Thursday, March 31, 2011

Andre Dubus (1936-1999), Remarkable Man, Catholic, and Writer

by Amy Welborn

When Andre Dubus passed away in his Haverhill, Massachusetts home on February 25 (1999), obituaries noted the loss of one of America's finest writers of the short story and certainly one of the most interesting and inspiring figures on the contemporary literary scene.

What the secular newspapers failed to emphasize, however, was Dubus' faith, a deeply sacramental and incarnational Catholic spirituality that pervaded his work, strengthened him through almost unimaginable pain and loss, and was as concrete as the Eucharist:

'Since I was a boy, this sacrament has sustained my belief in God, who joined us here on earth to eat and drink and be joyful, to love and grieve, to suffer and die. For most of my life, I have tried to receive the Eucharist daily' Dubus wrote in an essay, 'Bodily Mysteries' contained in his last collection, Meditations from a Moveable Chair (1998)

Andre Dubus (pronounced Doo-byoose) was described in a 1998 interview on the Amazon.com website as 'barrel chested and gray bearded, with wide open eyes and the weathered red face of a man who's lived a full life.' That life began in 1936 in Lake Charles Louisiana. He was taught by the Christian Brothers, and after college, joined the Marines. After five and a half years in the service, Dubus enrolled in the Iowa Writer's Workshop and received a Master's in Fine Arts from the University of Iowa. In 1966, Dubus and his young family moved to Massachusetts, where he remained, teaching and writing until the end of his life.

That Dubus' life did not end thirteen years earlier than it did is simply a miracle...Read it all

Wikipedia: "To help Dubus with mounting medical bills [after the accident], Andre's friends and fellow writers Kurt Vonnegut and John Updike held a special literary benefit. Dubus continued to write, producing two books of essays and a collection of short stories, and conducted a weekly writers' workshop in his home, meeting with a group of young writers. Dubus also found a deeper religious faith at this time. A practicing Catholic all his life, Dubus found that the loss of his mobility drew him closer to God, and renewed his Catholic faith at a deeper level."

Note: I lived so close to him, without knowing anything of his writings and gifts. How I wish I had known him.

--->Pope proposes St. Alphonsus Liguori as model for new evangelization...

--->Real or Hoax? Scholars are "dumbstruck". Could codices prove ‘the major discovery of Christian history’ (Click 1)?

More..."On pages not much bigger than a credit card, are images, symbols and words that appear to refer to the Messiah and, possibly even, to the Crucifixion and Resurrection..." with amazing article pictures...(Click 2) But Wait: "The British team leading the work on the discovery fears that the present Israeli ‘keeper’ may be looking to sell some of the books on to the black market, or worse – destroy them." (emphasis added, maybe this "destroy" is a chutzpah ploy to force a sale to the very highest bidder?)

---> Secret Space Plane Can’t Hide From Amateur Sleuths...

--->Secret Fears of the Super Rich: Does great wealth bring fulfillment? An ambitious study by Boston College suggests not. For the first time, researchers prompted the very rich—people with fortunes in excess of $25 million—to speak candidly about their lives. The result is a surprising litany of anxieties: their sense of isolation, their worries about work and love, and most of all, their fears for their children...

--->NY Times Food Writer Mark Bittman: People Will 'Starve to Death' Under House Budget...

The Weakness of God: "Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength."---1 Corinthians 1:22-25

--->France urges world nuclear review after Japan crisis...

--->Invite a priest for dinner and fellowship. They need it...

--->The Restoration of Catholic Culture, Beyond the Narrow Culture
of Clericalism...

--->Catholic nurse recounts hospice horror, says doctor euthanized priest...

--->Update: Hospice Care Controversy... a prolife hospice care nurse writes, "I read SpiritDaily.com every day, which linked [Matt Abbott's] April 1 column. I'm also a hospice RN who's concerned about the blanket accusations and negative stereotypical image given of hospice care. I'm aware there are unethical doctors practicing who have a feeling of power over the life and death of their patients and can abuse that trust...As a practicing pro-life Catholic, I can confirm that at my hospice, we do not withhold food and water or medications such as Coumadin that are prescribed by the patient's primary care physician...

--->"The driver brandished a pistol: Pro-lifers witness outside Planned Parenthood, FPA in San Diego -- one counselor threatened at gunpoint...

--->Update: April 2: Pope Benedict XVI has made an “aggrieved appeal” for a suspension of fighting in Libya, saying it is necessary to search for a diplomatic, rather than a military solution to the uprising in the North African country...

--->Back to a some good news now. Ecstasy and Solitude: Franz Liszt's Journey of Contemplation... Both Franz Liszt's piece, "Benediction de Dieu dans la Solitude," and St. John's poem ("One Dark Night") revel in their rich and ecstatic language, daringly extreme in their attempts to depict a state of spiritual bliss, the highest form of which was pointedly called the spiritual marriage by many saints...

--->President Of B'nai B'rith International Indicted For Tax Fraud...

--->'Hold Islam accountable': U.S. pastor defiant after his Koran-burning publicity stunt led to two UN staff being beheaded and five others murdered...

--->Prosecutors Add Money Laundering To Accused Rabbi's Criminals' Charges...

--->Central Florida homeowners association is preparing to vote on banning children from playing outside...

--->The Jersey Sting. A true story of corrupt pols, money laundering rabbis, black market kidneys and the informant who brought it all down

Note: At the very bottom of each page click "Older Posts" in order to view previous recent posts. To Leave a Comment Click the Time Stamp Below the Post.

2 comments:

  1. Well, you know what C would say. She would say that SH should host a weekly (maybe all Catholic) writers workshop in his home, too. (And she wouldn't countenance any excuses about that, because she KNOWS it would be good for everyone.)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete