Friday, April 27, 2007

"If God is so wonderful..."

N'est-pas un interlude

In another scene in David Lodge's novel about Henry James (Author, Author!), George Du Maurier talks about his religious beliefs:
Du Maurier...had hardly any beliefs at all. "I think I was born a sceptic," he told Henry when they were seated one day on the Bench of Confidences. He had been brought up a Protestant, since his father was of Huguenot ancestry, and his mother's family Anglican, but their attitude to religion was more pragmatic than dogmatic. "My brother Eugene was baptised in a Catholic church to please an aristocratic friend of the family he was named for. I think they would have made him a Hindoo if it would have improved his prospects." Du Maurier laughed a little shamefacedly at his own joke. "No, that's not fair—they were Christians of a kind, but not devout. My father had a loathing for priests and pastors—'les corbeaux' he used to call them because of their black cassocks. He and Maman seldom went to church. They taught me to say my prayers—but even as a young boy I couldn't see the point of praying. If God was so wonderful, why did he need me to tell him so? And what was the point of asking him for favours, since if he existed he knew what I wanted already?" [p. 89]

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