At this time Callaghan visited New York, and his friendships from this and subsequent visits included William Carlos Williams, Allen Tate, Ford Madox Ford, Katherine Ann Porter, and Sinclair Lewis.Callaghan also attracted the attention of Maxwell Perkins of Scribner's, and his stories began to appear regularly in American and European magazines.
Callaghan's novels and short stories are marked by undertones of , often focusing on individuals whose essential characteristic is a strong but often weakened sense of self. His first novels were Strange Fugitive (1928), a number of short stories, novellas and novels followed. Callaghan published little between 1937 and 1950 - an artistically dry period. However, during these years, many non-fiction articles were written in various periodicals such as New World (Toronto), and National Home Monthly. Luke Baldwin's Vow, a slim novel about a boy and his dog, was originally published in a 1947 edition of and soon became a juvenile classic read in school rooms around the world. The Loved and the Lost (1951) won the . Callaghan's later works include, among others, The Many Colored Coat (1960), A Passion in Rome (1961), A Fine and Private Place (1975), A Time for Judas (1983), Our Lady of the Snows (1985). His last novel was A Wild Old Man Down the Road (1988). Publications of short stories have appeared in The Lost and Found Stories of Morley Callaghan (1985), and in The New Yorker Stories (2001). The four volume The Complete Stories (2003) collects for the first time 90 of his stories.
But partly owing to the influence of the French philosopher Jacques Maritain, whom Callaghan knew in Toronto in 1933, it began to show a strain of Christian humanism and a strong sense of personal virtue coupled with deinstitutionalized Christian values.
Father Dowling, the idealistic and naive Catholic priest who is the hero of is a good example.During World War II Callaghan was attached to the Royal Canadian Navy and served on assignment for the National Film Board of Canada.
Up to now, there has been no substantial application of theological criticism to the works of Hugh MacLennan and Morley Callaghan, the two most important Canadian novelists before 1960. Yet both were religious writers during the period when Canada entered the modern, non-religious era, and both greatly influenced the development of our literature. MacLennan’s journey from Calvinism to Christian existentialism is documented in his essays and seven novels, most fully in .
By over expressing society and making a simple-minded hero, Callaghan creates an extreme example of what can happen when society denies rehabilitation.
During the last two decades of his life Callaghan wrote with self-reflexive irony. He would often portray himself in his later works in a playful way, and would often refer to his early works and reviews. He was awarded a number of honours later in his life, including the Lorne Pierce Medal (1960) and the Order of Canada (1982). He died in Toronto in 1990. One of his sons, Barry Callaghan, is a successful writer and editor. (by Lee Skallerup)
The war saw his financial success wane, and he began to work once again as a professional writer. He wrote for newspapers and radio in order to support his wife and two sons. He felt that his inspiration was beginning to falter. But after three deaths of close family members, Callaghan once again turned to the redemptive power of literature. In the 1950s and 1960s, Callaghan involved himself in many aspects of writing, including working with the Writer’s Union. In 1951, he finally won a Governor-General’s Award for The Loved and the Lost. He also wrote That Summer in Paris (1963), a memoir of his summer in Paris in 1929.
Callaghan’s first novel, Strange Fugitive, appeared in 1928. In 1929, he signed with a publishing house in New York to produce his first collection of short stories, A Native Argosy. He married and sailed to France, where he socialized with Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and James Joyce in Paris. During a friendly boxing match with Hemingway he knocked out the American novelist, and as a result their friendship was never the same. Callaghan was heavily influenced by American naturalist literature, apparent in such novels as It’s Never Over (1930) and A Broken Journey (1932). His most commercially popular book came in 1934 with Such is My Beloved. He followed with They Shall Inherit the Earth (1935), Now That April’s Here and Other Stories (1936) and More Joy in Heaven (1937). These books, with their Christian theological themes, complex characterizations, and ambiguous treatment of love, established Callaghan as an important figure in North American literary circles.
Morley Callaghan was born in Toronto in 1903 to Roman-Catholic parents. He attended St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto from 1921-5. He earned a general arts degree by taking classes across a multiplicity of disciplines. He also participated in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities and worked part-time for the Toronto Star Weekly where he met Ernest Hemingway, who became an early mentor. Although he completed a law degree in 1928, Callaghan’s first love was writing.
I have considered the problematic relationship between fiction andfaith in this post-Christian era with particular reference to Hugh MacLennanand Morley Callaghan, the two most important Canadian novelists of thefirst half of this century...
In tracing the development of Callaghan's faith through his fiction, I havesuggested that there is a constant, unresolved tension between his religiousvision and his fidelity to existential realism. Callaghan always had a profoundcommitment to portraying the mysterious and sometimes "rotten" stuff ofhuman existence...