This is a beautiful book. Some readers, I have noticed, have difficulty with the poetic nature of Youmans' prose, and to them I say they should become better readers and lovers of language's music. "tilt and spill" "wondrous cascade" "ungrasped length" "bear and vessel what is unearthly and rained down" are wonderful constructions: just listen to the vowels and the rhythms, the moving accents from one sentence to the next. Youmans stretches prose, but never goes too far. Sound and sense, it's all there. I never do any book justice when I write about it, and I keep that tradition with this wee essay. Charis in the World of Wonders deserves lots of readers. Go be one of them, do.
--novelist Scott G. F. Bailey, review post at Six Words for a Hat, 22 January 2021
And his earlier comment:
Marly Youmans' latest novel, Charis in the World of Wonders, is a great book...a rich tapestry of invention, a lovely long song of many overlapping themes. As with so much of Youmans' work, it is a myth writ on human scale, an instruction manual for discovering beauty and love in this fallen world. I do not exaggerate.
C--novelist Scott G. F. Bailey, Six Words for a Hat, 31 December 2020
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Fr. Augustine Wetta video on Charis
A Wetta-and-moi video was supposed to be up on youtube, but I can't seem to find it... so HERE is a link to the video on facebook. If you click, you'll discover me in my dining room being interviewed by author and Benedictine monk Fr. Augustine Wetta (who was a private student of mine at the Antioch Workshops a few years ago. He has since published the novel we discussed (in part) at Antioch: The Eighth Arrow: Odysseus in the Underworld.) I always cringe at seeing/hearing myself, so I have not watched it, but Fr. Dude (as he is known to his students at the St. Louis Priory school) asked some interesting questions...