My second book (sort of)

Inch by inch, little by little, I am gradually making my way onto the bookshelves.

I write mainly for websites and periodicals, but occasionally I have been cited in the footnotes of some book or other, and my sister once bought me a second copy of The Gospel According to the Simpsons — I already had a much-marked review copy — because the new editions were quoting my review of it in their opening pages.

Then, last year, I contributed an essay to Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics. And since I don’t get any royalties from the book sales, I don’t mind letting you all know that my essay was eventually republished with only slight, slight, slight revisions here, where you can read it for free.

Now for the bigger challenge. I see that Amazon.com is finally taking pre-orders for Scandalizing Jesus?: Reappreciating Kazantzakis’s the Last Temptation, a collection of essays on both the book and film versions of The Last Temptation of Christ that has been timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the publication of Kazantzakis’s novel this year.

I have an essay on the treatment of sexuality in both versions of this story, and in Christian theology in general, and in life-of-Jesus movies over the past century, etc., and I have no doubt many people will disagree with points I make here or there.

Heck, even I might disagree with some of my points, since I wrote the essay over a year ago — before I wrote the Re-Viewing essay, in fact! — and a lot has happened in that time (e.g., I got married two months ago, I have become slightly better acquainted with Orthodox thinking on the subject, etc.). As a journalist, I am used to very fast turnarounds, so waiting a year-and-a-half between the writing of an essay and its publication is very new to me.

Anyway, I know I shouldn’t count my chickens before they hatch — and I haven’t even seen the proofs for my own essay yet — but it’s encouraging to see that Amazon.com finally has a page for this book. It is beginning to feel more real.

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