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Intruding Upon the Timeless

By Gregory Wolfe and Harold Fickett Essay

St. Thomas called art “reason in making.” This is a very cold and very beautiful definition, and if it is unpopular today, this is because reason has lost ground among us. As grace and nature have been separated, so imagination and reason have been separated, and this always means an end to art. The artist…

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Authorized Versions

By Gregory Wolfe

AT the height of the recent sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, a writer friend of mine told me that the whole sorry situation had her in a “white rage.” I knew exactly what she meant: like most people who have lived through these interminable revelations, I have found myself speechless with fury against…

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Strange Pilgrims

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

IN HIS his masterful book The Life You Save May Be Your Own (reviewed in this issue), Paul Elie has crafted a braided narrative about the lives and works of four twentieth-century American Catholic writers, all of whom have become canonical figures: Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Flannery O’Connor, and Walker Percy. The first sentence of…

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A Conversation with Gina Ochsner

By Mary Kenagy Mitchell Interview

Gina Ochsner is the author of the short story collections The Necessary Grace to Fall (Georgia) and People I Wanted to Be (Mariner), as well as a novel, The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight (Portobello/Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt). Her awards include the Flannery O’Connor Award, Oregon Book Award, Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, and fellowships from the National…

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The Wages of Sin

By David McGlynn Book Review

Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks (Viking Press, 2011) Faith by Jennifer Haigh (Harper, 2011) The Color of Night by Madison Smartt Bell (Vintage, 2011) The Sojourn by Andrew Krivak (Bellevue Literary Press, 2011) THE CHRISTIAN NOVELIST,” Flannery O’Connor writes, “is distinguished from his pagan colleagues by recognizing sin as sin. According to his heritage he…

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The Cave and the Cathedral

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

IN  1994, THREE SPELUNKERS were looking for undiscovered caves in the Ardèche region of southeastern France. The region is named after the Ardèche River, which has cut through limestone for millennia and created hundreds of caves. On a summer weekend expedition they came across a place in a cliff wall where they sensed a draft…

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Forward into the Dark

By Nick Ripatrazone Essay

Forward into the Dark: Twenty-Five Years of Ambition   IN “THE IRRATIONAL ELEMENT IN POETRY,” Wallace Stevens explains that the unknown “excites the ardor of scholars, who, in the known alone, would shrivel up with boredom…. [W]e may resent the consideration of [the unknown] by any except the most lucid minds; but when so considered,…

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Far as the Curse is Found: The Art of Scott Kolbo

By Cameron J. Anderson Essay

The prophet is a realist of distances, and it is this kind of realism that you find in the best modern instances of the grotesque.                             —Flannery O’Connor, Mystery and Manners SOME MONTHS AGO, while traveling, I walked full-force into the sloping ceiling of the unfamiliar guest room where I was staying. The blow to…

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