Wednesday, January 03, 2007

word of the day


"The preterite are the non-elect of Puritan theology, those who are passed over, abandoned by God and history, and in the first pages of Gravity’s Rainbow the bombed population of London during World War Two is already discounting its chances: ‘Each has been hearing a voice, one he thought was talking only to him, say, “You didn’t really believe you’d be saved. Come, we all know who we are by now. No one was ever going to take the trouble to save *you*, old fellow.”"

I ran across this word in a London Review of Books article on Thomas Pynchon's latest opus, 'Against the Day.' (found at: Apparently preterism is a recurring theme in Pynchon's work. I thought the explanation of the word sounded really interesting and so I reproduce it here for your reading enjoyment. I wonder if this is the same concept that inspires the 'Left Behind' series of books? Although I imagine those books have a less philosophical quality and a more "holy shit, how can we redeem ourselves" outlook. Otherwise, I can't imagine my family would love them so much.


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