Saturday, February 11, 2017

Louis de Wohl - Catholic novels

I'm currently reading-  and enjoying -  The Quiet Light (a novelized treatment of the life of St. Thomas Aquinas) by Louis de Wohl.

 I've previously read a couple of other books by de Wohl - his St. Francis (The Joyful Beggar) and his account of the Battle of Lepanto (The Last Crusader).

I find it interesting that he went from a secular novelist - and astrologer??-  to writing Catholic fiction. He seems to have undergone some kind of spiritual awakening during World War II.

I've always enjoyed historical novels such as Lincoln by Gore Vidal. Even as a child I absorbed my school library's collection of biographical novels. Come to think of it, my most successful play, The Beau Ideal, was historical fiction.

I find historical fiction brings both history and the personalities of the people involved to life. They become easier to understand, as do their struggles, than is often possible through straight history. This kind of writing when religiously based can bring faith to life. Silence, by Shusaku Endo, is a recent  example that I've enjoyed.

I think we need more such fiction. Such books might capture some hearts and minds in a way that preaching and direct evangelization might not. We need both - the artistic, and the direct - to spread the faith.

Perhaps that's were I need to spend my time?

Pax et bonum

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