Life – A Review
(by Pastor L. J. Darkside)
When I first heard that Life was coming out I was as excited as any critic and Christian leader of my calibre. We all know that the seminal and now iconic release of Love was the most inimitable, original and popular of all. As an unabashed fan of the Author, I was expecting great things in this new work, which I have been studying for some time now.
I am happy to say I was not disappointed in the slightest. I have to say, that from my first reading of Life, I was a ready convert. Having heard some complaint from other critics on other publications, I didn’t know quite what to expect. The other critics had stated that Life was not compelling enough, that it lacked all consistency and was quite arbitrary in its dealings with readers. These other critics, whose reputations are as dubious as their opinions, stated that after studying Life for some time readers would often go on to worship the text - as if it were some kind of god.
What an insult to the intelligence of the reader. What a sad and pitiful view of the human condition, itself covered within the text of this unparalleled work. Did those reviewers not realise that Life encompasses both this dour outlook and their entire worldview? What Philistines those critics are to state that Life is in any way less than the masterpiece that it clearly is. And as for readers ending up worshipping Life – well, my point is that a reader will only worship that which is wonderful, original, exciting and popular.
As for the hoi-polloi who even go so far as to crudely describe Life as a ‘bitch’ – what a miserable conclusion to reach. Do they honestly expect the intelligent men, the academics, the scribes, the scholars, to share their deranged, base and vulgar opinion?
They even go on to describe Life as some kind of horror story. What rubbish! Life is clearly a love story of the best kind. Or an adventure story. There are those who see no elements of story within the text, no beginning, middle or end. And that is the genius of this work, that it is an adventure, not a battle, that the story-arc progresses to what can only be a wonderful end. What a journey. But they sometimes describe it as a prison or as a courtroom complete with witnesses, judges, and testimonies. Waiting around for Life to happen to them. Refusing to engage with the text to any great degree. Of course Life treats them badly! Not so with this critic I can assure you.
And even if Life is contrary and arbitrary, as they insinuate – even if Life is as fickle as they and their demagogues opine, have they not entirely misunderstood the true nature of this work? Have they not heard the calls of the intelligent, of the wise? That Life is good, that Life is sweet, that Life is fair and that Life is wonderful? What? They site chapters of grief as evidence for Life’s fickle character. Do they not know that Life encompasses even death? That the very depths of the valleys and the heights of the mountaintops are the content of this beautiful work? It is an irony which bypasses them in their crude, base speculation, their personal bitterness towards both the text and to the Author. What a tired and jaded viewpoint they have.
But they are right in one thing when they do describe Life as a ‘bitch’. In that she is clearly female. The Greeks got it right when they called their goddess 'life'. For she is such a wonderful, wild siren that even the most jaded critic must appreciate her many faces, her differing aspects. She is like a diamond which all men fail to praise at their peril. And perhaps it is this lack of compliment which causes Life to reject such readers who do not pay her credence, who do not show her the respect she deserves. What an irony that is. What a tragic irony – that the critics of this marvellous work should be treated as they are by Life herself. It is, in effect, their own fault.
They go on to say that suffering somehow negates the positive attributes of Life, that it makes it so much more difficult to love Life. And do you know what I say? Poppycock! I know many people who suffer on a frequent basis and their love of Life is not diminished. It simply goes to prove that whether Life deals her readers with kisses and blessings or with thorns and suffering, we should all love her. And as one who has been very, very blessed, is it any wonder than I am among Life’s greatest fans? And even if I were to suffer, I would still praise her.
I even heard one deranged man say: “Life would be intolerable if it were not tempered by Love.”
What folly. Didn’t he realise that Life is the strongest work? Didn’t Maya Angelou herself tell the story of how her own mother would not hear a word said against Life because Christ had said ‘I am the way, the truth and the Life’? What a nurturing, faultless mother she must have been to teach the young Maya so well.
But for those of us less ignorant, those of us who appreciate true skill and true beauty, we know that Life is magical and that she rewards those who give her the praises that she is so worthily deserving of.
The other critics call us mealy-mouthed. They say that our reviews of Life are like the archaic ramblings of mad, old men and women. That we somehow sound old-fashioned as we whistle our merry tunes. How sad. How very sad. That they cannot see past our instinctive praises, the perspicacity with which we express our admiration of the benevolence of Life in all her abundance.
It is quite clear that the critics don’t understand Life at all. The vast array of content, the sheer exultation that is involved in this work has no contemporary equal. They say that Death is Life and that Life is Death. What fools. What loons.
As I have attempted to make clear throughout this review, defensive of Life as it is (and Life, like her Author, needs her protectors), there is no greater work on this planet. That those who criticise Life prefer Love is a further irony. They should not despise one and cling to the other. Love is encompassed within the pages of Life. And they say that Life is within Love. How they misunderstand. What wretches they are. Fools.
And so, it only leaves this reviewer, this eminent critic to say his last words about this text. Life has no equal. It is the greatest work I have ever read and has treated me kindly, like a mirror. What a paradox – the ugly see ugliness, the beautiful see beauty. And how beautiful she is. How lovely in every chapter. How I long to sample her most intimate delights.
The unworthy illiterate masses can call her a ‘bitch’ as much they want. But Life will find no greater fan than I.
Life holds pride of place among my book collection. I believe I may have a signed first edition and obviously I have locked this work in my cabinet, to be handled, studied and caressed when I am in a vacant or pensive mood.