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The Catholic Studies Reader$
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James T. Fisher and Margaret M. McGuinness

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823234103

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823234103.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 15 October 2019

Seeing Catholicly

Seeing Catholicly

Poetry and the Catholic Imagination

Chapter:
(p.331) 15 Seeing Catholicly
Source:
The Catholic Studies Reader
Author(s):

JAMES T. FISHER

MARGARET M. MCGUINNESS

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823234103.003.0016

What are some hallmarks of Catholic vision that might allow readers to identify a Catholic imagination at work when they encounter one? Is it possible to identify lines of continuity among writers whose work is original and entirely unique to that person? And, finally, in what way can seeing—and representing—the world Catholicly bear the stamp of truth for non-Catholics as well as Catholics? This chapter deals with sacramental qualities and themes found among poets and novelists whose works constitute a kind of canon of the Catholic literary imagination. From the nineteenth-century English Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins to the mid-twentieth-century French novelist Georges Bernanos and American writer Flannery O'Connor, the chapter examines a spiritual aesthetic best conveyed perhaps in the words of a character dying young in Bernanos's celebrated novel The Diary of a Country Priest. The chapter is particularly attuned to the subtle interplay of language and spirit.

Keywords:   Catholic imagination, poetry, Catholics, literary imagination, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Georges Bernanos, Flannery O'Connor, language, spirit

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