Edgar Allan Poe’s Metaphysics: Rediscovering “Eureka”

By |2020-06-24T09:57:31-05:00June 23rd, 2020|Categories: Art, Beauty, Books, Edgar Allan Poe, Imagination, Literature, Reason|

Many details of Edgar Allan Poe’s scientific treatment of the universe in “Eureka” has flaws which we may today see as errors. However, the value of this masterpiece lies primarily in the concise method of fruitful thinking showcased throughout and the broad universal principles of order, beauty, goodness, and creativity which Poe makes intelligible [...]

Poetry as a Form of Life

By |2020-06-19T14:19:42-05:00June 19th, 2020|Categories: Art, Beauty, Culture, Literature, Modernity, Poetry, Virtue, Writing|

The poet’s power is a power to disclose, extol, and communicate the sanctity of experience, protecting it from the ordinary disorientation of the quotidian. The poet calls attention to the ordinary patterns of human life, and is a call to contentment, that rarest of achievements. To attribute to poetry such power is to ascribe [...]

Myth: The Door to the Transcendent

By |2020-06-19T14:09:02-05:00June 19th, 2020|Categories: Art, Culture, Fiction, Modernity, Myth|

Throughout history, cultures have always developed fantastical tales of heroes and gods and monsters and demons. Whether they are tales of the Greek Pantheon, Norse gods, or modern-day superheroes, these tales grasp the imagination and transport the hearer to a different realm full of possibility. The question then arises in my mind: Are these [...]

How Should Christians Approach Beauty?

By |2020-06-06T19:40:13-05:00June 6th, 2020|Categories: Art, Beauty, Books, Christianity, Culture, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors|

Although the beauty of visible and audible things presupposes the use of the senses, beauty’s essence is not sensual but spiritual. It does not distract us from God; on the contrary, it elevates our minds to God. Beauty in the Light of the Redemption, by Dietrich von Hildebrand (92 pages, Hildebrand Project, 2019) The [...]

What Is Beauty?

By |2020-05-07T11:48:52-05:00May 7th, 2020|Categories: Art, Beauty, Culture, Music|

Beauty reconciles opposites: It adheres to objects themselves, and yet it calls to each of us in the depths of our psyche. Only beauty blocks out the outside world and focuses our attention on the work of art. This is, perhaps, its danger. But it is also its power. I will confess that, of [...]

The Plight of the Conservative Artist in a Liberal World

By |2020-04-30T10:26:47-05:00April 29th, 2020|Categories: Art, Culture, Morality, Virtue|

The left has long understood the power of the arts in furthering radical ideas, in a way conservatives have largely failed to grasp in defending theirs. Conservatives with the financial means must increase their support of conservative artists for the sake of a culture in immediate need of the wisdom that a long intellectual, [...]

Modernism vs. Traditionalism in the Art of Female Nudes

By |2020-04-22T10:38:28-05:00April 21st, 2020|Categories: Art, Beauty, Culture|

In two famous paintings of female nudes, we see more than just two differing depictions of the same subject. We see the essential differences between the Traditionalist and Modernist artist: The former looks outward, seeking something higher than himself to contemplate, while the latter looks inward, seeking to assert his own will upon the world. [...]

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 [...]

Discerning the Spirits: Gerhart Niemeyer as Culture Critic

By |2020-02-27T14:33:40-06:00March 4th, 2020|Categories: Art, Christian Humanism, Culture, Gerhart Niemeyer, Gregory Wolfe, Literature, Philosophy|

With Aristotle, Gerhart Niemeyer saw art as being closer to philosophy than to history. Like philosophy, art begins and ends in wonder—it promotes a deeper sense of the mystery that bounds our experience. In the great works of art and literature, the relationship between art and religion is that of a seamless garment, and [...]

The Speechless Image

By |2020-02-27T10:51:51-06:00February 27th, 2020|Categories: Art, Culture, Modernity, Philosophy, Worldview|

What can be said of the way that the abstract work speaks to us—despite the fact that its “content” is untranslatable into words and concepts—is that in its very inability to speak, the work expresses the sense of alienation from a once-familiar and shared artistic life-world. Is the avant-garde then a tragedy or a [...]

Maurice Denis: Keeping the Flame of Artistic Tradition

By |2020-02-20T13:29:28-06:00February 20th, 2020|Categories: Art, Christian Humanism, Culture, History, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors|

Maurice Denis reengaged with myth, symbol, and the human figure at a time when Impressionists had narrowed their focus to mundane subject matter. He showed that there could be an art that incorporated the best insights of abstraction, and the psychological focus of expressionism, but remained wedded to the canons of beauty, harmony, and [...]

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, [...]