Saturday, February 12, 2005

Apocrypha: the Final (or First?) Word on the Craft of Writing

Concluding Words
That is how things turned out for Nicanor. The city of Jerusalem remained in the possession of the Jewish people from that time on, so I will end my story here. If it is well written and to the point, I am pleased; if it is poorly written and uninteresting, I have still done my best. We know it is unhealthy to drink wine or water alone, whereas wine mixed with water makes a delightfully tasty drink. So also a good story skillfully written gives pleasure to those who read it. With this I conclude.
--Maccabees II:15
The final passage of the Old Testament, deemed "Apocrypha" by Martin Luther and so excised from The King James Bible. Taken here from the Good News Bible, with thanks to ABR.


Ami said...

This doesn't mean what I think it means...does it? (Because I'll have to cry if it does.)

"And Max the king of all wild things was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all.
Then all around from far away across the world he smelled good things to eat so he gave up being king of where the wild things are.
But the wild things cried, 'Oh please don't go - we'll eat you up - we love you so!"
from "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak
1963 - Harper Collins Publishers.

Libertarian Girl said...

It ain't so.

This really WAS meant as a "craft of writing" post: I was struck that these are the very final words of the Old Testament, and that I'd never heard any mention of it--seems like the sort of thing that writers the world over should have written on a 3X5 card and tacked above their desks.

Anonymous said...

Phew, Max. How quickly you have become necessary to the conversation. JBK

Brenda Coulter said...

The final passage of the Old Testament, deemed "Apocrypha" by Martin Luther and so excised from The King James Bible.Max, the book of Macabees was not "excised from the King James Bible". It was never included. The original Bible of the Catholic church included 66 books. Pope Leo added seven to that (including the two books of Macabees.) True, Luther didn't believe they belonged. But the King James version didn't come along until 1648 -- almost 150 years after Luther tacked up his theses on the door at Wittenburg University.

Thank you. We will now return you to your regularly scheduled discussion.

TLG said...

*whew* glad it was a lesson and not a conclusion :) This is probably the smartest blog I read and I'd be uber-sad if it stopped being updated. You don't want to make me sad, do you?

Anonymous said...

That's why we Protestants don't accept the Apocrypha - wine mixed with water tastes awful...

John Dekker

A VOCATION OF UNHAPPINESS [Courtesy Georges Simenon (1903-1985)]

"Writing is considered a profession, and I don't think it is a profession. I think that everyone who does not need to be a writer, who thinks he can do something else, ought to do something else. Writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness. I don't think an artist can ever be happy."

PRACTICAL MARKETING [Courtesy Zornhau, 2005]

"They should put the 1st couple of pages up in subway adverts. Having read them several times, you'd feel compelled to try the book - if it was any good."

PLATE OF SHRIMP [Courtesy Alex Cox’s REPO MAN, circa 1984]

"A lot of people don't realize what's really going on. They view life as a bunch of unconnected incidences and things. They don't realize that there's this like lattice of coincidence that lays on top of everything. I'll give you an example, show you what I mean. Suppose you're thinking about a plate of shrimp. Suddenly somebody will say like "plate" or "shrimp" or "plate of shrimp" out of the blue, no explanation. No point in looking for one either. It's all part of a cosmic unconsciousness."