Thursday, 14 July 2016


Beuchner discussing King Lear...

...Insofar as the truth is tragic, he told a tragedy of men and women suffering more than even their own folly and wickedness seem to merit.  Insofar as the truth is comic, both in the sense of a kind of terrible funniness and of a happy end to all that is terrible, he told a comedy of madmen and fools.  Insofar as the truth transcends all such distinctions and points beyond itself, he told a kind of fairy tale where everybody is disguised as something he or she is not and only at the end are all disguises stripped away so that finally all are revealed for what they truly are, and like the beast in "Beauty and the Beast," the old king, with Cordelia in her beauty dead in his arms, is finally turned into a human being...

Did you notice the three "insofars" in the passage above?  Read the passage again and understand more deeply what Buechner is saying here.

Here is the preceding paragraph...

What (Shakespeare) ought to have said in his play was one or the other of these - despair or hope - but instead what he said was both of them and thus something in a way more than, and different from, either.  What he said was what in the deepest sense he truly felt.  He looked into the dark heart of things, which is to say into his own heart and into our hearts too, and told as close to the whole truth as he was able.  

Exerpts from
Telling the Truth (The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy and Fairy Tale) Frederick Beuchner

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