Commentary: “Cowmaker’s Eve” the novel

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Questions from my first wave of readers sought explanations of the more complex scenes and characterizations in the novel, hence this blog.

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Synopsis: During a time of escalating global strife among religious-political movements, baffling revelations with unifying potential occur. To ascertain their authenticity, a Vatican emissary investigates a Mexican woman’s vision of a “moon goddess” and interrogates her son, a priest, whose aborted ministry seems to have been resurrected through sacred encounters with an Italian mystic. During “moments of union” between the priest and mystic, prophetic utterances reveal secrets that prompt warring factions to seek the couple’s destruction.

Author Information: Carroll F. Ray, Jr. [C. Francis Ray] is a former Catholic priest and seminary professor. He has studied philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, and holds graduate degrees from the University of Notre Dame and Oblate School of Theology. Most of his works fit the genre of futuristic religious fiction. His most recent title, Cowmaker’s Eve, is available in paperback and E-text versions. He currently lives with his wife, Joy, in Harlingen, Texas. Email: cfraypub@me.com

2011 Print Edition Notes

Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Dedication: To the people and animals of verdant Bologna.

Cover Art: Universal Man, an illumination from Book of Divine Works (Liber Divinorum Operum), Blessed Hildegard of Bingen, 1165; (truncated to accommodate the theme and essence of this work,Eve of the Cowmaker).

E-text version published May, 2011 @ Apple iBookstore by C. F. Ray Publishing under the title, Cowmaker’s Eve © Copyright 2011 C. Francis Ray. ISBN 978-0-9832561-0-6.

First Print Edition published August, 2011 by C. F. Ray Publishing, Harlingen, Texas, under the title, Cowmaker’s Eve © Copyright 2011 C. Francis Ray. ISBN 978-0-9832561-1-3

A Google Books preview of Cowmaker’s Eve is available.

COWMAKER’S EVE, The Novel. Visit Author’s WEBSITE

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Characters Viewing

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Questions from my first wave of readers sought explanations of the more complex scenes and characterizations in the novel, hence this blog.

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Q- You open your story with a character viewing a character viewing the video of a dirty bomb attack by radical fundamentalists on the Vatican. Why not present the event in real time? — F. O.

Blessed reader, F. O., I was severely tempted to present the story in real time, blow-it-up fashion. Then it dawned on me that the “real” story should flow from the inner yearnings, compulsions, and beliefs of the characters. In real life cathedral rocking events have little to do with the inner lives of people seeking God through a communion of their essences.

COWMAKER’S EVE, The Novel. Visit Author’s WEBSITE

Stripped of His Garment

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Questions from my first wave of readers sought explanations of the more complex scenes and characterizations in the novel, hence this blog.

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Q- Buck, finds himself stripped of his shirt in Mereta’s washroom, (Ch 15), and seems to reject the goodness of Lara after she angrily confronts Mereta for something Mereta had apparently done to Buck. “Che diavola!”  what was going on in this scene, “il mio collega scrittore?”

  — A. M.

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The Author Answers:

You’re the scholarly one, A. M., you Italian speaking Upstater. Oops! I forgot. That’s a derogatory term in N. Y.

Here’s the skinny on this scene: I wanted to present a confrontation between two gifted women manipulating a man, one for malicious intent, the other for healing. In northern Italy at one time, this scene would have been played out with the accoutrement of folkloric elements. Refer to: “I Benandanti,” Ricerche sulla stregoneria e sui culti agrari tra Cinquecento e Seicento,” Einaudi, 1966, regarding he bad-witch-beating Benandanti cult in sixteenth-century northern Italy.

Then again, Buck’s blackout might have simply been a result of the unusually hot weather in summertime Bologna and the meager breakfast served in the work camp. Mereta may have removed his shirt with the intent of reviving him, a move that may have been misunderstood by Lara, who flew off the (broom?) handle.

COWMAKER’S EVE, The Novel. Visit Author’s WEBSITE

Texas Football

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Questions from my first wave of readers sought explanations of the more complex scenes and characterizations in the novel, hence this blog.

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Q- Bein’ an Aussie who bought the EBOOK version of CE I’d like to ask you, mate, if the football coaches in Texas are such yobbo whackers that they would allow abuse of cows like you wrote about in chapter 12?

— G. T.

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The Author answers:

G’day, reader from down under. You sent me to my Aussie slang dictionary to find out what you are talking about. The scene employing bovine abuse in Ch. 12 was inspired by an actual hazing event that took place in Minnesota in 2006. As far as Texas football coaches are concerned, I could never envision them allowing such an abomination, though I shudder at times to think what some of them would do to their mothers if they’d be assured of a championship season.

COWMAKER’S EVE, The Novel. Visit Author’s WEBSITE

Bad Girls

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Questions from my first wave of readers sought explanations of the more complex scenes and characterizations in the novel, hence this blog.

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Q- As a female reader of your book, I have a few questions about the women you created. It seems that the major woman characters in the story, Tlazola and Larania had special powers to heal, to protect, and guide their male partners. Tlazola seems to have failed and Larania succeeded. Why?

— L. I.

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The Author Answers:

Hello L. I., I remember you from the GW Workshop. Are you trying to make me do deep analysis of what I wrote? OK, here goes as I unpack the recesses of the writer’s closet in my mind. Tlazola was a girl “out of the jungle” with a blessed cultural heritage uniquely matriarchal. She had the power to heal errant amorous encounters among her people. Her encounter with Buford, a South Texas rancher, and her transport to Rancho Vacacerlo ripped out of her a “jungle faith “ which was no match for the inquisition and manipulation by Father Gratías and the powerful Anglos associated with Buford and his ranching empire. Laranía with her deeper and more potent Indo-european heritage was able to transform her partner, Father Buck Jackson, from his materialistic Western bent to more spirit related universal world view.

L. I., I’ll answer the rest of your “female” questions in coming installments of this blog “as the sands of our being flow under the power of gravity from the top of the hourglass to the bottom.” See there, I remembered some of the wonderful metaphors you presented to us in the workshop.

COWMAKER’S EVE, The Novel. Visit Author’s WEBSITE

Miracles or Madness?

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Questions from my first wave of readers sought explanations of the more complex scenes and characterizations in the novel, hence this blog.

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Q- In the chapter where the priests take the mentally impaired Fr. Winnie back to his parish in Montefiascone for therapy, he starts out with the ridiculous illusion he is on a crusade against heathens, but then you have him make the important discovery of the ancient manuscripts at the Farfa Abbey through some sort of divine inspiration. How do you want us to read your development of Fr. Winnie’s mental state — miracles or madness? 

— O. D.

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The Author Answers:
Great question. Good setup for an answer — miracles or madness? Much madness has passed for miracles in the past and still does. The greatest “miracle” is in the opinion of CE is the human mind and its coalescing consciousness.

 The greatest madness in CE is putting human minds in separate cages so they cannot develop the divinity bond through authentic operation. Winnie is in the process of being purged of past transgressions, personal and corporate (see: medieval witch and heretic “purification”). Winnie’s cleansing began in the confessional scene and entailed the awakening of inner denials which led his psyche through involuntary eroticism into an inspiration leading to the discovery of the Farfa manuscripts.

Bad sexuality keeps us from divinity; good sexuality reveals and communicates divinity. I’ll save further explanation of this dictum for the second novel of the trilogy, COWMAKER’S SEED. God, I hate empty promises.

COWMAKER’S EVE, The Novel. Visit Author’s WEBSITE

Celestial Coupling

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Questions from my first wave of readers sought explanations of the more complex scenes and characterizations in the novel, hence this blog.

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Q- I am starting to get the drift now of what you are doing with thematic development, C. F., as I read the free portions of CE in the Google preview.

With the man-to-man kiss Father Buck endures or enjoys from the wasting away Carlo, Syd declares Buck’s successful passing of the Roman test so Buck could now “couple” with the mystical Lara and deal with lust of flesh and infusion of spirit on equal terms and a new religious reality would be born.

What I’d like explained in more detail is the power the couple exercised after the “coulping” incident. What could they do? Fly, bi-locate like some of the saints, tell the future? Thanks in advance.

— T. H.

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The Author Answers:

Well, T. H., what can I say? Those folks over at Google are mean bastards. They allow authors to present only a portion of their work for preview which makes it difficult to put together a view of intricate thematic material. I’d suggest this: go to page 181 of CE and ponder the text:

“Orgasmos! Abussos! Summa voluptas! The shaking of the corpus plunges mind to depths of blessed void.”

Then, read the footnote — oh, wait a minute, this page is not in the preview. Well, you can buy a print copy here: Cowmaker’s Eve or you can find the Ebook version in the Apple iBook Store through iTunes here.

COWMAKER’S EVE, The Novel. Visit Author’s WEBSITE