Saturday, January 15, 2011

Book Review: Stories in Stone

Keister, Douglas. Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetary Symbolism and Iconography. New York: MJF Books, 2004.

As a field guide, this is a book you take with you when out in the field, but I didn't do that, and proceeded to read it straight through anyway.

My primary takeaway from this is how silly so much symbolism is. It doesn't really have to mean anything, or have any particular meaning to you, it just has to mean what you want it to mean at the time.



Blogger Noumenon said...

Good symbols should actually serve the function they imply symbolically. ie, the scarlet A in the story brands Hester whether you get the symbolism or not. In the case of flagstones I think it would be something like having your stone up on three pillars representing your wife and kids, so that you are literally supported by them and thus the symbol works as well.

I read Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream today and it was a nice little look at what it's like to work your way up from a homeless shelter (still prefer Nickel and Dimed though). I also got out Lloyd Alexander's Prydain series from the library and finished three of them today -- did you ever read those when you were little? They're worth a reread, although I'd do Narnia first.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Octavo Dia said...

Perhaps my vantage point is what made them seem silly. If I were a member of said organizations, I may think differently.

I read the Narnia books, though I can't remember which one was which, anymore. I didn't read Prydain.

10:12 PM  

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