Thursday, January 17, 2013

Top ten literary preachers

Peter Murphy is a writer from Enniscorthy in County Wexford, Ireland. His first novel John the Revelator was published in the UK and Ireland by Faber & Faber and in the US by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and was nominated for the 2011 IMPAC literary award, shortlisted for the 2009 Costa Book Awards and the Kerry Group Fiction prize. His second novel, Shall We Gather at the River, will be published by Faber in January 2013.

He named his ten baddest preachers for the Guardian, including:
Judge Holden from Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

McCarthy's finest creation might not wear a cassock – or a magistrate's wig – but he can wield the Word. The Judge is a satyr, a gnostic devil, Colonel Kurtz on a horse. The scene in which he holds forth on the art of war is Satan's own sermon: "War is the truest form of divination. It is the testing of one's will and the will of another within that larger will which because it binds them is therefore forced to select. War is the ultimate game because war is at last a forcing of the unity of existence. War is god."
Read about the other preachers on Murphy's list.

Blood Meridian is one authority's pick for the Great Texas novel and is among David Vann's six favorite books, Robert Olmstead's six favorite books, Michael Crummey's top ten literary feuds, Philip Connors's top ten wilderness books, six books that made a difference to Kazuo Ishiguro, Clive Sinclair's top 10 westerns, Maile Meloy's six best books, and David Foster Wallace's five direly underappreciated post-1960 U.S. novels. It appears on the New York Times list of the best American fiction of the last 25 years and among the top ten works of literature according to Stephen King.

--Marshal Zeringue