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August 17, 2012

Minister's book looks at kin of Cain

Story fuses the Bible, 'Beowulf' and some Adirondack history

BEEKMANTOWN — Author Douglas Kashorek spliced the Bible, “Beowulf” and Adirondack history in his novel “Kin of Cain.”

The story begins with Inez Phoenix Crandall’s disturbing interior accounts of life and death in Nod (also called Silver Lake in the book), where she is stalked by the omniscient Beast.

As biblical history goes, Cain fled from Eden after he killed Abel and settled in the Land of Nod, to the east. Cain’s son, Enoch, was also born there. Cain named the city he built — in defiance of God’s curse for him to wander the earth — after his son.

Grendel, the beast or monster slayed in “Beowulf,” was condemned by God as “kin of Cain.”

In Kashorek’s novel, Cain has lived the last 200 years in the mountains of Silver Lake for his refusal to wander as God decreed.

“Beowulf,” an Old English epic poem by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet, was penned during the Dark Ages when Christianity was pushing into northern Europe.

“I think probably, in a very figurative sense, the monster took after Cain and the type of sin he did,” said Kashorek, who also pastors the Church of Christ in Plattsburgh. “I took that in a more literal sense that the monster was directly descended from Cain. So, where does he fit in Genesis for genealogy?”

Cain’s lineage is articulated in Genesis 4.

“It’s the story of Cain and his descendants. It focused on a descendant called Lamech. He also kills a man. He has a very interesting expression that could be taken as he’s glad he’s killed this man, he’s cursed because of it, or he’s showing some repentance. It’s kind of enigmatic,” Kashorek said.

Inez Phoenix Crandall, once Zillah, wife of Lamech, weds Alexander Crandall, heir to Henry Crandall’s fortune and Crandall Hall in Glens Falls. “Kin of Cain” evolves through her bloodline. 

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