Gregory Borse is an Associate Professor of English and Philosophy at a small university in a large university system in the Midwest. He has previously published an anthology on World Literature (Other Canons: A Selection of Non-Western Literary Masterpieces, FountainHead, 2012) as well as a chapter on Hitchcock's "Psycho" and Stephen Frear's "The Grifters." He has presented on Shakespeare, Jane Austen, William Faulkner, as well as the Oral and the Literate in the Age of the Internet. He is married and resides with his wife and some of his children (those who have yet to reach escape velocity) and a very smart heterochromiatic Border Collie, appropriately named Bowie. The Incorruptibles is his first novel.
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Well, Tim Schulte, my editor with A&M Publishing sent me his final edits today. He wants to get the book out by June 1st. That is not a hard and fast date and I have to approve the final edits and then we will meet to make aesthetic decisions--cover art, font, book format, etc. I'm excited to finally be in the final stretch.
You have been more than patient and I truly appreciate it. The publishing world is changing under our feet and it's been an eye-opening experience to have gone through this process. Know that I am grateful for your having gone through it with me.
So, I'll be announcing a true launch date very soon. I hope that you will continue to support this book and will recommend it enthusiastically to your friends and family. It's a Catholic book, to be sure--but not an evangelizing one in any obvious way (in my view). It's in some sense about a faithful Catholic family that must come to confront the real meanings of their faith and to connect the events of the 20th and early 21st Centuries to the very meaning of their lives. Like the Hobbits in Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings," we never imagine that the mundane goings on in our little lives have anything to do with what is going on in the "big world" that exists somewhere beyond the borders of our Shires.
Gandalf is right. But, in "The Incorruptibles," the scary part is not that you need courage in "going out of your door." Sometimes, you need courage because the road itself decides to come to your door and enter into your house. Uninvited.
Thank you for continuing on this journey with me. Know that I am writing "The Resurrectionists" (a much much more difficult book to write) and am hopeful that the sequel will live up to the foundation I've set in "The Incorruptibles."
On a personal note--I started this novel after being inspired by Frederick Turner's book, "Beauty" (I recommend it highly) in which he did a thought experiment about what would happen in the world if we ever did actually defeat mortality. Fred is a friend of mine. This trilogy is my version of the consequences of that great folly. I lectured in my literature and philosophy classes many times on this subject -- since the Ancient Epics take up the question of mortality and its seemingly metaphysically paradoxical and contradictory nature; expressed no better ever than in "The Epic of Gilgamesh": "Oh Gilgamesh, why do you wander?" Why indeed? Because death itself seems a violation of the very order of the Universe. And yet.
I fell into a rabbit hole one night that brought me to the marvelously miraculous world of the Incorruptible saints--those whose bodies in one way or another have never broken down in the normal way that deceased bodies do. That, and another thought about what the Nazis were really after--along with a cool suggestion in Umberto Eco's "Foucault's Pendulum" sent me along my way. Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code" turned out to be a motivator as well, since, well, it didn't end up making any sense...everyone knows where Mary Magdalene is buried and I believe there are on average hundreds of thousands of visitors to the St. Maximin Basilica in France each year.
In any event, while I was writing "The Incorruptibles," two very significantly personal things happened to me and my family (in that order--the first to me; the second to my family). My beloved "Pavillion" burned down--which is where I wrote 2/3rds of "The Incorruptibles." And cancer came into our house. The former was a superficial disappointment. I got over it in no time. The latter was the introduction of mortality to my children. The book went on hold.
Cancer is not something that one person in your family gets. It infects your entire family. One takes the brunt of the suffering--the diagnosis, the treatment, the aftermath, the changes, the sheer terror that "this could be it."--the rest try to figure out how to respond in a way that will effect healing and wholeness the best way they can. And everyone does everything wrong. The doctors and nurses seem to be experts--no one in the family is...At one point, I gathered my children together to tell them two things: "First," I said, "Everyone needs to stop lying. Stop pretending things are 'okay' when they are not. Be honest with each other. Second, You know how people say that 'God never gives you anything you cannot handle?' Well, that's bullshit. He does that all the time. But. Sometimes, I think, He gives you what you NEED. He thinks we needed Cancer. So--that is what we are going to do." And that's what we did.
And long about the time it looked like we were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on the cancer-thing, I sat down with myself and said, "Well, hell. If my beautiful Bride can beat cancer, what kind of schmuck am I if I cannot finish this novel?"
So. As much as I express my gratitude for your patience and support as I've tried to bring "The Incorruptibles" from its conception to its birth, I want you to know that the real credit goes to the strength and bravery of my Bride. And that is where it truly belongs.
I will still beg for your support going forward, but I wanted you to know this. Thank you.