Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Jesuit Happy Hour

William Peter Blatty embarked on his writing career as a comic novelist and also produced screenplays for popular comedies like the Pink Panther movie A Shot in the Dark. But, in recent decades, he has returned to the problem of human suffering in Legion, a sequel to The Exorcist, and Dimiter, a complex thriller about revenge and forgiveness, stretching from Albania to Jerusalem, that the author views as his most ambitious work. “Dimiter is a Christ figure. I intended a parallel to my personal belief that it was necessary that Christ suffer and die. We have the answer that faith gives us, but there is another way to think about it: What if Christ had died of pneumonia. Would we ever have heard of him?”  “He had to die publicly, visibly, so that no agent at a Hollywood party could deny it,” said Blatty. The author’s childhood was shadowed by abandonment — his father left his mother when Blatty was still a toddler, and the two endured a long struggle for survival. For the second decade of his life, Blatty was a scholarship kid who won a full ride to Georgetown University — after the hungry Jesuit, who consumed three helpings at his mother’s dinner table, gave Mrs. Blatty the idea that her son should sit for an exam. The plot for The Exorcist was seeded when Blatty heard a professor “repeat a story he had picked up at the Jesuit happy hour about a case of demonic possession.”
Link (here) to read the full story at The National Catholic Register

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