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.

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, [...]

Death at Yuletude: T.S. Eliot and “The Journey of the Magi”

By |2019-12-07T10:12:18-06:00December 6th, 2019|Categories: Advent, Christianity, Imagination, Literature, Poetry, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot’s “The Journey of the Magi” is as sincere a conversion poem as one can have it: No fancy light shining down from the heavens or a thunderous call to holiness; just one small event that left a Magus perplexed by a new worldview that was unsettling and strange, for it put into [...]

Globalization and Our National Anomie

By |2019-11-07T12:43:02-06:00November 10th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Civilization, Economics, Modernity, Politics|

Technocrats and cosmopolitan politicians are abetting globalization for political influence, economic gain, and utopian delusion. We might add another incentive: A forgotten or deliberately ignored reverence for civic life. Might a hyper-focus on global advancement be contributing to a growing state of national anomie in liberal democracies worldwide? Globalization has become an ineluctable reality. [...]

John Courtney Murray and the American Civic Psyche

By |2019-08-31T21:06:23-05:00August 31st, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Declaration of Independence, Natural Law|

John Courtney Murray’s “We Hold These Truths” is hardly a tumbleweed of early-twentieth-century Catholic social thought. Though it initially helped to reconcile Catholicism and the religious pluralism that our nation champions, it is also a work that deals deeply with that taboo concept of today: patriotism. Reading John Courtney Murray’s famous work, We Hold [...]