Tuesday, February 23, 2010

On "For Lack of White Robes" by Wade Hartel (3548 words) ***

Lust and religion--it's something juxtaposed a lot, probably quite a few stories involving religion. I think of a Rick Bass story about a Mormon girl dating a non-Mormon guy. I think even more of John Fante's Catholic protagonists, so full of bluster about the women around them, so full of guilt every time something goes wrong. Hartel's story doesn't involve much of Fante's Catholic guilt, but like the Bass story to which I refer (collected in Bass's The Watch), it does use religion as a context in which to talk about how people come together. In this case, it's Catholics on a mission, and our narrator has a particular interest in one young woman. Will he get her? You know how these kind of stories go, but you don't know how this one ends. Read the piece here at Eclectica.

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