In 1975 Annie Dillard took up residence on an island in Puget Sound in a wooded room furnished with one enormous window, one cat, one spider and one person For the next two years she asked herself questions about time, reality, sacrifice death, and the will of God In Holy the Firm she writes about a moth consumed in a candle flame, about a seven year old girl burned inIn 1975 Annie Dillard took up residence on an island in Puget Sound in a wooded room furnished with one enormous window, one cat, one spider and one person For the next two years she asked herself questions about time, reality, sacrifice death, and the will of God In Holy the Firm she writes about a moth consumed in a candle flame, about a seven year old girl burned in an airplane accident, about a baptism on a cold beach But behind the moving curtain of what she calls the hard things rock mountain and salt sea, she sees, sometimes far off and sometimes as close by as a veil or air, the power play of holy fire.This is a profound book about the natural world both its beauty and its cruelty the Pulitzer Prize winning Dillard knows so well.
Holy the Firm In Annie Dillard took up residence on an island in Puget Sound in a wooded room furnished with one enormous window one cat one spider and one person For the next two years she asked herself que
Annie Dillard s Holy the Firm is a classic By that, I mean a lot of things This slender volume only seventy six pages includes her famous moth essay, which I was required to read in my second year of college, and which I required my students to read in their first It s a good essay Apart from being an instrument of learning or torture, depending on the student you re talking to , Holy the Firm is classic for another reason it deals with the classic or universal question of suffering Dillard spen [...]
Three days in the life of Annie Dillard.Day One, November 18, Newborn and Salted She wakes up in a god every day is a god , alone in her small dwelling in Puget Sound, Washington State, nature all around her She has a cat named Small and a spider in her bathroom She reads often She writes what she sees the moths dying into her burning candles, her cat, the spider in her bathroom and its kills, the land, the trees, the mountains, islands and the sea She muses about time eternity s pale interlinea [...]
12 Holy the Firm by Annie Dillardpublished 1977format 72 page hardcover, large print editionacquired inherited from my neighbor upon his moveread Feb 26rating 4Read this in a sitting It s an experience, but one I find very difficult to explain without showing by quoting a lot The first part is a self absorbed praise of every tiny detail of life She opens Every day is a god, each day is a god, and holiness holds forth in time She goes through an intense bending of language and reality, an almost [...]
I still love this book as much as I did first time around Beautifully written with much to ponder Best nature spiritual book ever
This slim volume electrified and astounded me with its depth and poetry Dillard writes of her time spent in a one room shack on an island in Puget Sound in northeast Washington with one enormous window, one cat, one spider, and one person With marvelous metaphors and surprising turns of phrase, this prose poem explores the eternal in the particular and vice versa, reaching for a solution for the paradoxes evident in the most common perspectives of our place in the universe The view of God acting [...]
I read this book in a literary theory class as a sopho in college, and it shook the very foundations of my thought I know this sounds and is vague, but this is a book about EVERYTHING, written with poetic economy, concrete images, and, I imagine, some kind of grace Dillard reflects on what it means to be an artist it s being a nun, being a moth on fire, being a little girl burned, being a tired, burnt out writer , and in the process takes on time, mortality, and fury at the spitefulness of God, [...]
This is one of the most beautiful books I ve ever read Annie Dillard at her mesmerizing, rambling, inscrutable best The theme of this book and from what I ve heard, she s claimed only one reviewer from Harvard has managed to figure it out is less concrete than Pilgrim or An American Childhood, so it might be a frustrating read for those of us that require someumlogical point to a book Personally, I m not one of them I ll happily float along, immersed in her amazing words and phrases, untroubled [...]
Just yesterday someone told me that Annie Dillard has said this is one of her least favorite books Regardless, her self standards are exceptionally high, and amongst our choices, her worst works must still be some of the most profound in thought and most unique in their creativeness I haven t read much Dillard, but each time I do, I am astounded by her attention to detail and by her ability to create shockingly clear images with words Indeed, her gift for using words is beyond explanation One mu [...]
When I first read this book my heart had been deeply stirred by a compelling desire to experience God in his wild, untamed attributes, knowing that the experience would be terrifying and purifying It was then that my deep desire was birthed to spend at least one year in the Pacific Northwest where I would experience the gray, windy, blustery, wet winter that only the Pacific Northwest knows I knew it would be at once terrible and transformationally beautiful Well, I got my wish when I moved up t [...]
This is heady, abstract, concrete, brilliant, and beautiful At times I feel the essayist has meandered away from her readers, but I am happy trying to follow.
In my top ten all time favorites Dillard s prose is haunting Moths have never seemed the same since.
Nothing is going to happen in this book There is only a little violence here and there in the language, at the corner where eternity clips time pg 20 Esoteric Christianity, I read, posits a substance It is a created substance, lower than metals and minerals on a spiritual dcale, and lower than salts and earths, occurring beneath salts and earths in the waxy deepness of planets, but never on the surface of planets where men could discern it and it is in touch with the Absolute, at base In touch w [...]
In Holy the Firm, Annie Dillard certainly can not be accused for excess verbiage Her little book, consisting of less than eighty pages, is a thoughtful and sometimes intense investigation into the soul One can almost imagine her staring deeply at a flowing river or a particular kind of tree and genuinely seeing Divinity in and around it, authentically feeling it and being transportated to the nether reaches of the unexplained Yet, it is a good place or moment where nothing can touch you or hurt [...]
The question is, then, whether God touches anything Is anything firm, or is time on the loose Spirituality is always at the tip of our tongue We know, or have remembered, that it requires engagement with the elements, embodiment in living We want to find springs and lap water into buckets, see it spilling into light, we want to build fires and feel the darkness at our backs But the world is in endless motion, our lives refuse stillness And after all this, what do we make of violence If we can st [...]
This is one of the top five books that have shaped my life The person who gave it to me told me to read it twice That was amazing advice The first read was beautiful It was obviously packed with symbolism I wasn t quite apprehending and it was jammed to the gills with gorgeous florid language and vibrant imagery And by jammed to the gills I mean that by the time you are a few pages in you can not help but see how she has already begun to knit words together so that everything references at least [...]
Yesterday I felt like going to the Arboretum and reading some Annie Dillard, so I chose this book and a lovely maple to sit by and enjoyed both very much I won t explain here what this book is about, because finding out what it is about was part of what made this short book so enjoyable Dillard wrote this book while she was living in Puget Sound and, like in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, writes a clever mixture of reflections on nature, God, and various fascinating facts that she has read about the w [...]
Confusing as you can believe, heartbreaking, and absolutely gorgeous This book deals honestly with the problem of God and pain than anything else I ve ever read except Job The majority of the book is about a young girl whose face is badly burnt in a freak accident From what I understand, it is based on a real event, but Dillard names her child Julie Norwich her mother s name is Anne Thus the child is Julie of Anne Norwich This is interesting in that there was a fourteenth century mystic named J [...]
In brief, this book is one case where I d urge readers of this review to go find interesting reviews of it to read, I imagine this one has spawned passionate comments from thousands of readers and writers The beginning two sentences read like a revelation Every day is a god, each day is a god, and holiness holds forth in time I worship each god, I praise each day splintered down and wrapped in time like a husk, a husk of many colors spreading, at dawn fast over the mountains split I wish I coul [...]
I read this much too fast and will read it again soon.I feel like Dillard s work, and this book in particular, is to writing what impressionism is to painting I don t always get it, but I love it I wish I could write like her.She lost me at points, but blew me away at others Not a long enough book to get bogged down in either Must be I am trying to sell my favorite authors tonight, but I feel like this one would be a decent taste of Dillard for those who can t quite get into her otherwise short, [...]
Inspired reading for my upcoming trip to the Oregon coast Written during Dillard s stay on an island in Puget Sound, this short collection covers familiar territory faith, nature, mystery But also anger, injustice, and our collective obsession with The West When I first came here I faced east and watched the mountainsnce they are, incredibly, east, I must be no place at all But the sun rose over the snowfields and woke me where I lay, and I rose and cast a shadow over someplace, and thought, The [...]
I m happy reading Annie Dillard just for the words most of the time, but this book asks difficult questions about pain and about the presence of God in the world It s probably her least focused book other than Pilgrim At Tinker Creek , not surprising since it s only her second, but it got down inside me somehow and I haven t been the same since.
Beautiful lyric essay on God, life, suffering, holiness and humanity So many sentences paragraphs to re read Dillard reclined and pouncing in syncopated rhythm Just try to keep pace
Love her writing, but not the Christian god aspect of this one.
I think Holy the Firm is one of the hardest reads I ve done for a long time It wasn t enjoyable but the insights were often joyful it wasn t technically complex writing but the ways ideas of landscape and beauty and the Divine fold in on themselves are astonishing If the first essay, which sets the tone, is shocking beautiful and engaged but somehow dispassionate as Dillard watches a moth burn in a candle flame , the second draws the reader deeply into the mysteries she Is exploring True to her [...]
Highly concentrated, complex music by Annie Dillard sometimes I think I m only getting the harmonies, and missing the themes But such brilliant instrumental passages There is no one but us There is no one to send, nor a clean hand, nor a pure heart on the face of the earth, nor in the earth, but only us, a generation comforting ourselves with the notion that we have come at an awkward time, that our innocent fathers are all dead as if innocence had ever been and our children busy and troubled, a [...]
This is of a sermon than a book, but it s intensely beautiful and thought provoking Some sections were too figurative for a first read, but I love Dillard s prose, depth of thought, and spiritual insight, and can t wait to revisit If anyone will make you want to run away to a remote island and commit to the writer s life in all its vagaries, it s her.
For the month before I turned 50, I chose a handful of books for reflection, for enrichment, for inspiration I didn t quite get what I bargained for with Holy the Firm Written during the 1970s, that era of me me me, sappy Coke ads and Be Here Now, this small but fierce book feels out of place, steeped in the Old Testament It consists of 3 succinct and tersely poetic essays written while Dillard was living alone in a fire watch cabin in the woods on Puget Sound In this place, nature is cruel, God [...]
It s only 76 pages, so why in the world has it taken me this long to read this well loved volume of essays by the Pulitzer Prize winning Dillard I don t know, but now that I ve read it I guess it really doesn t matter because I ve tucked the words and images from this slim volume right into place between all the other Annie Dillard treasures already sunk away into my memory and imagination And a shimmery store of treasures it is Reading these essays felt almost like an epilogue of Pilgrim at Tin [...]
Reading Annie Dillard is like mowing the tall grass make a pass at a sentence, back up, make another pass, repeat as necessary Here, Dillard is perhaps at her most mystic, her most metaphorical She s wrestling with holiness and spirit in the wake of dumb tragedy in this case, the severe burning of a child in a plane wreck and doing so as her bent with an unforgiving rigor To Dillard, the sentence is the primary source of meaning in the world, and she works hers over until they are all pebbled Th [...]
Write as if you were dying This is the admonishment Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Dillard gives readers of her 1989 book The Writing Life The grim truth behind this charge, she points out, is that we are all dying What Dillard is getting at is that the writer should jettison anything that does not matter in the face of death It s great advice, so long as one doesn t wish for a lucrative writing career The advice hints at the debate between genre and literary fiction, traditional versus experimenta [...]