Saturday’s Silence

R. S. Thomas and Paschal Reading

Richard McLauchlan

Saturday’s Silence

Richard McLauchlan

Distributed for University of Wales Press

240 pages | 5.5 x 8.5 | © 2017
Cloth $50.00 ISBN: 9781783169207 Published February 2017 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
R. S. Thomas (1913–2000) was one of the major poets of the twentieth century, an Anglican priest who fiercely disliked the spread of Anglicanism in Wales and was called “the Solzhenitsyn of Wales” for his ability to force attention to matters of conscience. This book reveals his poetry’s deep indebtedness to key features of the classic Christian tradition through a focus on the three days at the center of the story of the resurrection and how they are reflected in and treated through Thomas’s work.
Review Quotes
Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury
“R. S. Thomas’s terse and condensed poetic voice is inflected more than some readers realise by a deep hinterland of theological and philosophical reflection.  This creative new reading of his poetry locates him very specifically in what is not only a theological but a liturgical place, the intense but fertile darkness of the day between Good Friday and Easter —‘a descent into hell’ that is also a retrieval and transformation of the experiences of loss, protest and failure.  This is a subtle, careful and persuasive interpretation of one of our major modern poets.’

Robin Kirkpatrick, Robinson College, University of Cambridge
“Richard McLauchlan’s excellent volume illustrates how productive the relationship can be between theology and literary analysis. The author maintains throughout a close and sensitive attention to the linguistic and formal detail of R. S. Thomas’s poetry, revealing the intensity of the poet’s imagination and equally of his theological understanding.”
Jay Parini, Middlebury College

“This is a brave and bold book that engages deeply with the poems of R. S. Thomas to suggest that the Triduum itself—the movement from Good Friday through Easter Sunday— is the essential progress of the soul in its engagement with God, with Holy Saturday as a liminal space of great anxiety and potential. In his approach to suffering, hope, and prayer mediated through the language of Thomas, the author invites us on an intellectual and spiritual journey that is surprising in its multiple insights and affirming in the ways it leads forward into faith.”

Janet Soskice, University of Cambridge

“A landmark study of R. S. Thomas, an important and rare voice in poetry and in faith in an age of doubt.”

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