Saturday, 27 October 2012
Towards the End of the Morning
I am doing a lot of re-reading at the moment - yesterday Michael Frayn's "Towards the End of the Morning". I had forgotten how good it is. I hope it isn't out of print. It was first published in 1967, and is like a window in time. A very funny window too. Erskine Morris... the new entrepreneur - the mysterious Miss Pennycuick... Fleet Street in all its old glory... I was young then...
If you can find a copy, do read it.
I have also found a copy of "Busman's Honeymoon" by Dorothy L Sayers - and re-read that.
Crumbs! I don't know what to say, except that I did keep expecting someone like Frankie Howard to burst in saying "Oo er missus" at various moments. And I did feel sorry for poor Miss Twitterton, brought in to spectacularly fail to get her man, while Harriet Vane spectacularly succeeds.
The moral dilemma at the end is very interesting. Dorothy L Sayers was an intelligent and highly educated woman, yet I wonder if she knew what the Bible actually says. She writes a scene where Sir Peter is agonising over the fact that the murderer he has caught is about to be hanged - and yes I can imagine that would be pretty harrowing. He has visited the murderer in jail and found him/her (no spoilers) unrepentant. He says to Harriet: "If there is a God or a judgement - what next? What have we done?" Harriet, who usually knows everything, doesn't know.
So did Dorothy L Sayers know, given that she surely is Harriet? Only the Inspired Scriptures still carry on telling us what they have told us from the start:
Romans 6:23 says: "The wages sin pays is death", and, therefore, "he who has died has been acquitted from his sin". (Romans 6:7) So the murderer was acquitted from his/her sin by the execution. All us children of Adam are born missing the mark of perfection -which is what sin means - and so we die and return to the dust of the ground from which we were made. The question - the Biblical question - would be : "Will he/she be awoken from the sleep of death?" Daniel assures us that "many" of those asleep in the ground of dust will wake up (Daniel 12:2); and Acts 24:15 says that there will be a resurrection of both "the righteous and the unrighteous".
And for all those who wake from the sleep of death it will be to a fresh start - they will be able to learn the truth in the restored earthly Paradise.
Still effectively housebound. I will have the bonfire on the Green to watch tonight, and the fireworks. I have been invited to a leaving party this evening, but don't think I can make it as they close our road off quite early, and I can't walk there.
A couple of years ago, I would have been able to.