Sharing the treasures of the Catholic intellectual tradition: The story of Cluny Media – Catholic World Report

Founded in 2015, and now based in Rhode Island, Cluny Media has been disseminating both a steady stream of classics, many of which have been out of publication for decades, and new titles, some of which are instant classics. Much like reviewing the Ignatius Catalog, flipping through Cluny’s offerings can be dangerous for the pocketbook but extremely good for the soul and for faith seeking understanding. A summary of just a few of the titles that have brought me joy in recent years, offers a glimpse into the breadth and depth of Cluny’s work. It also serves as a helpful introduction to an interview with John Emmet Clarke, Cluny’s editor-in-chief, Leo Clarke, his father and one of the co-founders of the press, and Scott Thompson, CFO and COO of Cluny Media. Five years ago I finally picked up Edwin O’Connor’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Edge of Sadness. That novel too was a revelation, which I’ve written about elsewhere, but it offers a nice segue to one of the first Cluny publications I read, O’Connor’s less well-known All in the Family. When Cluny brought it to press, it had long fallen out of print. The story of a dynamic, dynastic, and dysfunctional New England family that has echoes of the Kennedys is an incredible portrait of the ties that bind and cut. O’Connor’s writing also is a helpful sociological portrait of an age often depicted as golden by certain Catholics. O’Connor’s keen eye shows that the purported health of the 1950s American Church was perhaps more on the surface than in the substance. That is not to say there wasn’t deep and fruitful faith—as there is now—but that like everything it was more mixed and ambiguous than we often let on. Edwin O’Connor, while lesser-known than Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, Graham Greene, and other 20th-century Catholic novelists, shows how the most mundane subjects can become the stuff of genius where good observation, profound story-telling, and deep understanding of the human heart are combined.

Sharing the treasures of the Catholic intellectual tradition: The story of Cluny Media – Catholic World Report

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