EXIT 36: A Fictional Chronicle by Robert Farrar Capon

EXIT 36: A Fictional Chronicle

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

. . . playing with images [is] precisely what dogmatic theology is all about. . ."" and in this journal account of one month in the life of an Episcopal priest, Father Capon utilizes a variety of conceits to communicate informally on the subjects of death, guilt and loss. The Reverend Theodore Jacobs committed suicide near Exit 36 on a Long Island parkway. The narrator, Father Jannson, from a neighboring parish, listens to Jacobs' wife and his mistress, compares Jacobs' end with others', and pursues his own ideas about Christian death and resurrection. Among the obliquely arrived at illuminations: a truly incarnate God holds ""somehow in an eternal way. . . literal mortal lives""; the individual in his own history and the individual in another's memory are two images within God's Mystery; and guilt recedes as one understands the ""reconciliation of everyone and everything in Christ."" It is difficult to assess the audience for this sermon-in-a-story. More conservative orthodox Christians who consider the Prayer Book revision a brand of media-speak may not care for Capon's theo-speak (Christ is the ""Giant Eternal Blotter"") or the explicit references to sex. This is essentially an expedition into contemporary theology, and therefore as fiction it's fairly stationary even if Father Capon's following may approve.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1975
Publisher: Seabury