Julian Green and the Thorn of Puritanism

Julian Green and the Thorn of Puritanism

Julian Green and the Thorn of Puritanism

Julian Green and the Thorn of Puritanism

Excerpt

This study of Julian Green is intended to throw light on the spiritual background of his novels. No one who reads Green's fiction can remain unaware of the inexplicable element in each of the important characters. The examination of Green's spiritual development should give a better understanding of such intangible elements and, perhaps, of their origins. Actually, the spiritual life of every author plays a part in his literary work, but in Green's case one's attention is focused immediately on this aspect by the nature of the stories, some of whose very titles are indicative-- Le Visionnaire, Minuit, L'Autre Sommeil--as well as by the subject matter of his diary.

Furthermore, I believe that his main appeal and significance lie in his spiritual life because it is there his struggles have most meaning for other Christian men. To be sure, this appeal is limited to readers who find their religious tranquility disturbed by the secular concerns of the modern world. On the other hand, however, his significance becomes greater as we discover the problem of relating one's spiritual and emotional life to the society in which one exists. This is the general theme of many French novels of the first half of the twentieth century, Green representing only one aspect which may be defined as the attempt to unite a puritanical heritage with human nature. I have wanted to show certain characteristics of such a problem that may find an echo in the lives of young Puritans.

To date, studies of Green's work have appeared either as . . .

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