The National Catholic Review

Culture

Friday, August 1, 2014

  • August 20, 2014

    In 1937, Paramount Pictures released “Make Way for Tomorrow,” a drama that documentarian Errol Morris once declared “the most depressing movie ever made, providing reassurance that everything will definitely end badly.” In it, an elderly couple (Victor Young, Beulah Bondi), lose their home to foreclosure and are forced to split up, because none of their many children will take both parents in at the same time. The film’s director Leo McCarey, a.k.a Mr.

  • August 19, 2014

    To review a book about a publishing house seems a rather dreary assignment. Who but the most ardent bibliophiles care about print runs and author advances? Does it really matter what appeared in the fall catalogue of 1963? But when the publishing house is home to Nobel Prize-winners and Pulitzer darlings and run by a Guggenheim, well, then things get a little more interesting. Add to the mix a brilliant, Jesuit-educated editor who worked with Thomas Merton and Flannery O’Connor, and for the Catholic reader, the story may be worth a look after all.

  • August 19, 2014

    In August Poland commemorated the 70th anniversary of its uprising against the Nazi occupation. The heroic but hopeless 63-day struggle of the poorly armed Polish underground Home Army against the S.S. troops devastated Warsaw, killed thousands and fulfilled, at least temporarily, Hitler’s wish to erase the Polish capital from the face of the earth.

  • August 19, 2014

    Anthony Doerr has previously published four books—one nonfiction, one novel and two story collections. His collection Memory Wall in particular helped him stand out from the crowds of writers; it was strange, magical and bold. He has won a number of awards, which is always partly a matter of luck, but he deserved them. His newest book, another novel, takes place primarily during World War II, the main characters a German boy and a blind French girl who spend less than a day together.

  • August 6, 2014

    One of the hallmarks of the young papacy of Pope Francis has been his repeated critique of what he calls the contemporary “economy of inequality and exclusion.” Some commentators have seen this as an indictment of the present moment, but the pope’s stance would be misinterpreted if it is seen as only a punctual concern rather than as a perennial one. His experience of inequality and its pernicious effects was formed in the crucible of decades accompanying his fellow Argentine citizens in the villas miserias around Buenos Aires.

  • August 6, 2014

    These two books come from cultured and urbane Catholic professors of theology, one at Boston College (Imbelli) and the other at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, London (Bullivant). Neither needs to raise his voice to make his case effectively. Both are concerned, albeit in different ways, to contribute to the new evangelization of post-Christians or “resting” Christians in the North Atlantic world. Their writing draws energy from the radiant vision of the Second Vatican Council and the perennial newness of the Gospel.

  • August 1, 2014

    Stark reality meets gentle whimsy. I’d like to think this is a characterization of the Irish temperament and the arts that flow from it; but whether or not that idea has any wider validity, it fits Calvary perfectly.