I thought I should fill you guys in to how the book How Dante Can Save Your Life, by Rod Dreher, ends. I wrote the previous What Made Me Cry This Week post before finishing it, but now I can give you the full picture.
After the ecstasy of the first chapters, I slowed down. I needed to let everything sink in. Dreher puts a lot of content into the book. It’s filled with great advice, and the book makes you question yourself. It invites you to do some self-analysis: what are my motives for my actions? Am I making an idol of family, money, friendship, sex? Have I been too harsh with friends? Have I judged them, even though I share in their same faults?
“When family and place and a way of life centered around them become ends in themselves rather the means to the good, they turn into idols.”
And that can be said of anything – as Dreher does throughout the book.
One of the chapters that touched me the most was the one that dealt with the creation of art. It felt like Dreher was grabbing my heart and twisting it the way you may twist a towel to get the excess water out.
In recent times my mind has been focused on monetizing my art. I wanted to prove to my parents, friends, and everyone who’s there to see, that I can be an artist. That I can survive in this world through my creativity. I wanted to show them: “I have talent!”
The easiest way I could think of: to make money. The easiest way to make money? Get a following, an audience, grow a platform. Get people talking about you. Post on social media as constantly as you can. Create as much as you can. Self-market. Promote.
Basically: be famous and gain fortune and glory (or recognition). But Dreher’s prose pierced through.
“How much happier would young people be if they began their careers thinking not of the fame, fortune, and glory they will receive from professional accomplishment but rather of the good they can do for others.”
Ouch. It hurt. But he is right. And throughout the whole book that’s what I felt. I kept saying to myself as I read:
Ouch! That hurts.
You’re right, Dreher.
Dreher, you couldn’t have said that better.
His beautiful prose never leaves the book, and he masterfully deals with every topic he touches on, piercing our hardened hearts.
If you’re considering buying this book, why not buy it from amazon through my affiliated link? That way I’ll get a tiny commission if you decide to buy the book! You’ll also be encouraging me to keep writing awesome reviews!
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Hope to see you soon so we can cry together.