“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 [...]

Baseball and the Cure of Souls

By |2019-04-03T22:51:54-05:00April 3rd, 2019|

Baseball has an essence that mirrors the heavenly city and the precision of creation better than other sports. Its calmer nature also embodies that sense of tranquility which the restless heart seeks. The baseball season has arrived. America’s pastime sport returns, like Persephone from her bondage in Hades, to signal the return to life [...]

“Evening Flight”

By |2019-04-03T14:08:24-05:00April 3rd, 2019|

The sun appeared to linger long and low Upon the western sea of clouds that day, And for a moment draw the soul away To sacred places only spirits know— Where from some source of beauty, seem to flow Eternal mysteries of things unseen, That somehow we can briefly glimpse between This light, and [...]

Paul Hindemith’s “Life of Mary”

By |2019-04-01T11:25:30-05:00March 30th, 2019|

Despite all its intellectual rigor, Paul Hindemith’s Life of Mary is a very approachable piece of twentieth-century vocal music. I can think of no other work that treats the totality of Mary’s life, including episodes that even the most devout rarely think about. A giant among 20th-century composers, Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) went from an [...]

“Ballade of Unintended Consequences”

By |2019-03-30T16:14:30-05:00March 30th, 2019|

They wanted the whole world to be A fairer place for big and small; In line with this, embraced Modernity And even when the novelty began to pall – To give them credit – never ceased to call For equal outcomes, and to bat Away the critics of ‘one size fits all’; It wasn’t [...]

“Hell or High Water”: Robin Hood in West Texas

By |2019-03-30T10:24:08-05:00March 29th, 2019|

What interests me about Hell or High Water are the moral dilemmas. In addition to its being a smart heist movie and an up-to-date Western, it is also a Robin Hood story. The main characters might be robbing banks illegally but they’re stealing from the bankers who first robbed their family legally. The 2016 [...]

Hostages to Fortune

By |2019-03-29T00:06:58-05:00March 28th, 2019|

I regretted having children because children fundamentally altered my entire life in a way I never expected they would. For literally the first time in my life I was afraid of the future and unsure of what would happen next. I had willfully, foolishly, unthinkingly, given hostages to fortune. It was just the two [...]

Lessons in Speaking from Longinus

By |2019-03-28T14:20:30-05:00March 27th, 2019|

Men seem to admire “that which is astounding” when they hear someone speak. Some would say our modern news cycles seek to either find or twist facts to make them astounding, but in On the Sublime, Longinus examines the power of persuasion along with language’s sublimity. Effective persuasion is often fueled by passion which [...]

C.S. Lewis and the Truth of Balder

By |2019-03-22T14:11:46-05:00March 22nd, 2019|

C.S. Lewis’ famous conversation with Hugo Dyson and J.R.R. Tolkien, allowed him, for the first time in his life, to see that Christianity expresses not just myth, but true myth, something profoundly real, “a myth working on us in the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it really happened.” [...]

“Ballade of Self-Promotion”

By |2019-03-22T15:49:07-05:00March 22nd, 2019|

She is the subject of her Art, Her history is dark and drear, Her brutalistic installations chart Her violent upbringing; year by year They recapitulate events severe; At every autobiographic stage They wring a sympathetic tear; She is The Flower of the Modern Age. In exhibitions she will play her part, Photographers cannot get near; [...]

Lust, Sex, and War: On the Depravity of the Pagan Gods

By |2019-03-20T18:34:52-05:00March 20th, 2019|

Lust, sex, and war reign supreme in the pagan mythologies; rebellion and war run riot through the rise and fall of the gods. The pagan must ask himself in light of these stories: If imitation of the gods is what leads to virtuous character, is virtue attainable at all? The decline of Christianity has [...]

Michelangelo’s Last “Pieta”

By |2019-03-17T14:44:20-05:00March 17th, 2019|

The Florentine Pieta was not commissioned. Instead, Michelangelo intended it for his own tomb. He worked on the sculpture in his spare time, late into the night with a candle fixed to his hat for light. Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Dwight Longenecker as he considers [...]