François Mauriac: A Critical Study
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By Michael F. Moloney
Widely read, little understood—thus could be described the standing of François Mauriac among his fellow Catholics in the twentieth century. Indeed, as Michael F. Moloney writes, “no Catholic writer [was] the subject of more controversy among his co-religionists” than the 1952 laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature. This study aims to set matters to rights with a critical analysis of Mauriac’s ideological and artistic influences; the philosophical structure of his literary world—the “metaphysic of love”; and to correct false impressions that his narratives and characters are defined by misanthropy and pessimism.
Consider, O God, that we are without understanding of ourselves;
that we do not know what we would have and set ourselves
at an infinite distance from our desires…. (Saint Teresa of Ávila)
The world of Mauriac “is the scene of an unending conflict between the claims of the temporal and the eternal, between flesh and spirit. It is…the world of perennial man.” It is thus a world to be visited and revisited in order to more accurately and adequately address the questions of what it means to be human. To that end, François Mauriac: A Critical Study proves a capable and careful guide.
Michael F. Moloney (1903–1960) was a literary scholar and professor at Marquette University. In addition to François Mauriac: A Critical Study, his writings include John Donne: His Flight from Medievalism and T. S. Eliot and Critical Tradition.