THE CAPUCHIN ANNUAL 1965, edited by Fr. Henry, O.F.M. Cap. (Dublin, 27s 6d.).
Reviewed by JOHN HORGAN
TSTARTED reading this
annual backwards—it's often a very rewarding way to read an annual, and one of the more illuminating exercises is to try and guess the writer of each article before you find his name.
I must, however. have been nodding, for I failed to recognise page after page .of opinionated. unsympathetic prose on the ills of the Swedish Welfare State as originating from the fluent pen of Desmond Fennell.
Nobody quarrels with his facts, but his talent for unsubstantiated generalisation can be a bit trying at times, even though he undoubtedly writes well. What is less
noticeable but equally serious is his almost complete imperviousness to the tradition and the real roots of a country in which he has spent such a considerable time, and the fact that his over-riding preoccupation seems to be an ambition to .teach rather than a desire to learn, Many of the same faults are exhibited in a rather splenetic article on a visit to Russia by John Callan entitled, with heavy sarcasm. "a brisk trot through the land of promise". Again, I do not dispute that he was harassed and annoyed as he says, but question the value of inflating it into a one-sided denigration of an entire people.
That off my chest. I can safely recommend a great deal else that the Fathers have so painstakingly recommended — notably Thomas McCireevy's beautifully illustrated article on Michelangelo and a similar one on Jerome Connor by IvIalirin Allen. There is also a critical, affectionate article on James Stephens by Augustine Martin and pages and pages of fine photographs,