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Auberon Waugh, son of Evelyn, contributes a darkly funny short story, but it is another piece of fiction that has stayed with me: "The Wine of the Tetrarch" by Isak Dinesen. In it, Peter, only days after the Resurrection, meets a stranger who does not know what to do with himself anymore. The stranger had been friends with the thief to whom Jesus said, "This day, you will be with Me in Paradise." Now, the stranger is uneasy. "I have been drinking many wines since Friday, and they have all tasted bad to me — poor stuff. I do not know what has happened to the wine in Jerusalem, it has no longer either body or flavour to it." He worries that the earthquake that shook the city on Good Friday may have affected women as well as wine, "so that by now they will have neither body nor flavor to them. If it can turn all the wines of Jerusalem insipid, it may well also be capable of turning life itself insipid, with everything there is to it. And what then?"

So what does he want? To try the wine served at the Last Supper, which he has heard possessed "some highly special body. Indeed — and I do not know why — I have been thinking of it as if nothing else did really exist in the world." Peter is horrified, but when he recovers himself, he offers, "I was a guest at a wedding feast where some most noble wine was brought forth in a most noble way. I shall set off tomorrow...to find out whether there might be any of that wine left."

But the stranger demurs and decides to go back to the wine and women that have filled his days until then. As he turns to leave, Peter asks his name: "My name was cried all over Jerusalem," answers the stranger. "There was not one of the curs and mongrels of the city who did not yelp it out with all his might. Not one of them who did not, on Friday morning, howl it out. 'Barabbas!' they barked. 'Barabbas! Give us Barabbas!' My name is Barabbas. That name shall be remembered."

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