An Evil Cradling
About this deal
It reveals a depth of spirit, a nobility of character and the sheer belligerent will that enables one to fight in the face of inhumane behaviour as well as a sadness at how far short we often fall. It was the 1991 winner of the Irish Times Literature Prize for Non-fiction and the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize.Brian Keenan's nightmare incarceration of over 4 years at the hands of some Hezbollah fundamentalist thugs in Beirut has given rise to a remarkable work of literature. Unlike some of his more cautious colleagues he didn’t live on the university campus but in a villa nearby. The start of the book gives a brief background to his life, and then a quick outline of his first few months in Lebanon.
Just remarkable -- a work to remind us how expansive is the human mind, proving that cultural (and religious) education is directly connected to the development of the heart, in the sense that, early on in life, we have the opportunity to either help open that heart through compassion and universal inclusion, or slam it shut by demanding blind obedience to dogma, along with all the heart-mind's potential for good and beauty. This is a personal piece of writing dealing with his personal experience, and it was written during a time of recovery from the incident itself.Sebastian Faulks in the Independent on Sunday said "The scope and grandeur of his reflections is supported by the concrete detail of his narrative. Whether this was intentional, a desire to avoid shying away from the less pleasant parts of his personality, or whether he just wrote so honestly that the good and the bad revealed themselves in equal balance, I don't know. It's a bit political at the start but as you keep reading you feel you know these two men and when I finished the book i actually missed them. This is a difficult book to grade because the content attempts to mirror actual events that were not particularly compelling. Says that there is justice in people taking up arms in response to a loss of power (talking about Israeli invasion) but says they had no understanding of power or it’s uses.
There may have been more important books than Brian Keenan's An Evil Cradling, but its thoughtfulness and delicacy of feeling are unforgettable.How, again, how he did this is beyond my ability to understand, because I have never been imprisoned or tortured.