American Catholic Arts and Fictions: Culture, Ideology, Aesthetics

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 26, 1992 - Literary Criticism - 547 pages
Paul Giles describes how secular transformations of religious ideas have helped to shape the style and substance of works by American writers, filmmakers and artists from Catholic backgrounds such as Orestes Brownson, Theodore Dreiser, Mary McCarthy, Robert Mapplethorpe, Alfred Hitchcock and Robert Altman. The book also explores how Catholicism was represented and mythologized by other American writers. By highlighting the recurring themes and preoccupations of American Catholic fictions, Giles challenges many of the accepted ideas about the centrality of Romanticism to the American literary canon. He reconstructs the different social, historical, and philosophical contexts from which aesthetics in the "Catholic" tradition have emerged, and shows how these stand in an oblique relationship to the assumptions of the American Enlightenment.

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Contents

Methodological Introduction Tracing the Transformation of Religion
1
Stereotypes Inheritances and Immigrants
35
Transcendentalism and Catholicity Orestes Brownson
54
NineteenthCentury Myths of Catholic Europe
76
Modernism Metaphor and Ambivalence
111
Isolation and Integration Theodore Dreiser and James T Farrell
134
Conformity and Parody Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby
169
The Analogical Imagination Allen Tate
191
The Allure of Iconography Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe
273
Ritual and Burlesque John Ford and Robert Altman
296
Guilt and Salvation Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorsese
324
The Rewriting of Theology Katherine Anne Porter Flannery OConnor Walker Percy Donald Barthelme
353
The Beatific Vision J P Donleavy and Jack Kerouac
394
Social Politics J F Powers John OHara Mary McCarthy
427
Criminal Politics Edwin OConnor George V Higgins William Kennedy Mario Puzo Francis Ford Coppola
464
Conclusion Aesthetic Universalism and Catholic Skepticism
505

Interiorization of Theology Robert Lowell
210
The Weight of the Cross John Berryman
232
The Dialogue of Blasphemy Frank OHara
248

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