013: The Stories of J.F. Powers - St. Bernard's
013: The Stories of J.F. Powers

Feb 7, 2023

In this episode, Danny, Heather, and Charles discuss stories "The Forks" and "Look How the Fish Live" by the 20th-century writer J.F. Powers, whose first novel, Morte d'Urban, won the 1963 National Book Award for fiction. Powers applied his gentle satire to a wide range of fictional worlds, but it best known for his stories about the domestic lives of priests. Flannery O'Connor wrote of Powers "Powers and I are, I suppose, the only two young writers in this country who are well thought of and connected with the Church. We both have the same kind of horns." (23 Dec. 1958, HB 309-310).

0:10Intro to JF Powers and his writings about American Catholics before Vatican II
2:08Clericalism in the Church
11:50How do we live in the world as clerics and lay people?
22:40Worldliness and the Church
28:23Plot summary of “Look How the Fish Live”
39:33What is dominion, and what is participation?
46:42The world and understanding one’s own limitations
50:35Thanks for listening!


About Particular Good Podcast

The Particular Good podcast is focused on literature, theology, and philosophy. Our title is inspired by St. Thomas, who said humans by nature are made for particular goods. Elif Batumann, novelist and literary critic, pictures writers as bookkeepers keeping a double-ledger of life and literature, looking at people and objects in life and on pages and saying: what is it?

On the Particular Good podcast, our goal is to take out the ledger, pay attention, and pursue truth in its particular good.