Between the Lines Book Club: Harold Fry and other Pilgrimages

between the lines book club logoThis month we have been reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. You can join us at Arden Dimick Library on April 22, 2017 at 10:30 for discussion and snacks, or leave your comments here!

Here’s how wikipedia defines a pilgrimage:

pilgrimage is a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person’s beliefs and faith, although sometimes it can be a metaphorical journey into someone’s own beliefs. Many religions attach spiritual importance to particular places: the place of birth or death of founders or saints, or to the place of their “calling” or spiritual awakening, or of their connection (visual or verbal) with the divine, to locations where miracles were performed or witnessed, or locations where a deity is said to live or be “housed”, or any site that is seen to have special spiritual powers. Such sites may be commemorated with shrines or temples that devotees are encouraged to visit for their own spiritual benefit: to be healed or have questions answered or to achieve some other spiritual benefit. A person who makes such a journey is called a pilgrim. As a common human experience, pilgrimage has been proposed as a Jungian archetype by Wallace Clift and Jean Dalby Clift.

If you are interested in the concept of the pilgrimage as a literary device, here are some books to look at:

Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan – a Christian allegory written in 1678. Trivia alert: the March sisters get copies of this book and strive to emulate it in Little Women.

The Pilgrimage: A Contemporary Quest for Ancient Wisdom, by Paulo Coelho – this is a companion book to his famous novel, The Alchemist. In this story, the author travels along the road of San Tiago, in Spain.

The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffry Chaucer – A ribald collection of 24 stories about pilrims on their way to Canterbury. The stories were written between 1387 and 1400.

Hyperion, by Dan Simmons – inspired by Canterbury Tales, this science fiction novel tells the stories of seven pilgrims who tell each other stories during a long space voyage. Through their stories, the reader is introduced to the world of Hyperion and the Time Tombs which the pilgrims want to visit.

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