Saturday, December 25, 2010

Good Will To Men


Father Urban, and perhaps Wilf and Brother Harold, too, sensed the rare peace now reigning among them, but Jack rejoiced in it visibly. Still, a moment later, it was Jack who broke the spell. "You know, Urban, I don't feel right about those animals," he said -- not, Father Urban knew, to be critical but just to be saying something. For a moment, they had all been lifted up, and this was Jack's way of letting them lightly back down to earth, where they had to live. "I've always understood that what heat there was at Bethlehem came from the animals. By rights, they should be closer to the Holy Family. Of course, I realize that's not possible in this case."
Father Urban looked over at the tree, at the hamper of food and liquor there. "Let's open one of Billy's bottles," he said.
"A Couple Of Nights Before Christmas," Morte D'Urban, J. F. Powers (1963)









And Judy, of course...

8 comments:

tnlib said...

Merry Cristmas and a peacefull 2011.

Foxessa said...

This novel looks very interesting.

I used to collect everything about Christmas and Christmas lore, but that was before I moved to NYC, where Christmas is something else, since the culture there isn't primarily Christian, and hasn't been for at least a century and a half.

Love, C.

Roy said...

The leg lamp is lit! (TNT is running A Christmas Story all day!)

K. said...

A major award! You'll put your eye out! Only I didn't "fudge."

Morte d'Urban won the 1963 National Book Award for fiction. Powers wrote one other novel and several collections of short stories; Walker Percy and Gore Vidal were both fans. More about him and Morte here.

nursemyra said...

Elvis was so hot back then...

Distributorcap said...

i missed xmas so happy new year

Arthurstone said...

Powers is terrific and Morte d'Urban is one of the great unsung novels out there.

I ran across it a few years back when the New York Review of Books folks re-released it in paperback. Their list is impressive to say the least.

http://www.nybooks.com/books/imprints/classics/

I was introduced to JG Farrell at about the same time.

Another brilliant novelist far too little known.

K. said...

Thanks, DC, and same to you.

Arthur, Powers is a long-time favorite of my father's: He reads "A Couple of Nights Before Christmas" every year and especially enjoys this part:

"I'd say the principle is the same in all games."
Urban couldn't think of a single exception, try as he might.

Wheat That Springeth Green is also quite good.