Page 3, 8th March 1963

8th March 1963
Page 3
Page 3, 8th March 1963 — Parisian fairy tale

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Locations: Collegeville, Rome


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Parisian fairy tale

By Fr. Brocurd Sewell, 0.Carm

PARADOX LOST by Marianne Sinclair (Chapman and Hall: 16s.).

ASPEAKER at a recent conference of religious publishers deplored the decline of moral standards in secular publishing firms whose imprints had in the past been a guarantee of respectability.

Although there was, perhaps, a trace of the puritan in the speaker, what he said was true enough. And what publisher's name could he more eminently respectable than that of Messrs. Chapman and Hall. with its Victorian overtones? But an advertisement for this book which appeared in The Bookseller. and Charles Mozley's jacket design (I feel that this brilliant artist has not quite captured the special flavour of this book) made me wonder if perhaps Chapman and Hall were slipping. The opening pages of Paradox Lost were scarcely reassuring, and I began to fear that the reader might be in for something very disagreeable and indelicate indeed.

Spell bound

Instead, I found myself spellbound by a kind of tough, witty and contemporary fairy tale, with a surprise ending of considerable tenderness and humour. And with the moralities vindicated-though not quite in the usual way. In the sleazily dangerous Café of the Four Winds one seemed to witness events almost as momentous in their way as those recorded of the Angel Inn in Mr. Wes-totes Good Wine (though there is none of T. F. Powys's allegorising here). This is a novel about 'the paradox of innocence'. The difficult human problems and situations thrust upon Annabel by her incursion into the Parisian underworld will affect the thoughtful reader, too:

"She had known before that the world was complex, because of its different economic levels and different problems. But the idea that there was a changeable ethic for each degree in life had never crossed her mind. It made right and wrong seem a chance jumble in her mind . . Annabel was still young enough to be plunged into disillusion by such a discovery. There could be no morality unless it were absolute. And this evening, virtue seemed to be a question of cash on the nail."

The young writer of Paradox Lost is French, but has written her book in English. which she handles admirably; only her attempts to render Parisian argot into English seems to me questionable. There is a danger, perhaps, that Paradox Lost will have a great success for the wrong reasons. But it deserves to succeed-on its merits The Eucharistic Liturgies of the Eastern Churches, by Fr. Nikolaus Liesel. Photographs by T. Makula (The Liturgical Press, St, John's Abbey, Collegeville, U.S.A. $8.00). THIS wonderful guide to the Eastern Catholic Liturgies has, like a similar but much smaller work produced over here by Sands a few months ago, been translates! from Fr. Licsel's Die Liturgien der Ostkirche. The Sands edition gave 114 pictures accompanied by brief texts describing the normal mode of celebrating the Divine Liturgy. In a review at the time in this paper I recommended the book as ideal for the many Latin Rite Catholics who have very little opportunity to get to know anything at all about the Eastern Liturgies. For the reader who has now read Sands and for those who have had experience of attending. say the Byzantine Rite Liturgy, the magnificent book now produced by Benedictines of the Liturgical Press, Collegeville is what one might call a "graduate" edition. The text is expanded to give much historical background, each Rite is described minutely and pictured in detail. In fact the American book has np less than 803 prints from Fr. Liesel's more than 1,000 picture collection. The pictures. because they were taken in Rome, pinpoint only too well the persecuted state of many of these peoples which made it impossible for pictures to he taken in

churches of the relevant rites. Sadly we see no typical congrcga MARIAN CURD

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