Sunday, September 29, 2013
The New York Review of Books has made available part (but not -- not yet -- all) of Garry Wills's review of a book that sounds fascinating -- it's called Suitable Accommodations: An Autobiographical Story of Family Life: The Letters of J.F. Powers, 1942–1963, and it's edited by Katherine Powers. Here's a bit from the opening paragraphs:
A hotbed of the Detachment movement—people detaching themselves from the commercialism of the modern world—was in Minnesota around World War II. Eugene and Abigail McCarthy were part of it. So were their good friends the writer J.F. (“Jim”) Powers and his wife Betty. So were their East Coast friends Robert (“Cal”) Lowell and his wife Jean Stafford. All had been part of Dorothy Day’s Catholic Worker movement. They were adherents of what was known, in mid-twentieth-century America, as the Catholic Renaissance.
A window into that distant world is opened by the letters of Jim Powers, published by his daughter, along with excerpts from his occasional journals and from his wife’s diary. The editor briefly adds memories of growing up in what Powers called “the Movement.” That movement had four main strands. . . .
It appears that "neo-medievalism" and "ruralism" were two of those strands. In any event, if anyone has a link to the full review, please e-mail it. Or, if anyone has read the book, please let us know!