The Catholic Culture Podcast: 136 – The Novel Against Self-Destruction

Jun 30, 2022

Joshua Hren returns to discuss his debut
novel, Infinite Regress.

“In the years since his graduation from St. Marquis University,
Blake Yourrick has fled his family and Milwaukee, rotating from job
to dead-end job—working the Bakken oilfields in Dakota and even
signing on as the night caretaker of a rural abbey graveyard. Deep
in student debt and estranged from his misanthropic, alcoholic
father, Blake is haunted by the memory of his mother’s death—and by
his relationship with his college mentor, a defrocked priest named
Theo Hape, who is known for his adventurous theological ideas as
well as for the uncanny, seductive power he wields
over his students. When Hape, learning of his former charge’s
desperate straits, proposes a perverse exchange of services, Blake
finds himself tempted to test the professor’s radical theories in
real life. What follows is a metaphysical duel reminiscent of the
novels of Dostoevsky and Bernanos, pitting a modern-day anti-Christ
against a reckless but resilient young man and his well-meaning,
dysfunctional kin.” (Publisher’s description)

The book is particularly timely in its philosophical themes, as
it touches on the subject of metaphysical deconstruction used as
cover for sexual grooming in the world of education.

Thomas and Joshua discuss the novel’s defrocked Jesuit villain,
the protagonists’ escape from a philosophy which makes good
dependent on evil and so eliminates the boundaries between the two,
the book’s themes of monetary and metaphysical debt, its comic
tone, and Hren’s unusual associative prose style.


Joshua Hren, Infinite Regress

Wiseblood Books

Master in Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of St.

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