Memories of a Catholic Girlhood

28 05 2009

Título: Memories of a Catholic Girlhood

Autor: Mary McCarthy

Obra adaptada: NO

Nivel: Avanzado


 Autobiography is a very appealing literary genre, which invites the readers to know, at first hand, the author’s experiences and inner life. Feelings pour out into the pages of a book through which the writer wants to involve readers in his/her memories.  

 Apart from luring men and women all over the world, autobiographical books play a very important social and historical role. They pass on traditions and knowledge, while shedding light on public and private events, which help the reader to shape an open-minded world approach.   

 Mary McCarthy’s “Memories of a Catholic Girlhood” is a superb autobiography “collected slowly, over a period of years”, as she herself points out, about an orphaned girl who was brought up between two sets of Catholic, Protestant and Jewish grandparents. 

  McCarthy (1912-1989) was an American novelist, essayist and critic, who contributed to the most important general interest magazines in her country, having written acute articles on women’s liberation, communist witch hunt and nuclear weapons, to mention just some issues she was concerned with. 

 Having been educated as a Catholic, her life story is peopled with nuns and priests who exerted, through a humanistic upbringing, a fundamental function in her creative thinking. Far from being an obedient girl, Mary McCarthy developed a sharp criticism in her childhood, which culminated with her atheism as a young woman. 

 The book is highly recommendable, not only because of the opportunity it offers readers to think about their own childhood – there is always something in common between people –, but due to the attractive, brilliant way Mary McCarthy tells her story.


Helga Maria Saboia Bezerra  2ºNA

Valoración: 5/5

A Grief Observed

28 04 2009

Título: A Grief Observed

Autor: C. S. Lewis

Obra adaptada: NO

Nivel: Avanzado


A “Grief Observed” is a work of C.S. Lewis where he explains his own experience when he comes down to a terrible situation of life; the loss of a beloved one. When his wife dies, he falls in a deep depression and he tries to find the free way to get better in the writing.
When someone who you love dies, the feelings of loneliness and anguish are overwhelmed and here, the author doesn’t find comfort even in God. Where most people turn to religion to keep on the faith in a better life after death, Lewis doesn’t care about the other side but the side where everything reminds him of his wife.
There are no more characters than the sadness of the author and that’s enough to fill the absence of any more. However, this difficult situation of the life is something that everyone has to suffer sooner or later and in this book, Lewis shows that his way of getting one’s strength back is to get angry with everybody about everything. That personal way of expressing himself makes that the book isn’t written in a style immediately accessible to any reader. The language is not plain at all and there are a lot of new adjectives and nouns to describe so personal feelings.
“Grief Observed” is a difficult book due to the amount of new vocabulary that it contains. Its heavy going and the fact of having to re-read lots of paragraph made it difficult to get into it.


Valoración: 3/5

David Bulnes  2ºNA