J. F. Powers

JF ( James Farl ) Powers ( born July 8, 1917 in Jacksonville, Illinois, † June 12, 1999 in Collegeville, Minnesota) was a Roman Catholic American writer.

Life and work

Powers wrote novels and short stories, which were mostly based on the life of the Catholic Church in the Middle Western States of America; often his protagonists priest. Powers wrote in his life a few works, but harvested very high reputation in the literary circles of the United States and England. He is a master of satire and the representation of Catholic culture in America after the Second World War to the Second Vatican Council and beyond. Flannery O'Connor, Evelyn Waugh and Walker Percy praised his work in interviews and Frank O'Connor told him in 1999 "one of the greatest living storytellers. " For his first novel, Morte d' Urban Powers received the National Book Award in 1963.

Power grew up in a Catholic family and attended Catholic schools. Some of his classmates were priests, but he claimed to never having heard a priestly vocation. His first experience as a writer he made during a retreat course. In his dialogues snapshot of a " clerical idiom " of his time have survived. The 1947 published collection of short stories under the title Prince of Darkness and Other Stories set the tone, the Powers distinguished his life. Had five of the eleven stories as the main form of a Catholic priest who was either terminally ill or fallen away from the faith. The tension between the idealistic, fair -religious approach and the reality of the lived priestly vocation in conversation with superiors, behavior in the sacristy and in the life of the rectory has repeatedly employed Powers. He sought the perspective of the omitted or oppressed; often occur discriminated against black Americans.

In his second novel, Wheat (Wheat), Powers portrays a priest at the entrance to the seminary and then again as an old man. On entry reads: holiness, it was the only ambition that was worth it for the priest and therefore for the seminarians. Holiness was the goal of all the saints, and the point where the lives of all the magnificent saints' lives came together in life, and what the whole world is crying. After many years it is, then priest of Father Joe: In spite of everything, you never really know how far you have brought it in the spiritual life; this is the Infernal it - only God knows.

As a conscientious objector during World War II had to endure in prison, after his release in 1944 he worked as a nurse one year. In an approximately 20-year period starting in 1951, he moved with his family more often the residence between Ireland and the United States. His work has been published in The New Yorker, as well as in smaller literary periodicals. He was most recently a professor of English and penmanship at Saint John's University in Collegeville, where he died.