THE DARK NIGHT OF RESISTANCE by Daniel Berrigan

THE DARK NIGHT OF RESISTANCE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

With apologies to St. John of the Cross, The Dark Night of Resistance urges the text of the 'guru of the absurd,' Berrigan supplying exegesis and commentary, as a guide to how we must live now. Now in Danbury Penitentiary, Berrigan sees America in the throes of a slaves' revolt, the sons casting off the fathers to seek their souls in the dark void, joining ""the vast network of the unborn and the dead"" in the underground where the state of resistance is ""a state of life itself."" Draft resisters, freaks, exiles, dropouts, they are strangers in a strange land, their cry ""the cry of Lady Macbeth's offspring, the cry of the sons of Mother America."" For Berrigan the cry for revolution is a spiritual quest for 'moral change,' transfiguration of the Mass to life itself. The book is an odyssey of self and soul which ranges unrestrained between free verse and prose, hope and despair; how it feels to be hunted and on the run in America, dependent on the kindness and ingenuity of friends. Berrigan too has a dream: ""I dream of every resistance commune with a guru (Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Zen) in roving residence,"" -- a dream continuously raped by the Vietnam war. He sees the repression closing in, the church and the state ""amnesiac,"" and only the new Franciscans/guerrilla warriors affirming by survival and pilgrimage an alternative vision, ""Its emblem. . . a painting by Blake or Rousseau, of naked lovers."" Though Berrigan warns against 'feeding on visions,' it is all ravishingly beautiful, ethereal, mysterious, baroque in language and obscure in meaning like the text of his 16th century Spanish mentor. Sublime folly as an antidote to despair, anyone?

Pub Date: June 4th, 1971
ISBN: 155635469X
Publisher: Doubleday