Download The Catholic Side of Henry James by Edwin Sill Fussell PDF

By Edwin Sill Fussell

The Catholic aspect of Henry James is the 1st to bare the profound Catholic imagery in James' paintings. Edwin Fussell argues that Henry James, even though no longer a "card-carrying" Catholic, was once a fellow-traveling Catholic of a definite literary sort. Fussell isn't really attempting to flip James right into a Closet Catholic yet is, really, cause on wondering traditional serious assumptions approximately James' unquestioned secularity. He contends that the writer's profession started with narratives of Catholic conversion and ended along with his masterpiece of Catholic eccentricity and alienation, The Golden Bowl. With an greatly exact wisdom of James' novels, stories, letters, and journals, Fussell convincingly demonstrates the level of the writer's involvement with the tips of Catholicism.

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Extra resources for The Catholic Side of Henry James

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Twenty years later, he was still on the same tack: "Charles Newcomb said, he liked Catholics born to it, but American Catholics were disgusting. " Yet Emerson also has an anti-Protestant side so strong that it drives him far in the Catholic direction. Back in 1847 when he was listing fear of Catholicism as a superstition, he was also writing, at some length, also in his journal (pews again): The Catholic religion respects masses of men & ages. If it elects, it is yet by millions, as when it divides the heathen & Christian.

No critic was ever more ready on all occasions with an idea or two from Matthew Arnold. The most pertinent Arnoldian idea concerns the relations of literature and religion. In the 1884 essay James approvingly notes "the taste, the temperance, with which he [Arnold] handles religious questions," coupled with "the impression he gives of really caring for them. To his mind [and James' mind? " 2. Liberalism I am not going to criticize here that vast body of men, in the mass, who at this time would profess to be liberals in religion.

The sequence of events, with several assorted references to Hawthorne's works, plus their implications for his daughter and for her special work, are spelled out in Flannery O'Connor's "Introduction" to A Memoir of Mary Ann (1961), almost half a century after the death of Henry James. So do things ramify yet so we must leave them. It is time to turn to James himself as a young man and see if we can fit HISTORICAL CONSIDERATIONS 15 him into the stream of historical Christianity during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, where in Western Europe and North America it continued to play itself along in glories and disasters, for what but a mixed performance would you expect of the Holy Spirit blowing through instruments so unsanctified as literary people, however expressive and revealing?

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