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IT is again with particular pleasure that we at Renascence present this special issue, showcasing the fourth Joseph M. Schwartz Memorial Essay, Professor Paul J. Contino's "Milosz and Merton at the Metropolis: The Corn of Wheat Bears Fruit in Second Space."

This biennial, commissioned essay honors the late Dr. Schwartz, emeritus professor of English at Marquette University and past editor--for seventeen years--of this journal. In alternate years, Renascence honors Dr. Schwartz by awarding a $1,000 prize for the essay judged best among those published in Renascence during the previous two years.

Dr. Schwartz would be pleased with Professor Contino's essay. He knew the work of Dostoevsky, and during our long friendship, we talked on numerous occasions about Dostoevsky's religious vision, as well as about the late Cistercian monk and author of The Seven Storey Mountain, Thomas Merton. My own enthusiasm for the work of the late Polish Nobel Laureate, Czeslaw Milosz, only began after Dr. Schwartz's death, but I can imagine our talking at some length about the palpable religiosity in many of Milosz's poems.

This issue is also special in a number of other ways. Professor Randall Rosenberg's essay, "The Retrieval of Religious Intellectuality: Walker Percy in Light of Michael Buckley," focuses on one of Dr. Schwartz's favorite American Catholic novelists, Walker Percy. Dr. Schwartz knew Percy personally and regularly taught, wrote, and published on Percy's work. Professor Marcel DeCoste's essay on Evelyn Waugh's The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold highlights another Catholic author for whom Dr. Schwartz had high regard.

The final essay in this special issue introduces a too-little known English poet, the late Oxford don and former Jesuit, Peter Levi. Professor Kevin Gardner provides a fulsome introduction to Levi's work and argues persuasively for the deeply religious dimension in Levi's poems about winter. I have little doubt that Dr. Schwartz would admire not only the argument of the essay but its elegant style as well.

The staff at Renascence hopes that this special issue commemorating Dr. Schwartz and his contribution to Renascence contains something that all attendees, and other readers, will find informative and enriching.

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Author:Block, Ed, Jr.
Publication:Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature
Article Type:Editorial
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2011
Words:351
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