"What was lost when the gates slammed shut"

The folks at @U2 weigh in with a duet on the Achtung Baby book -- an interview with the author, and a review from the perspective of a writer unsympathetic to Roman Catholicism (who actually takes the book as rather more specifically denominationally Roman Catholic than it seemed to me.)

The interview, among other things, touches on whether "the personal trumps the political" on Achtung Baby. The review, among other things, applauds a very successful example of how Catanzarite's writing evokes the beginning of "Zoo Station" and uses the interesting image of the songs as "apparitions" in each chapter.

Sidebar: I was a bit mystified by the review's idea that Catanzarite is advancing a sort of personal theory that Achtung Baby is "about the Fall." I thought the book's imaginative narrative was intended more to draw on the way in which Achtung Baby assumes the Fall as a given. And frankly, I can't imagine how anyone could even attempt to make any kind of plausible case that the album doesn't do that. (Or more, that U2 have EVER made ANY album that doesn't assume the Fall as a given.)

Both pieces point out the fact that the book demonstrates no evidence of engagement with women writers as theological or intellectual resources (only works by males are quoted, and the interview's rationale for this made me cringe, unintentionally - I hope! - implying the only reason someone might draw on the work of a woman theologian is because of being obligated to by a "fairness doctrine.") To me, the best answer to why these kind of sweeping omissions can happen is given by Catanzarite himself in an answer to a very different question: "[The Fall is] more than just 'a' relationship in trouble. That's ALL relationships in trouble."

By the way, a reader sent me a link to his own review of the book, too, while we're on this.

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