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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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Reclaiming the Modernists, Reclaiming the Modern

Reclaiming the Modernists, Reclaiming the Modern

(p.153) Chapter 7 Reclaiming the Modernists, Reclaiming the Modern
All Good Books Are Catholic Books

Una M. Cadegan

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines how Catholics involved in literary work reimagined their place in the cultural and intellectual landscape, a reimagining forged by the twentieth-century's cataclysms and the ongoing fear of nuclear annihilation. It begins with an overview of literary history as intellectual history and goes on to discuss the efforts of Catholics to maintain a conceptual connection between art and religion as well as to assert the continuity between high and popular art. It then considers how those involved in Catholic literature differed from their compatriots in the secular academy. It also shows how Catholics engaged in literary work addressed the postwar moment when modernism's tenuousness as a stance that could withstand the century's tragedies was revealed—ironically, by the mundanely corrosive powers of commodification. Finally, it explores one of the most profound changes in the “content” of Catholic literary culture by the 1950s: the reclaiming of major modernist writers as Catholics.

Keywords:   literary history, intellectual history, Catholics, art, religion, Catholic literature, modernism, commodification, Catholic literary culture, modernist writers

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