Mind in Catholic Novel Essay

5340 Words Oct 9th, 2013 22 Pages
´ ´ ETAT PRESENT WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CATHOLIC NOVEL?
TOBY GARFITT MAGDALEN COLLEGE, OXFORD

The idea of a specifically Catholic novel arose during the nineteeth century. The often anti-Catholic agenda of the philosophes and the libertine novel had been counterbalanced by writers such as Rousseau and Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, who sought to reveal God through the wonders of the natural world. But it was Chateaubriand’s Atala (1801) that inaugurated the new genre of the Catholic novel as a riposte to the dechristianization associated with the Revolution. Chateaubriand was more partial to the epic, however, and in this he was followed by Bonald, who appreciated the scope that the epic afforded for the depiction of ‘le merveilleux
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The Catholic publishing house of Mame pioneered the ‘roman ` ` evangelique’ with such works as Les Deux Lignes paralleles, ou Frere et sœur, roman ´ ´ intime (1833) by Balzac’s friend and interpreter Felix Davin, and others by ´ women writers such as the comtesse de Bassanville (Anaıs Lebrun). Zenaıde ¨ ´ ¨ Fleuriot was to become particularly prolific, with eighty-three books to her name (Francois Mauriac was later to remember both her and ‘Raoul de Navary’ ¸
´ ´ ´ ` See Declin et confins de l’epopee au XIX e siecle, ed. by Saulo Neiva (Tubingen: Narr, 2008). ¨ ´ Patrice de La Tour du Pin, Une somme de poesie, 3 vols, rev. edn (Paris: Gallimard, 1981 –83). See ˆ ´ ´ Marie-Josette Le Han, Patrice de La Tour du Pin: la quete d’une theopoesie (Paris: Champion, 1996); and Patrice de La ˆ ´ ` Tour du Pin: ‘La Quete de joie’ au cœur d’‘Une somme de poesie’. Actes du colloque au College de France, 25 –26 septembre 2003, ed. by Isabelle Renaud-Chamska (Geneva: Droz, 2005).
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´ ´ ETAT PRESENT : WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CATHOLIC NOVEL?

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(Eugenie-Caroline Saffray)

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