The Fictions in Our Convictions
by Dennis Patrick Slattery
Mandorla Books, 2023
This new collection of essays focuses on how our convictions give our life coherence, confluence and meaning through the fictions we often generate to achieve these qualities. I use the term fictions less as untruths, more as mythic realities. Part I,” Ways Beliefs Shape Us,” includes essays on particular literary classics, the thoughts of Joseph Campbell, James Hillman and C.G. Jung. Most were published elsewhere or presented to various groups. This first part embodies the bulk of the collection. Part II: “Vignettes of Culture,” gathers many op-eds I wrote for various newspapers that touch on brief insights into a cultural phenomenon that interested me at the moment. Their impulse is more contemporary, tapping into a current event or trend.
This second section, in which my writing is shared with a larger, local audience, gives me great pleasure as a form of public service. The entire volume gave me great joy in the making; I hope some of that joy you sense when you read all or part of the offerings.
FROM THE INTRODUCTION, BY DENNIS PATRICK SLATTERY
“In all the articles, books, talks, courses, and interviews I have created, each expected something from me. My own growing awareness of the universal stories clinging to my partial, sometimes tattered plot, has dismantled barriers between myself and others. Reading and writing become generous acts of liberation from my own narrow-gauged desires and needs. In such liberation we are put in touch with a story’s meaning for us now, yet always susceptible to editing to deepen an initial insight.”