Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bathroom Monologue: Theodicy is that book by Homer, right?

Theodicy is, of course, the greatest work of poetry in any language and follows the rise of the Thousand Year Republic. Its central theme is the existence of suffering and injustice in a world ruled by a benevolent, all-knowing, all-powerful god. The problem of theodicy still mystifies philosophers, and the poem's handling of it attracts scholars and authors even today. Since the fifth century it has been custom to name a book in a poem or a chapter in a novel "Theodicy" as a sign of humility to that greatest of all works. Recent critics have questioned the paradoxical nature of titling a single chapter in a much larger work after something the author is admitting is superior to the entire novel itself; that one part, in name, is greater than the whole. Haruis Kwail, the modern author responsible for the best-selling Theogyny, answers that, "believing in theodicy means accepting a lot of paradoxes."

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