Visible Saints

There is no other American man of letters quite like Marion Montgomery. With the addition of each new book to the canon of works published by the Sage of Crawford, his achievement becomes the more astonishing; the range and depth of his thought, its variety and scope the more impressive. For Professor Montgomery has written educational theory, poetry, drama, criticism, fiction, systematic philosophy, literary history, and theology. Which is to say nothing of his special gift for cultural analysis. Moreover, he has done all of this at a pace that is constantly accelerating. Nor is there any suggestion of abatement. Montgomery's synthetic powers are exceptional. Whatever the subject, his results are original and unexpected. Therefore it is a significant event when he comes forward to acknowledge those models and influences that have directly impacted upon his mind.

The Men I Have Chosen for Fathers fits inside a recognizable genre, with the word "chosen" in its title seriously meant. There is an explanation for Marion Montgomery. And these "men" (including Flannery O'Connor) are part of it. This list of fathers leans toward the reflective. No modern writer has had a more comprehensive encounter with the grand tradition of British and American literature than Professor Montgomery. Furthermore, his literary education reaches beyond those confines of language to include Vergil, Dante, and Aleksandr...

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