From critically acclaimed author Russell Banks comes an
inventive exploration of faith and scripture.
The Relation of My
Imprisonment is a work of fiction utilizing a form invented in the
seventeenth century by imprisoned Puritan divines. Designed to be exemplary,
works of this type were aimed at brethren outside the prison walls and
functioned primarily as figurative dramatization of the test of faith all true
believers must endure. These “relations,” framed by scripture and by a sermon
explicating the text, were usually read aloud in weekly or monthly installments
during religious services.
Utterly sincere and detailed recountings of
suffering, they were nonetheless highly artificial. To use the form
self-consciously, as Russell Banks has done, is not to parody it so much as to
argue good-humoredly with the mind it embodies, to explore and, if possible, map the limits of that mind, the more intelligently to love it. Download and start listening now!