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Thanksgiving – Inventiveness

As an exercise in almsgiving over the next 40 days, this webpage will joyfully give up its praise and thanks for one aspect of life, and not always necessarily a religious one.

Necessity is the mother of invention, according to ancient lore, and so as humans we have come far from scraping together stones to make fire to now being able to heat food with soundwaves. Yet for all our industry, do we have enough inventiveness to feed our souls and not just our immediate needs?

Life A User's Manual The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden

In 1978 the novel Life: A User’s Manual was published in France, and soon to be translated around the world. It’s a funny name for a book, and it lives up to it in the humour stakes, (and ?) yet it falls short of the mark as an accurate description because the book itself contains whole worlds and not just a single life. The author, Georges Perec, takes off on enough tangents and discursive jaunts to fill a short story anthology, and each of them so startingly original, inventive and fun that it’s a wonder Hollywood hasn’t come to plunder. Perec died unexpectedly young in 1982, and interestingly enough one of his last domiciles was as a writer in residence living in Brisbane at the University of Queensland (1981).

One would have thought it unlikely to have come across something like the flavour and serendipity of a writer like Perec in print again but lightning has struck twice in Jonas Jonasson, author of The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden. This novel, first published in English from its original Swedish in 2014, is a rollercoaster ride of humour, absurdity and the mathematically impossible, all neatly condensed inside the head of one of the unlikeliest lead characters ever put onto the page. It is a rare book that can thread the subject gap between Soweto shantytowns, the King of Sweden and the urbane side of former Chinese Leader Hu Jintao but this author miraculously manages it.

To all those writers who have entire worlds of tumble down events and comic situations rumbling around in their heads, we say thank you for your creativity, inventiveness and humour, and for the painstaking efforts you summon up in order to unpack and commit it to print on our behalf.

Previous thanksgiving article: Believers

The season of Lent asks of us for sacrifice and the foregoing of many things, but an attitude of joy and gratitude should not be amongst them.

As an exercise in almsgiving over the next 40 days, this webpage will joyfully give up its praise and thanks for one aspect of life, and not always necessarily a religious one.

At the outset it should be made clear the viewpoints expressed here are a matter of individual opinion. If any one item doesn’t coincide with your own personal tastes then why not seek to better it with some thanksgiving of your own rather than a critique? You are always welcome to do so at the Archdiocesan website feedback mechanism.

So we invite you to come, walk with us awhile, and be thankful as we journey together to Calvary and beyond to Easter.

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