Thursday, April 28, 2011

Why I am writing my Saga (according to Cardinal Newman)

In my usual pre-lunch search for Something Good To Read, I happened to find an anthology I enjoyed in my younger years called A Treasury of Catholic Children's Stories, edited by Ethna Sheehan. Of course in those days I would never had thought to read the "Foreword" or any sort of introductory matter, but I have learned a little as I grew older.... though in general I still mistrust them.

(An aside: there is a good reason for this. Sometimes, unthinking authors, or even more unthinking friends of authors, will GIVE AWAY secrets about how the story ends... this is among the worst of sins...)

But today I read the Introduction, and was startled to see Cardinal Newman quoted - and a very excellent quote it was. Immediately I went to hunt up the source (since there was no reference provided) and to my satisfaction I found it. It happens to provide a succinct explanation of why I am writing my Saga... yes, another and very different view, which happens to be just as true as the Chestertonian one I posted previously. Here it is:
By "Catholic Literature" is not to be understood a literature which treats exclusively or primarily of Catholic matters, of Catholic doctrine, controversy, history, persons, or politics; but it includes all subjects of literature whatever, treated as a Catholic would treat them, and as he only can treat them.
[Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, The Idea of a University Part II University Subjects. III. English Catholic Literature. ยง 1 in its relation to religious literature]

Wow. Of course it has to be so. A Catholic has to be "catholic" - that is universal, and will naturally (or should this say "supernaturally"?) unite all subjects in praise of the One Truth.

Or, to put it another way, it comes down to that same old question: how come there aren't any CATHOLIC engineering stories, or science fiction stories, or "Boy's Books" like the Brinley "Mad Scientists" and all that? Huh? Why isn't there a story that has rock musicians and cable TV, and computers, and secret stuff, and complex codes, and railroads and pipe organs and hidden treasures, and all sorts of secret societies (but GOOD ones) - and drug lords, and engineers who say the rosary, and scientists who go to Mass, and really creepy villains, and young men with REAL VIRTUES, and sweet young ladies, and good priests, and serious adults, and REALLY WICKED bad guys... and ALL THE FALLEN STRUGGLES OF OUR WORLD...



Ah. I decided I would not be frustrated any more, and I would not sit around and WAIT. As I am so used to from work, when no one else is willing to write the necessary software, why then, like the Little Red Hen, I merely say I will have to do it myself.

Because (as our hero Mark Weaver says) SOMEONE HAS TO DO THE HARD JOBS.

Oh man... sorry. I guess you are drooling now, drooling with the intellectual hunger for Something Good To Read. Well.... if you cannot bear the suspense, head for Quayment, where they have several parts of the Saga already available. If you need directions - uh... well. You can always ask at Loome, they might be able to help. And if you can't be patient a little longer, you'll have to start writing your own.)


At 30 April, 2011 14:05, Blogger Belfry Bat said...

... how very Inkling. I approve of this resolve!


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