The Thing Is…

…if you’re a brilliant writer, you get forgiven a lot of things: antisocial behavior, excessive drinking, fits of depression, offensive comments, general melancholy, moral lapses…I’ll stop now.

BUT, if you’re a middling writer, then you’re just a boor.

(So shall we add self-pity to the list?)


  1. Matthew,

    (You asked for it!)

    Speak for yourself! I happen to find my own company, farm-league as it is, rather exciting sometimes, thank you very much!

    There’s nothing you can’t scare up in the way of fun if you gots a bottle of whisky and a typewriter!


  2. Hello Mr. Lickona,

    This doesn’t seem quite the place to write this, but I didn’t know what the appropriate place is. I just wanted to say that I read your book about two weeks ago (I saw your interviews with the Nat’l Catholic Register and US News, and was interested, but Fr. Neuhaus’ “vote” was the deciding one), and I enjoyed it very much. As so many people seem to say, I found myself majorly squirming in a few parts (and I am, for the most part, a Flannery O’Connor-reading-Catholic), but I really had a lot of sympathy with you…from minor things (how easily I say it now!) like hand-holding in Mass, to my own thoughts on the Latin Mass, “parish-hopping”, and my own skeptical mind. Your book was hilarious in so many parts. Additionally, when I went back for a second read, I found myself not only laughing and sympathizing, but admiring your clean, tight, descriptive…near-perfect prose. I loved your book. Thank you for writing it.


  3. Matthew Lickona says

    Thank you for your kind words, and thanks for reading. From your praise of the book’s prose and its attempts at humor, I can tell that you are a brilliant human being and a fine literary critic. Seriously, those are high compliments to me. I think the real good of the book is the sense of solidarity it may provide – that’s been the best thing about the feedback I’ve gotten, at any rate.

  4. Ah, yes, that’s me all right! Brilliant…fine literary critic…the list could continue. 🙂 I completely agree with you about the sense of solidarity the book provides to orthodox Catholics, especially those who resist the “shelteredness” that so often accompanies the orthodoxy (this observation is based on my experience and I hope is offensive to no one).


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