The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner
So sometimes I amaze my wife talking about going to church when I was little. I went for 14 or so years to a very religious Baptist church, but I was never religious myself. So a lot of my time I was an outsider watching other people be religious and presumably feel faith. So I am always interested in and amazed by books about religious faith.
This book is one of those books, but the struggles with faith are not so interesting to me because the sins (murder, leis, rebellion, etc) are so far flung that I can’t actually find the struggle itself. It’s a lot like that idea that if you’re bad enough, you might as just lean into it rather than struggle with the minutiae of sin. Maybe it’s a kind of lost cause situation.
Anyway, the book structure itself is interesting and pulls a lot of those tricks that 17th, 18th, and early 19th century novels do, almost in a kind of frustrated sense of how to justify the existence of a novel. I feel like one of the things that the 20th century really allowed for is simply the production of a novel with affirmative assertion “This is a novel. Deal with it.”
But this book presents itself as anonymous text delivered to an editor and processed by the author and includes extra material from the publisher along with a lot of other kinds of publishing language. It’s edited and collected with some notes. Which I generally do find interesting, even if the narrative itself is not that interesting.