Julián Montaño

This post is a piece, an example, of how to write about writers briefly, succinctly and straight to the point, leaving metaphors for the writer and not for the piece of criticism. This last is much of the malaise of Spanish speaking literary criticism that is abundant is weekly supplements. Bravo for The Guardian (the author is unknown to me).

Waugh The article refers to Waugh, Greene and O’Connor. These are famous catholic writers. Is there is anything in common in catholic writers? Why we are happy in classifying them as catholic writers instead of, say, Catholics who write novels or novelist who just happen to be story writers?

Greene There is much to say about the meaning of storytelling, why the novel sprung up in Renaissance Spain and why Catholicism tells a story each time it celebrates a ritual and in what sense a ritual is a story (there is a 12 volumes edition book, entitled The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion, by Sir James George Frazer [1854–1941] which main subject topic is this) and has something to be with why catholic mind is postmodern whereas protestant culture is modern in mind: story communities vs. inner drama.

Flannery  Now, I want to answer my former questions. There is something in Waugh, Green and O’Connor novels that make them catholic writers. An extra in their novels, or, better, somebody who always is hidden in their numerous cast, namely Grace, Divine Grace. All that happens in their stories counts with the action of Grace. Human action is not isolated; it obeys, freely, many times to the impulse of Grace, the efficacious action of God in human activity and heart. Human action in O’Connor’s, Greene’s and Waugh’s characters –Sebastian Flyte and Scobie, Julia and Tarwater- are embedded in a large pattern, larger than their little personal stories, all of them soaked in scotch or rye. This last big drama, or more appropriate, narrative, is the epic that goes from Alpha to Omega –the story of the action of Grace in Nature- from the very beginning of times to the end of them, the convergence of things as they were thought from the very beginning –omnia ad Meipsum– possible pieces of which are novels.


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