Berlioz in Hell: “The Damnation of Faust”

By |2019-04-19T00:50:10-05:00April 18th, 2019|

"You see," Hector Berlioz said to a friend after enumerating his torments. "It's diabolical isn't it? I mean, it's once tragic and grotesque. I said I deserved to go to hell... but I'm there!" Indeed, Hector Berlioz was the archetype of the tortured Romantic soul: a professed atheist who yet felt the pull of his [...]

Is “Unplanned” the “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” of Our Era?

By |2019-04-17T22:08:03-05:00April 17th, 2019|

In the 1850s the nation was roiled by the issue of slavery. There had been major political compromises regarding slavery both in the nation’s founding documents and in subsequent congressional legislation. There was an uneasy peace between the members of Congress from the South, who were determined not only to preserve slavery but to extend [...]

“Widow”

By |2019-04-16T15:49:03-05:00April 17th, 2019|

As I sat beside the fire A chill descended upon the room The remnants of a funeral pyre A guide as if from fabled Tyre. A spirit from beyond the pale Standing in the dim lit night Aged and beautiful seemed her fate Her visage a grim and fearful light. […]

The Real Digital Divide

By |2019-04-16T14:51:41-05:00April 16th, 2019|

There was a time, decades ago when the world was divided between those who were online and offline. Rich people could afford the shiny new gadgets that connected them with everyone. Poor people were left in an analog wasteland on the other side of the digital divide. Social justice warriors of the time demanded [...]

Mass of Notre Dame

By |2019-04-15T23:17:07-05:00April 15th, 2019|

Editor's Note: Guillaume de Machaut's Messe de Notre Dame (Mass of Our Lady) is the earliest complete setting of the Ordinary of the Mass attributable to a single composer and was written for performance at the great Cathedral of Our Lady of Reims in France. The following description comes from the website of the Boston [...]

Music for Holy Week and Easter

By |2019-04-14T21:54:10-05:00April 14th, 2019|

Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Stephen Klugewicz, as he provides musical suggestions for listening during Holy Week and the Easter season. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher Though Handel’s Messiah rightly reigns supreme as the king of music for Easter, there are many other seasonal masterpieces [...]

C.S. Lewis in the Deep South

By |2019-04-13T16:06:57-05:00April 13th, 2019|

With a dream, hard work, and real sacrifice, the good Christian people at Bob Jones University have created something beautiful and real. By creating Narnia onstage, they are captivating the imaginations of a new generation of children and sneaking them past the ever-watchful and increasingly dangerous dragons of secular materialism. When I left Bob [...]

Horseman and Poet

By |2019-04-14T16:26:48-05:00April 13th, 2019|

This morning, I had the privilege of speaking to the entire student body and faculty of Portsmouth Abbey School on the eastern shore of Narragansett Bay, nine or ten miles north of Newport, Rhode Island. My topic was “why literature matters,” but my emphasis was on the way that identity politics ruins both literature [...]

Composers and Wine

By |2019-04-11T22:23:27-05:00April 11th, 2019|

As a wine professional and classically trained musician, I’ve always wanted to know if wine was important in the lives of the great composers. Did Bach, Mozart, or Beethoven enjoy wine daily? Did they keep a cellar? Did they write about the wines they drank? I’ve never been able to find much about the [...]

Young People Are Canaries in the Mine

By |2019-04-11T21:56:17-05:00April 11th, 2019|

If young people do not have a conscious philosophy, the philosophy of relativism is the default. And if relativism is a noxious gas and our young people are the canaries, then it is only a matter of time until our whole society succumbs to the effects of those fumes. Walker Percy once wrote that [...]

What Happens When We Don’t Talk About Virtue?

By |2019-04-10T17:06:47-05:00April 9th, 2019|

Although man is corrupt by nature, he is capable of acquiring virtues. He is born with a number of dangerous instincts, but he is capable of tempering and sometimes even stifling those instincts so that they do not flower into evil… The traditional virtues have all but disappeared from today’s language. Hardly anyone seriously [...]

“The Betrothed”: The Greatest Novel Ever Written?

By |2019-04-09T01:37:15-05:00April 8th, 2019|

Editor’s Note: Exclusive to The Imaginative Conservative, this essay is a chapter on Allessandro Manzoni from Joseph Pearce’s forthcoming book, Literature: What Every Catholic Should Know. If the great masterpiece of Italian literature, Dante’s Divine Comedy, could realistically be acclaimed as the greatest poem ever written, the other great masterpiece of Italian literature, The Betrothed (I [...]

Drama versus Tyranny

By |2019-04-06T22:49:39-05:00April 6th, 2019|

Going to the theatre is not a means of escaping from the “real world” and all its problems; nor is it a purely passive activity, or merely recreational, as in watching a ball game. Or at least it needn’t be, and sometimes shouldn’t be. Great drama—great art—can edify. It can enlighten; it can lift us [...]

William Warburton’s “Via Media” Between Church and State

By |2019-04-05T13:21:54-05:00April 4th, 2019|

William Warburton was a man who, as a theologian living through the debates of the Enlightenment, readapted his role while staying true to its intentions. His was a distinctive voice in these debates because he attacked all sides equally, seeing a paradox between human thought and history. Part of the purpose of intellectual history [...]