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Ep. 70 - The Flannery-Haunted World - Joshua Hren, John Emmet Clarke

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CatholicCulture This episode features two young Catholic publishers who are doing cutting-edge work to preserve and carry forward what was great in 20th-century Catholic literature. The first guest …More
CatholicCulture This episode features two young Catholic publishers who are doing cutting-edge work to preserve and carry forward what was great in 20th-century Catholic literature. The first guest is Joshua Hren, founder and Editor-in-Chief of Wiseblood Books. Wiseblood's focus is on cultivating and publishing new works that maintain a high standard of literary quality and Catholic vision: featuring up-and-coming writers alongside established successes like Dana Gioia, Samuel Hazo, James Matthew Wilson, and Michael O’Brien. Besides introducing us to the Wiseblood catalogue, Joshua talks about his own fiction and non-fiction writing and his calling as an editor. He and Thomas discuss issues in Catholic fiction such the danger of a narrow preoccupation with modern neuroses, and flaunting the secular taboo of “cultural appropriation” (e.g., the idea that white authors cannot write black characters). The second guest is John Emmet Clarke, Editor-in-Chief of Cluny Media. This family business is preserving and reintroducing forgotten Catholic classics of the 20th century, bringing to the surface the submerged lineage of many of our favorite authors—republishing crucial writers like François Mauriac, Charles Peguy, and Romano Guardini. A recurring theme in both interviews is the influence of Flannery O’Connor. Wiseblood Books is, of course, named after her first novel, though that doesn’t stop Thomas and Joshua from throwing some slight, friendly shade at her dominance over the discussion of 20th-century Catholic “literary” fiction. Meanwhile, John Emmet Clarke says that if she described the South she portrayed as “Christ-haunted”, the Cluny catalogue could be said to be “Flannery-O’Connor-haunted” in a reverse sense, as they publish many authors who influenced her. Contents Joshua Hren [4:11] The upcoming Colosseum Summer Institute, a workshop for poets and fiction writers given by Josh Hren and James Matthew Wilson [