PAUL CLAUDEL, AGNES DU SARMENT
Title: I Believe in God: A Meditation on the Apostles' Creed
Binding: Paper Back
Book Condition: New
Publisher: Ignatius Press October 2002
0898708567 / 9780898708561
Seller ID: 20090408154005
Upon his conversion at the age of eighteen, the young Paul Claudel (would-be poet, playwright, journalist and diplomat) was animated by a faith that would direct the course of his life. Within the Church, he assimilated the patristic tradition and reflected on the depth of its truth with a poet's eye and imagination, firmly grounded and directed by its ''promise of perpetual renewal.'' As Henri de Lubac writes in the Introduction, ''If it is the business of scholars to expound the meaning of the Scriptures, there still remains that 'mass of allusions and faint echoes' which the poet will be better able to catch than the various ranks of the learned.'' Here, the poet's work has been placed directly in the service of the ''common faith'' -- not as means of enriching or adding to it, but rather of rediscovering and translating it with the language particular to his nature. Though this collection is fragmentary by design (headed by a line from the Apostles' Creed and a brief statement of doctrine), editor Agnes du Sarment cautions against opening it at random for momentary diversion. She entreats us, rather, to read from beginning to end in order to follow the development of Claudel's thought and encounter the richness of his wonder. It is a faith and a creed not easily come by, for he understands ''the cost of each one of those formulae printed in eternal truth -- with what rending of heaven and earth, what rivers of blood, by what effort, what mental travail, and with what overflowing grace they came to be born.'' He sees man struggling painfully but ''finally succeeding in tearing out of his own heart the final affirmation.''