By Judith Suther
The unusual lifetime of Raissa Oumansov Maritain presents the framework for this primary booklength learn of her writing and adventure as a Catholic contemplative on the earth. targeting the advance of Raissa's non secular existence on the subject of her success as a author, Professor Judith Suther follows Raissa and her husband Jacques from Paris on the flip of the century to Princeton, the place they lived from 1940 until eventually Raissa's demise in 1960. Divided into 3 components, Raissa Maritain opens with the mandatory history to an realizing of Raissa's later lifestyles and paintings, then strikes directly to half II to a dialogue of her contributions to the so-called Catholic Renaissance of the Twenties and 30s; her tireless repudiation of the positivism she and Jacques had encountered as scholars on the Sorbonne; her half in constructing the Thomist research teams which the Maritains hosted at Versailles and Meudon; and the principally inner most advancements of her writing in prose and poetry. half 3 lines the Maritains' expatriation in big apple, Rome, and Princeton, and examines Raissa's such a lot fruitful years as a author. all through, Professor Suther attracts on formerly unmined assets to elucidate yes difficulties that experience lengthy harassed, afflicted, or even embarrassed neighbors and admirers of the Maritains. those difficulties contain the kinfolk of Raissa and Jacques together with her mom and dad and his mom, their vows of chastity and their marriage blanc, Jacques' acquiescence in her alleged hypochondria, and the authenticity of her obvious mystical reports.
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Additional info for Raissa Maritain: Pilgrim, Poet, Exile
Jacques would soon introduce her to the history of art and with her make friends among practicing artists whose work they admired; but a taste for classical and contemporary music she brought from her own background. As the Oumansovs' position in their adopted country grew less precarious and their circle of acquaintances widerstill mostly composed of Jews from Eastern Europe and European RussiaRaïssa remembers the discussions of politics and religion that lasted far into the night. Despite the elder Oumansovs' loyalty to the conservative religious traditions of both their families, they enjoyed the company of the students and dissident reformers Ilia had met in his shop.
She was aided by her previous study, largely of the written language, which had been a standard part of the preparatory school curriculum in the pre-Revolutionary Russian Empire; yet she felt that the new language flowed through her as from a source already spiritually hers. From that time on, she declares, no structure, no expression, no eccentric detail of French would seem strange or foreign to her (GA 32). Raïssa's early success with French is important to the bond that grew between her and her adopted country.
Geneviève Favre's bewilderment was predictable. The Oumansovs' feeling of betrayal was doubled because Véra had allied herself with her sister and brother-in-law; she and Jacques' sister, Jeanne Maritain Garnier, were the only members of either family who knew of their conversion. Véra was baptized with them, on June 11, 1906, at Saint-Jean-l'Evangéliste in Montmartre. Bloy served as godfather to all three converts. Page 24 As this abbreviated account suggests, Raïssa and Jacques had been preparing their conversion ever since their first discussions on truth in 1900.