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  Topic: Has Fiction Lost Its Faith?
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Has Fiction Lost Its Faith?
New York Times, by Paul Elie

Original Article

Posted By:earlybird, 12/21/2012 4:54:13 PM

A seminary student has an affair with an insurance adjuster he met in an office building near Riverside Church; then they go their separate ways — and that’s the whole story. (Snip) Forgive me if I exaggerate. But if any patch of our culture can be said to be post-Christian, it is literature. Half a century after Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, Reynolds Price and John Updike presented themselves as novelists with what O’Connor called “Christian convictions,” their would-be successors are thin on the ground. So are works of fiction about the quan­daries of Christian belief.

Comments:
Cover story of this Sunday´s New York Times Book Review.

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: supersid, 12/21/2012 5:08:23 PM     (No. 9078414)

Good post by Rod Dreher (who I think is among the smartest social conservatives) on this article:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/reading-about-believers-today/

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Reply 2 - Posted by: earlybird, 12/21/2012 5:15:45 PM     (No. 9078422)

Dreher´s piece is interesting, but he is really raising a question. Opening a discussion. He does emphasize that Elie is talking about the Christian religion, not any other.

(Despite Dreher´s emphatic remark, at least one commenter is headed off the rails, talking about Jewish writers, etc., etc. Was it ever so.)

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Susannah, 12/21/2012 5:56:49 PM     (No. 9078472)

An interesting article, though I grimaced when I read what I perceived as a passing slam at George W. Bush. (If I misunderstood that line, please correct me.) I think Elie has missed some modern fiction (and poetry, cf. the late Jane Kenyon) that does deal with believing and belief, although in subtler ways than he may recognize, or was able to acknowledge in a relatively brief essay.


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Reply 4 - Posted by: pizzaman, 12/21/2012 6:48:26 PM     (No. 9078521)

What about the "Left Behind" books, and all those Amish love story books? Christian fiction at its finest.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: TheMotherCO, 12/21/2012 7:09:12 PM     (No. 9078544)

I did not like any of the authors this guy mentioned. Dull as dishwater and tedious to a fault.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: FormerDem, 12/21/2012 9:40:16 PM     (No. 9078693)

i agree w the article, but i think one of the reasons is the use of literature for politics. i got the impression that PEN required insults to pro-lifers from its award-winning novels about homey rural life, for example. well if that´s a criteron, they´re not going to discover the next Muriel Spark, are they.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: Jloophole, 12/22/2012 4:53:12 AM     (No. 9078906)

I read the whole article waiting for the author to mention "Peace Like A River" by Leif Enger...one of the most beautifully written novels that I have ever read.

I avoid the Harlequin romance Christian fiction...it sets my teeth on edge.

Right now I´m reading a Thomas Costain novel...it just weaves the Christianity into the story without making a big deal of it. I think really fantastic Christian fiction should state the truth but simply make the reader curious and want to know more. Peace Like A River is a book like that.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: jlw509, 12/22/2012 2:32:06 PM     (No. 9079666)

"You look for a story or a novel where the writer puts it all to­gether. That would be enough. That would be something. That would be unbelievable."


That reminds me there was a good long line at my parish going to Confession today. I went through the doors 10 minutes late and thought I was the last in line, then as many more came in after me as before me.

That´s a good sign, the rebirth of the Sacrament of Confession. It means people are thinking deeply about their flawed lives --- which don´t seem to repel God, but cause Him to lure us in here where we will reveal the parts we can speak.

Then comes His invitation.

An invitation to what? It must be written on people´s hands: the hands into which they are pressing their faces.

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