Nayeli Riano

About Nayeli Riano

Nayeli Riano is a freelance writer of politics, theology, and arts. She holds degrees from the University of St. Andrews, where she completed her Masters degree in Intellectual History, and from the University of Pennsylvania, where she received her BA in English and French Studies. Apart from The Imaginative Conservative, her work has been featured on National Review Online, The American Conservative, The American Interest, and the UK online journal Transpositions. Follow her on twitter@NayeliLRiano.

Secular Iconoclasm and the Peasants’ Indignation

By |2020-06-30T18:19:29-05:00June 30th, 2020|Categories: Civil Society, Conservatism, Politics, Revolution, Secularism|

Defacing public monuments, streets, churches, and administrative buildings constitutes an act of secular iconoclasm that should be taken seriously—not because the things destroyed possess the sanctity of real icons, but because the spirit in which these places and things are being destroyed conveys a hatred on the part of the rioters towards their own [...]

Ledwidge, Spenser, and Pastoral Poetry

By |2020-06-23T18:05:22-05:00June 23rd, 2020|Categories: Literature, Nature, Poetry|

The arrival of the summer months signals joy for many, and their departure is a reminder of another year gone by. Pastoral poetry, however, is special because it allows us to contemplate our “ripening of age” and to view it along the course of nature as a process filled with beauty—both in its blossoming [...]

“Notes from Underground” in Lockdown and Isolation

By |2020-06-10T22:57:21-05:00June 10th, 2020|Categories: Books, Civil Society, Coronavirus, Fiction, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Imagination, Literature|

The fear of the coronavirus allows our governing bodies to keep us in isolation and the consequences of our permitting this act are more pernicious than we can imagine. Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Notes from Underground” has never appeared less fictional. And why are you so firmly, so triumphantly, convinced that only the normal and the [...]

Machiavelli’s “Prince” & Tomasi di Lampedusa’s “The Leopard”

By |2020-05-28T14:04:16-05:00May 26th, 2020|Categories: Books, Government, History, Imagination, Revolution, Western Civilization|

Tomasi di Lampedusa’s “The Leopard” provides invaluable insight into 19th-century Italian history while creating a compelling story, allowing readers to relive an unfamiliar age of revolution and a fading nobility. Time under quarantine has been an excuse to revisit a personal favorite book and to explore its history, controversy, and literary value. I can [...]

Modernism, Formed or Fleeting?

By |2020-05-12T15:49:02-05:00May 12th, 2020|Categories: Culture, History, Literature, Modernity, Poetry, T.S. Eliot, Tradition, Western Civilization|

The dual definition of “modern”—something that is current and something that is done in a certain manner—touches on a problem that is at the heart of the literary and artistic movement of the early twentieth century known as “Modernism”: Is Modernism something that was meant to represent the “just now” or is it something [...]

Who Is Queen Mab?

By |2020-04-22T18:25:36-05:00April 22nd, 2020|Categories: Books, Fiction, Imagination, Literature, William Shakespeare|

In his collection of essays, Soliloquies in England, George Santayana dedicated some pages to a piece titled “Queen Mab” presumably after the enigmatic faery who is mentioned by Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet.[1] The essay turns into an analysis of British literature, which I take to mean that Santayana saw some form of greater [...]

George Santayana and the Ironies of Liberalism

By |2020-04-06T12:07:25-05:00April 7th, 2020|Categories: Conservatism, Liberalism, Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Politics|

The question—is liberalism a self-defeating enterprise?—has gained traction over the last couple of years. Even as far back as 1921, the Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana dedicated time to this topic in the form of an essay he titled “The Irony of Liberalism.” In this brief work, Santayana explored prevalent themes that emerged throughout liberalism’s [...]

Art and Patriotism in Japanese-American Internment Camps

By |2020-03-11T03:08:59-05:00March 10th, 2020|Categories: Art, Culture, History, World War II|

During the Japanese-American internment of 1942-1946, there arose a style of art that drew from elements and techniques of Western and traditional Japanese forms. Through a closer look at these works of art, Japanese-American internment art can serve to reflect the internees’ cultural, social, and political resilience while also allowing us to study the [...]

T.S. Eliot and Reconversion on Ash Wednesday

By |2020-02-25T22:13:35-06:00February 25th, 2020|Categories: Ash Wednesday, Christianity, Faith, Imagination, Literature, Poetry, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot’s “Ash-Wednesday” helps us to consider our earthly transience, just as Ash Wednesday reminds us of this same fact that our time on earth is passing. Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita . . . There is something telling about man’s tendency to view his life as a journey, for journeys convey [...]

Henri Lefebvre and the Urban Revolution

By |2020-02-21T11:39:24-06:00February 21st, 2020|Categories: Capitalism, Conservatism, Economics, Philosophy|

A sociologist born at the turn of the twentieth century, Henri Lefebvre is a figure whose writings shed light on questions pertaining to rural life versus urban life, theories of the state, modernity, and the role of social space and markets in cities. Beyond sociology, he is considered an important figure in both urban [...]

The Art of Beethoven: Between Romantic and Classical

By |2020-03-31T21:05:16-05:00February 12th, 2020|Categories: Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music|

Beethoven’s music would become the score for the Romantic era, as many of its champions loved how it conveyed the story of the individual, free man. Oddly enough, however, Beethoven was anything but a Romantic, nor was he a revolutionist or a democrat. There are many things that have been said about Beethoven and his [...]

Liszt and Lamartine: “Apparitions”

By |2020-01-28T15:50:50-06:00January 28th, 2020|Categories: Art, Culture, Language, Music, Poetry|

Words are only one level at which we can understand the world. Franz Liszt used sounds, melodies, and changes to convey the religious experience of Alphonse de Lamartine’s poem “Apparitions.” That is the joy of listening to classical music: It is an exercise in understanding the mind of a genius on a deeper level, [...]

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