Wayfaring: Essays Pleasant and Unpleasant

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Alan Jacobs is fond of the essay because it lets a writer do something that more formal pieces of writing cannot: follow the “vagaries of the mind,” let the writing follow its own path, encountering surprises and fresh insights along the way.

In this new collection, Jacobs offers essays for companionable wayfaring. To be a Christian, he says, is to be a wayfarer, to move hopefully towards a cherished goal. These essays are a wayfarer’s notes, a record of ideas and experiences encountered on the pilgrim path. Gathered here are pieces serious and comic, eloquent and interesting. Jacobs muses on the usefulness and dangers of blogging, the art of dictionary making, the world of Harry Potter, and an appreciation of trees. He also includes several book reviews, including a wickedly witty poem.

With Wayfaring, Jacobs continues his tradition of exploring Christian theology and experience by way of the essay, bringing serious musings within reach of us all.

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About the Author:

Alan Jacobs is distinguished professor of literature at BaylorUniversity, Waco, Texas. His many other books include Original Sin: A Cultural History, LookingBefore and After: Testimony and the Christian Life,A Visit to Vanity Fair, Shaming theDevil, and The Narnian: The Life andImaginationof C. S. Lewis.

Review:

“Alan Jacobs’s essays offer a rich feast of intellectual pleasure and ethical nourishment. He combines an alert, sympathetic eye for the novelties of today’s technological and artistic culture with a shrewd and solid sense of their moral and psychological effects. This book is bracing, salutary, witty, and profound ― and it’s often all of these things on a single page.”
― Edward Mendelson
Columbia University
author of The Things That Matter

“A good volume of essays is a collection of aesthetically delightful and prismatically informative prose pieces, each short enough to be read at a sitting. There aren’t many such volumes these days, which is a pity. Jacobs’s Wayfaring is one: it exhibits wit, learning, and an ear for the language, and it will give you new loves while deepening those you already have. Do yourself a favor: buy and read.”
― Paul J. Griffiths
Duke Divinity School
author of Intellectual Appetite

“These essays enthrall, enlighten, ennoble, and entertain. There is nothing unpleasant here, so never mind the title. All of these essays are gems, nothing but delight for mind and soul ― and body, too, if one takes into account the therapeutic value of laughter and sheer delight.”
― Carlos Eire
Yale University
author of A Very Brief History of Eternity and Waiting for Snow in Havana

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