Stephen Jayard, A Book that Cannot Be Titled, Ilanthalir Educational Trust, Tiruchirapalli, 201, pp. 192 +5 xvi Rs 125.
This book by a Papalite professor presents deep reflections upon God, science, society, spirituality, philosophy, theology, cosmos, biology and several things under the sun and above the sun. This book is a mixture of many things that have lessons for life. The author hopes that the readers find thoughts and insights of their own after having read this book. The author does not want to impose his ideas onto the readers, rather stimulates them to newer thoughts, attitudes and life-styles. Therefore, he has not given a particular title to the book. In fact, he has had a real struggle to find an apt title and failing to settle his mind on a particular title, he has has expressed his struggle in black and white with the irony of the title: a book that cannot be titled. Anyway, that is the title of the book.
This book of a mixed bag has many themes which are relevant and meaning to human living. Some of themes that would increase curiosity in the minds of readers are: A Case against Angel Gabriel; Jesus without Cross and Cross without Jesus!; Human beings: Cosmically Insignificant but Cognitively Indispensable.
The coverpage clearly conveys, as the author wishes, the theme and the spirit of the book. Yes, a piece of rock is being hammered and chiseled out to create a particular sculpture. Interestingly, the sculptor himself emerges out of his own efforts to chisel out. Similarly the ideas and the insights that are presented in this book are given to the readers; and the readers have to situate them in their own life-situations, to find out what they mean to them. They have to cull out their own implications and lessons from the reflections given here, and lo and behold, there will emerge their own book! In today’s ultra modern world, full of scientific achievements, people have no time to “think” or to “reflect”; so, they end up doing many things and saying several things just because others do and say, without ever stopping to ask themselves, why they do or say what they do or say.
We, therefore, need to take the usual and the familiar events or conversations or proverbs, which we usually take for granted, into serious consideration to see what it really means to us personally in our existential contexts. When we do this, it is highly probable that we may get newer insights and lessons that would help us improve our lives. The author has left the book without a title precisely, since the freedom and the responsibility of finding a title is meaningfully left to the readers themselves, and that justifies the title of the book
The book has definitely something for people of all walks of life– the young and the old, the elite and the simple, the rich and the poor, students and teachers, theologians and philosophers – all will find something interesting and inspiring in this book. -J. Charles Davis