August 17, 2012

Minister's book looks at kin of Cain

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

By ROBIN CAUDELL, Press-Republican

---- — 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. 

“Sarah Crandall, her part of the story is 1933,” Kashorek said. “She’s escaping her abusive mother in Hawkeye, near Silver Lake. She’s heard of her family’s past in Silver Lake/Land of Nod. She goes to Lyon Mountain to learn how to mine. She knew her family had a silver-mining past, she wants to grab hold of that legacy.”

Sarah is

befriended by a family in Lyon Mountain.

“There, she’s exposed to love for the very first time. It confuses her, and she realizes she needs to escape that and go on her own but ends up taking the son in the family with her. They are about the same age. He secretly loves her, but she doesn’t understand that yet because she doesn’t understand what love is. Once they get to Nod from Lyon Mountain, then things really begin to happen. This is the land that is Cain’s inheritance,” Kashorek said.

Kashorek began the book in 1993 and worked on it steadily until it was published by Beside Books, an imprint of American Books Publishing.

“There’s a great need for Christian literature out there that is not preachy and can deal with the deep spiritual needs people have for redemption and forgiveness. The consequence of sin is a subject we don’t like to deal with. This book really hits at the heart of struggles that we all deal with as far as dealing with sin and the side of us where our spirit wars with the flesh and will do what will make us powerful by the world’s standard,” he said.

Sarah struggles with the emotion

of love and sees it as a weakness.

“But in reality, it is humanity’s greatest strength,” Kashorek said. “The principle behind the book is Cain, in his rebellion against God’s decree to wander the earth, establishes the City of Enoch and settles down. Everything that Cain and his descendants have done have been in rebellion to God. We all have the monster in us to be kin of Cain if we choose to give in to the same things that Cain and his descendants have done.”

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