Letter From the Editor
This issue marks our one year anniversary, and we could not let this pass without thanking our readers for their interest and support. We will strive to continue to earn your consideration and time. We have been blessed with excellent writers willing to contribute to our first two issues with little more than our gratitude. We appreciate all who have given their time and work to The Christendom Review. To those readers who have supported us financially, we are very grateful, and if others respond to our invitation to visit the “support this site” link and contribute, we hope to be able to offer our writers a small remuneration at some point for work accepted for publication. We are constantly looking for good poetry, fiction, and visual art, and we are especially looking for the opportunity to publish more literary essays on the great writers and their works.
This issue we have two very good examples of the kind of literary essays we are hoping to find. Lydia McGrew has written a splendid moral analysis of Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair, and William Luse has explicated the enigmatic key moment in Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” Our poetry offerings include Thomas DeFrietas, William Luse (yes, it’s true, we do not disparage the traditional forms here), and some fine examples of the work of Patricia Mickelberry, of whom Smith Kirkpatrick once said, after reading an early piece, “Poor thing, she’s a poet.” Indeed she is. We have a story by John Farrell, whose humble willingness to revise is both inspiring and instructive to this writer, who has also contributed a story. Our visual arts section features the photography of Todd McKimmey, whose eye reveals the intersection of the ordinary with eternity in central Texas.
There is a monster in Dante’s Inferno whose name is Geryon. He is a symbol for our age, a creature with the body of a reptile and “the face of a just and honest man.” We live in a time of state-sponsored mendacity, where it is claimed from high places to young graduates that Mao was as admirable as Mother Teresa, that abortion is health care, and that victory in Afghanistan over an enemy that blinds young girls to keep them from becoming educated is a pejorative term. We breathe in so much relativism with the air we forget that “a lie is nothing, no thing, and cannot exist until somebody accepts it as the truth. This is the opposite of the divinity fusing with the body of the world” (Andrew Lytle).
In Melville’s novel Billy Budd the simple young sailor says, “there are many ways to tell a lie, but there is only one way to tell the truth.” Implied in this statement is that there is Truth that transcends the mere assertion. As Keats saw it, (“ ’Beauty is truth, truth beauty’ ” ) Truth sometimes may be less than pretty. It may in fact contain aspects of the tawdry, as in Greene’s novel, or it may come from the lips of a cold-blooded killer whose words strip away false piety and sentimental religiosity and reveal an ugly kinship, as do the Misfit’s to the Grandmother in O’Connor’s story. These are planes of human activity that touch on the divine in that they show the characters in circumstances and actions that reveal them as they really are: full members of the fallen race of human beings. Some of the works in this issue are more pleasant to look at than others; all are the truth.