he, in his innocence, in his carelessness or shame, must sometimeshave failed to report. With what relief, what unburdenedjoy, he must have sunk to his prayers at the call of the muezzin. How he must have opened his eyesto a newer, sweeter sightedness, swore to witnessall that came before him, and meant it.…

access_time26 min.
fierce mercy the theater art of karin coonrod

THAT’S THEATER ARTIST KARIN COONROD describing the conclusion of a sequence of medieval sacred dramas performed in 2006 for the festival of Corpus Christi in Orvieto, Italy. The works were selected from the cycles of so-called mystery plays often performed during Corpus Christi in England. They were configured so that the play in which Jesus meets the two disciples on the road to Emmaus frames the others. Instead of explaining “what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself,” as he does in Luke’s Gospel, in the play, Jesus sings a new song, “Don’t you remember?” Coonrod explains: Jesus “takes the disciples—and by extension, the audience—on a passeggiata during which he asks them to remember five moments of divine intervention: creation and fall, the flood, the sacrifice of Isaac, the nativity, and…

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