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James Thunder, a Washington, D.C., attorney wishes you a Myles Connolly Christmas.
The American Spectator published his essay: “It’s a Wonderful Life: Have a Blue Christmas, a ‘Mr. Blue’ Christmas, That Is.” In it, he points out that “It is said that many high schools and colleges, presumably Catholic, made Mr. Blue required reading at one time.”
Click here to read he whole thing, but here is our favorite part, featuring Benedictine College Catholic literature professor, Dr. Stephen Mirarchi:
One reader who really caught the Mr. Blue bug is Stephen Mirarchi, a college professor. A student read Mr. Blue and told Mirarchi he had questions. Mirarchi read it and then taught it in his “Christianity and Literature” class in the fall of 2014. Mirarchi said he taught G. K. Chesterton’s (1874-1936) 1923 biography of St. Francis of Assisi and Mr. Blue, a modern St. Francis story. J. Blue received an inheritance of $2 million but gave it all away and embraced Lady Poverty, living in a crate on a Manhattan rooftop. Furthermore, Jesuit Father John Breslin, in a 2002 article in Boston College Magazine,has contrasted the protagonist J. Blue with that of Jay Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, published in 1925, three years before Mr. Blue.
Mirachi went deeper yet into Mr. Blue, writing an introduction to a 2016 edition. Since then, he has written introductions to two more of Myles Connolly’s novels, Dan England and the Noonday Devil (Nov. 2017) (a story of man suffering from acedia, a spiritual disability) and The Bump on Brannigan’s Head (May 2018) and he has plans to write introductions for Three Who Ventured (1958) and a collection of short stories, The Reason for Ann (1953). These introductions include annotations, literary context (such as Irish literature), and literary structure. Here’s one example: Mirarchi’s favorite use of Scripture in Mr. Blue was the comparison of J. Blue’s rooftop crate to the fog-covered tent that Moses would enter to meet the Lord (Ex 33:7-9).