I had a bad year. The year in question wasn’t the most recent one, as it happens, and the twelve months in question weren’t all consecutive. But since the year 2000 or so, I’ve managed to expend about a year’s worth of effort on articles that never saw the light of day. They were, to use the literary industrial complex’s term of art, "killed." Incredible as it sounds, editors decided they had better things to publish. For some (but not all) of these articles, I was even paid a kill fee.
Now, I’m not complaining. This is how it is in the cutthroat world of journalism. And yet every so often one’s eye strays to the folder in one’s hard drive where these articles abide, and one glances over the pages and one finds oneself wondering, If one does not feel at liberty to post to one’s blog the killed articles of yesteryear, why does one bother to have a blog? And so a four-and-a-half-year-old book review of volume one of Dean Grodzins’s biography of Theodore Parker is at last available:
"OH DON’T!" CRIED the one-and-a-half-year-old Theodore Parker, when they went to baptize him. He was sprinkled anyway. It was the start of a lifelong struggle with religious convention. As an adult he would declare baptism to have been one of Jesus’ mistakes. "Did he lay any stress on this watery dispensation; count it valuable of itself?" Parker asked in his summa, A Discourse of Matters Pertaining to Religion (1842). "Then we must drop a tear for the weakness." [Click for more]