Winkler’s ‘Crocodile’ snaps at religious doctrine

Winkler’s ‘Crocodile’ snaps at religious doctrine

Written by Editor

Topics: Literature

Crocodile“, the latest work of fiction by noted Jamaican author Anthony Winkler, is – in the writer’s own words – “about God and getting to know God”. In providing background to the book, Winkler explained that some of the things he was taught as a child, like the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, were absurd when followed through to their logical conclusions.

Anthony Winkler

Anthony Winkler, "The Crocodile"

“Transubstantiation says that when you consecrate the host, it becomes the living, breathing God…not a symbol of God, but God. Josephine, my main character, takes this literally and she captures God, because she believes that he has been unkind to her all her life. It leads from there on to the difficulty of communicating with God,” said Winkler.

The website of Macmillan Caribbean, publishers of Crocodile, contains the following description the novel:

Crocodile tells the story of Josephine Hemp, a simple but devout Catholic housemaid who feels abused and abandoned by God. To get revenge, she captures a consecrated host which, under the ancient Church doctrine of transubstantiation, is not merely a symbol of the Godhead, but the actual living God miraculously contained in what seems to the unbelieving naked eye a mere wafer. God, impregnated in the host, refuses to discuss his actions with his captor, provoking her to imprisoning the almighty. What follows is an ironic yet entirely logical series of madcap events as the parish priest, alerted to this sacrilege by a philandering Pentecostal minister, tries to liberate God from unlawful imprisonment.

This sprightly fable exploring the incalculable extent to which believers are often driven by their faith, is played out with impeccable logic against the Jamaican countryside over which broods the menacing presence of a river dwelling crocodile. Its resolution will both surprise and delight.

An excerpt of the book in PDF format can be accessed here.

Crocodile - Anthony Winkler

Crocodile - Anthony Winkler

His first novel, The Painted Canoe, was published in Jamaica in 1984. The Lunatic followed in 1987, and Winkler also wrote the screenplay for a highly successful film of this novel.  Other works include The Great Yacht Race (1992), Going Home to Teach (1995) and The Duppy (1997). In 1999 his original screenplay The Annihilation of Fish, was filmed in Los Angeles.

Winkler disclosed that new material from him will likely take the form of a trilogy. The first, titled God Carlos, will look at the Spanish conquest of Jamaica, while the second – The Family Mansion – will take on the invasion of the English and subsequent ousting of the Spanish. Silver Sands, the final book in the trilogy, will explore what Jamaica has become today.

2 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. RedMango says:

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  2. badmash says:

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