Stranger in a Strange Land: John Wilson reflects on Anne Rice

Stranger in a Strange Land: John Wilson reflects on Anne Rice

The ever-brilliant (and most widely-read man I know) John Wilson over at Books & Culture, reflects on the pre-conversion writing of Anne Rice (especially Interview with the Vampire) and concludes with a comment on her conversion (see: “The Vampire and the Cross”). John’s take on Rice’s writing is succinct and spot-on:

“I finished the novel with the sense of moral contamination that some books leave us with.”

But he doesn’t end there. He concludes his analyses by recounting a review of the 1997 anthology, The Anne Rice Reader: Writers Explore the Universe of Anne Rice, edited by Katharine Ramsland. In his review (never published, unfortunately), Wilson writes, presciently:

In short, there was a profound contradiction at the heart of Rice’s work. And so I concluded that review in 1997 by recalling Simone Weil—”Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating”—and wondering if, having taken imaginary evil to its limits, Rice might be poised to taste the intoxicating waters of grace.

It seems he was right, and the Kingdom of God is better off for it!

See also:

[tags]A-N-Roquelaure, Anne-Rampling, Anne-Rice, Howard-Allen-O’Brien, Christ-the-Lord, Christopher-Rice, Evangelical, Howard-Allen-Frances-O’Brien, Jesus-Christ, Christ-the-Lord:-Out-of-Egypt, Interview-with-the-Vampire, Vampire-Lestat, literature, fiction, novel, Pentecostal, religious-fiction, review,[/tags]

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