…I write often about the consolations of friendship, hospitality, and Christian community, but sometimes I wonder if I’m too sanguine, writing as if these were easily attainable and capable of straightforward engineering. These three books, in very different ways, puncture my naivety.
…Any culture that bestows fame on fiery young radicals will see some of them punished with remorse in old age, but there are surprisingly few role models for writers who find themselves in this situation. Coleridge and Wordsworth, for example, did not handle their guilt-racked maturities well. Gogol was certainly no role model for penitent authors, but he is also something more than a cautionary tale. This would make an excellent Christmas gift for anyone you happen to know who writes for Gawker.