Category Archives: Reviews

Responding to the works of others.

Speaking of Silence….

Catholic Fiction.net has just posted a review I wrote earlier, a profoundly mixed review of Shusaku Endo’s Silence. Here is the conclusion:

Given the nature of the critical literature surrounding Silence, the example of Endo’s own trajectory through Deep River, and the most obvious reading of the story itself, no one should recommend Silence as an exemplary Catholic novel without qualification.  Teachers and parents who share it should be careful to surround it with good literary instruction and sound catechesis; where this is not possible, it may be better to leave Silence for later.  For those who seek a novel indelibly marked by the baptismal faith of the author, and who are prepared to struggle and pray their way through a gripping and tragic confrontation between a faith shaped by martyrs and a world full of collaborators, Endo’s work has much to recommend it.  Artists should seek to emulate Endo’s mastery of narrative style; and anyone interested should turn from the portrayal of Garrpe’s martyrdom to the many historical accounts of the Japanese martyrs, and pray for the souls of their kinsmen.

(source: Silence)
What are your thoughts?

Unadulterated Text: Literary Criticism Archives

Unadulterated Text: Literary Criticism Archives:

It is both flattering and unsettling for a literary critic to find a work he penned seen as an object of criticism. It gives one pause about writing criticism. . . .

This piece is not new, but I had forgotten it. As it links to a journal which I like, and which has published me again recently, I’ll bring it up again. The following passage seems to me to be where the reader coincides most with any intentions I may have had in writing the poem:

The octet ends with an apparent death, a “clotted brain.” The broken vessel of the opening line of the sextet, is then initially read as a blood vessel, and thus is tied inextricably to the woman. This sets up a concrete metaphoric relationship between the woman herself and the vessel which has just dropped from her lifeless hands.