The Situation of the Catholic Novelist Cover Image
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Catholic novelists enjoy greater visibility in American letters today than they did almost a decade ago, when Dana Gioia offered a sobering diagnosis of decline in "The Catholic Writer Today." Major contemporary authors have invoked Bernanos, Waugh, and other legends as their literary ancestors, and a small but active cohort of Catholic writers has answered Gioia's call to renew their tradition. This flourishing has coincided, however, with aggressive challenges to the basic tenets of Christianity in mainstream culture. In the words of Piers Paul Read, any writer known to hold traditional views on social and moral questions "not only limits his appeal among readers: he is even seen as an enemy of enlightenment and progress." Outside of a small subculture, it is rare to meet with the bold conviction-at once religious and artistic-that gave such works as Sword of Honour and Wise Blood their distinctive blend of moral seriousness and dark comedy.

Under these perilous conditions, can today's writers bridge the divide between religious faith and the secular audience for fiction? In this swift yet comprehensive survey, Trevor Cribben Merrill considers the works of Martin Mosebach, Christopher Beha, Randy Boyagoda, and many others. Even as these novelists demonstrate the resurgent vitality of the Catholic vision in our era, their work also highlights the difficulty of combining theological weight and artistic skill in a cultural context that strongly encourages their separation.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781951319700
ISBN-10: 1951319702
Publisher: Wiseblood Books
Publication Date: November 15th, 2021
Pages: 46
Language: English