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Literary Giants, Literary Catholics [Hardcover]

By Joseph Pearce (Author)
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Item description for Literary Giants, Literary Catholics by Joseph Pearce...

British author Joseph Pearce has firmly established himself as the premier literary biographer of our time, especially in interpreting the spiritual depths of the Catholic literary tradition. In this new book, Pearce examines a plethora of authors, taking the reader through a dazzling tour of the creative landscape of Catholic prose and poetry. Literary Giants, Literary Catholics covers the vast terrain from Dante to Tolkien, from Shakespeare to Waugh.

Focusing on the literary revival of the 20th century, Joseph Pearce touches on well-known authors like G.K. Chesterton and J.R.R. Tolkien, but also introduces readers to lesser-known writers like Roy Campell, Maurice Baring, and Owen Barfield. Anyone who appreciates English literature will be entranced by the wealth and depth of this new masterpiece.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Ignatius Press
Pages   425
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.5" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   1.65 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 1, 2005
Publisher   Ignatius Press
ISBN  1586170775  
ISBN13  9781586170776  

Availability  0 units.

More About Joseph Pearce

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Joseph Pearce, general editor of The Ignatius Critical Editions, is the highly regarded literary biographer and best-selling author of numerous works on great literary figures, including his books Literary Converts, Tolkien: Man and Myth, The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde, C.S. Lewis and the Catholic Church, and Wisdom and Innoncence: The life of G.K. Chesterton. Pearce is a writer in residence and literary professor at Ave Maria University in Naples, Florida.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Arts & Literature > Authors
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Religious
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Roman Catholicism
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Church History

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about Literary Giants, Literary Catholics?

A very useful landscape  Jul 11, 2006
Please excuse me my bad English; I can read well but it's difficult for me to write. In spite of this, I am very pleased to comment this book, so interesting for me as all the Pearce's things. This book in particular permitted me to read a lot of otherwise out of my reach articles, published in magazines, etc. It's so a broad vision of the more important authors of the literary catholic revival in last century, with some pleasant surprises, such as the intelligent observations about one of the Beatles!!!, that much increased the interest and respect for Pearce in my elder son. I am really delighted.
A scholarly account that balances critical insight with an understanding of the life and history of each author scrutinized  Dec 13, 2005
British author and literary biographer Joseph Pearce applies his talents in Literary Giants Literary Catholics, an examination of the lives, works, and creativity of numerous authors of Catholic prose and poetry, including G. K. Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc, Maisie Ward, John Seymour and many others. Of especial note are the multiple essays concerning J. R. R. Tolkien, one of which seeks to answer the question: would Tolkien have given Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" movie the thumbs-up? A measured and scholarly account that balances critical insight with an understanding of the life and history of each author scrutinized, recommended for college library and literary criticism shelves.
Essays on Literary Catholics.  Aug 31, 2005
_Literary Giants, Literary Catholics_, published by Ignatius Press, by the traditional Catholic convert and apologist Joseph Pearce, consists of essays on a variety of topics dealing with Catholic culture and the primary literary figures involved in the Catholic revival which were originally published in various journals and especially in the _Saint Austin Review_. These essays focus on Catholic writers and thinkers who incorporated their Catholic beliefs into their art and writings and sought to defend the tradition of the Church against modernity. Joseph Pearce, a convert to Catholicism, regards himself to be a "cultural apologist" as opposed to a theologian or an apologist who relies strictly on rational arguments to defend the faith.

This book covers a wide variety of topics all dealing with the Catholic literary revival. The book begins by discussing this revival among the Victorians including the romantic movement influenced by Coleridge and Woodsworth, the traditionalist revolution in Anglicanism led by Cardinal Newman (who eventually converted to Roman Catholicism), and the art of the pre-Raphaelites. In addition, the Catholic revival came to effect the Decadents, who sought God in their own way as a means to overcome sin by facing the darkness, including Baudelaire, Huysmans, and Wilde (all of whom converted to Catholicism). Throughout this discussion, the relationship between tradition and conversion is explained. Pearce also discusses the role of tradition in modern English literature including T. S. Eliot, Evelyn Waugh, and Siegfried Sassoon. The second section of this book is devoted to essays featuring the apologetic duo, Hilaire Belloc and G. K. Chesterton (nicknamed "the Chesterbelloc" by George Bernard Shaw). Pearce shows how Roman Catholicism came to play an important part in the life of Chesterton who eventually converted. The writings of Belloc and Chesterton are both highly apologetic in nature and both focus on the economic theory of distributism, based on the social teachings of the Catholic church. Distributism provides a third way alternative to the excesses of both socialism and capitalism and is in agreement with the encyclical _Rerum Novarum_ of Pope Leo XIII. Pearce presents several interesting essays focusing on both Chesterton and Belloc, including an essay where he argues that both would oppose the modern European Union (contrary to the suggestion of another writer) and in which he exonerates Chesterton of the fascism smear (distributism being fundamentally and diametrically opposed to fascist statism). Essays on Maurice Baring, R. H. Benson, Maisie Ward, and John Seymour are also presented. The third section of this book deals with "the wasteland", particularly the aftermath of the First World War and the despair which followed. Pearce discusses poets who opposed the horrors of mass warfare including Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. Pearce also discusses the modernism versus traditionalism at the root of T. S. Eliot and his epic poem _The Wasteland_ as well as the influence of Dante on Eliot. Pearce also discusses the modernist turned Catholic writer Evelyn Waugh as well as Roy Campbell who came to embrace Catholicism in Spain. The fourth section of this book is devoted to J. R. R. Tolkien and "the Inklings". Pearce discusses the Inklings including Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, and Charles Williams as well as the role of Christian orthodoxy in their writings. Tolkien's _Lord of the Rings_ trilogy presents a profoundly Catholic and Christian epic which has lent itself to many different allegorical interpretations. Indeed, the role that a "true North" as opposed to a false "Protestant" North plays in Tolkien's work is fully explained by Pearce. Finally, the fifth section of this book includes essays of a miscellaneous sort. These include essays discussing the Decadent path to Christ through darkness and sin as well as discussions of Oscar Wilde. Pearce argues that Wilde, who is perhaps most well known for the scandal that grew out of his homosexuality, had always had a profound love for the Catholic church leading to his eventual conversion towards the end of his life. According to Pearce, Wilde has been misunderstood as a proponent of homosexual rights, instead of properly understood as a man who sought peace and regarded his homosexuality as a sickness. Pearce also discusses Hollywood, both as a source of evil and as having the potential to do good, particularly noting the recent films _The Lord of the Rings_ and Mel Gibson's _The Passion of Christ_. Pearce also discusses poetry, including both Dante and Shakespeare (both of whom may have been Catholics). In addition, Pearce discusses the Catholicism and mystique of Salavador Dali, whose surreal paintings were underlain with Christian imagery. Pearce ends by dedicating an essay to the late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, by providing a biographical piece detailing his own conversion from a militant anti-Catholic to the faith, and by ending with an essay on the Christmas season.

This book presents an important contribution to the study of Catholic literature. It provides not only an opportunity to study the faith through the works of some of this century's greatest writers, thinkers, and artists, but also with a unique selection of essays that enable one to see the true beauty that is the Catholic church.

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