Thomas P. McDonnell

Thomas P. McDonnell is a freelance writer living near Boston.

Latest by Thomas P. McDonnell in Chronicles

Results: 13 Articles found.
  • November 1988

    In Search of Absolutes

    Caveat lector—shortly after glancing through the early pages of James J. Thompson, Jr.'s accurately but flamboyantly titled Fleeing the Whore of Babylon, I wondered how in this vale of tears I could complete the job assigned to me by Chronicles.

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  • Emily and The Feminists
    July 1988

    Emily and The Feminists

    The centennial marking the death of the poet Emily Dickinson, on May 15, 1886, slipped quietly by a couple of years ago without noticeable effect on the national consciousness. The media in general, from the Sunday supplements to the guardians of culture on PBS television, were not, on the whole, visibly impressed.

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  • June 1988

    New York Writing

    It is just possible that Tom Wolfe's first novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities, may be more important for extraliterary reasons than for purely literary ones. Of course, there are no purely literary reasons for anything, especially in the form of fiction, perhaps the most massive impure art form ever invented.

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  • The Novel of Ideas
    December 1987

    The Novel of Ideas

    The rarest entity in American writing is the novelist with ideas—that is to say, one who is capable of writing the ideological novel. Of course, the term is enough to put a chill on what is in fact the novel of intelligence—even, one might add, the novel of intellectuality.

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  • Hemingway and the Biographical Heresy
    November 1987

    Hemingway and the Biographical Heresy

    When I learned some time ago that the critic Kenneth S. Lynn was bringing out a book on the late Ernest Hemingway, hard on the heels of the large biographical study by Jeffrey Myers, I anticipated a reasonably cogent analysis of the stories, the several novels, and the most important of the nonfiction as well.

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  • State of the Literary Essay
    October 1987

    State of the Literary Essay

    As a literary form, the essay was once thought to be doomed as the novel is said to be in its perennially announced demise.

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  • Still At the Still Point
    March 1987

    Still At the Still Point

    Thirty-one years ago, when I had aspirations as an up-and-coming critic in the Catholic press, I wrote an essay on T.S. Eliot that was published in the Jesuit weekly, America. I thought it daring to suggest that the major poet of our time was something less than the robust Christian figure which an effective propagation of the faith then clearly demanded.

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  • February 1987

    Put Out No Flags

    A former literary editor of The Spectator in London and currently touted as the new novelist of manners, A.N. Wilson was the author several seasons ago of a creditable biography of Hilaire Belloc.

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  • A Touch of Class
    January 1987

    A Touch of Class

    We were two old parties, my visiting brother and I, sitting under the grape arbor at the end of a mild summer day. When I say "two old parties," however, in the manner of Somerset Maugham, I do not mean that we were either ancient or as acrimonious as the great British novelist was said to have been in his last days.

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  • David Jones: The Last Liturgical Poet
    December 1986

    David Jones: The Last Liturgical Poet

    The Welsh poet David Jones (1895-1974) wrote two of this century's outstanding literary works, and yet neither a single line of his writing nor any mention of his name is included in so recent a collection as The Harper Anthology of Poetry.

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  • Out On a Limb
    June 1986

    Out On a Limb

    Kingsley Amis has been practicing the writer's trade long enough to have produced a full shelf of books. Last year's Stanley and the Women was not only his 17th novel but a signal that three decades have suddenly elapsed since the publication in 1954 of Lucky Jim.

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  • The Atonement of Poetry
    January 1986

    The Atonement of Poetry

    One of life's great joys is to come across a new work of literature that is likely to last far beyond any early assessment of its value.

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  • Henry James at the Sacred Fount
    December 1985

    Henry James at the Sacred Fount

    It has long been self-evident that Henry James was thoroughly apolitical in any practical sense of the term. He did not involve himself in public affairs as such and hardly took more than passing notice of the Civil War, even though his two younger brothers, Wilkinson and Robertson James, served with distinguished records in the Union Army.

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Results: 13 Articles found.



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