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All Good Books Are Catholic BooksPrint Culture, Censorship, and Modernity in Twentieth-Century America$
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Una M. Cadegan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451126

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451126.001.0001

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Declining Oppositions

Declining Oppositions

(p.64) Chapter 3 Declining Oppositions
All Good Books Are Catholic Books

Una M. Cadegan

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines obstacles to Catholic literary analysis raised by literary modernism. It first considers the incompatibility of Catholic stances with the foundations of modernity in general and with literary modernism in particular, and how Catholic writers both of and about literature were able to remap this divide and reconfigure Catholicism's relationship to modernity as well as its peculiar embodiment in American culture. It then discusses individual/community, iconoclasm/orthodoxy, innovation/repetition, and openness/closure in relation to literary form and content. It also explores the conflict between Catholic literary culture and intellectual modernity in the area of censorship. Finally, it explains how Catholic literary culture performed a variety of cultural work within debates and wrangling over what was Catholic, what was literary, and what was American about American Catholic literature.

Keywords:   literary analysis, modernism, modernity, Catholicism, individual/community, iconoclasm/orthodoxy, innovation/repetition, openness/closure, Catholic literary culture, censorship

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