Great Books

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Author's Introduction: Imagine if Homer, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, and the other great poets of ancient Greece, Rome, and the Middle Ages had been given the gift, not only to peer into the twenty-first century, but to...
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What is a Book? It is a special kind of body made to be inhabited by a curious kind of frozen but fusible soul, a body fit to mediate its own peculiar life… It is our tradition that the...
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There is dignity and value in work. You who live in America once knew this. You did not think lesser of a man because he got his hands dirty with honest toil. To the contrary, you thought it a grand thing to build and to create. But...
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Ignorance of the great works of music is as bad, for someone who seeks to be educated in Western culture, as ignorance of Dante and Shakespeare in literature, and Plato and Aristotle in philosophy... Today’s offering in our Timeless...
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Who can save us amid our current intellectual messiness? I would offer Aquinas. His philosophy doesn’t get as much attention as other philosophers, but it was he who synthesized the ancient Greek into a unified Western philosophical system that will stand the test of time...
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I have read your books, and I have discovered that many of you believe that people are products of their environment. How can you believe such things, and yet deny altogether the influence of the past? Nature may give us robust health or leave us scarred, but her traces...
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Odysseus has the art we need. I think he came by it through a rare combination of acutely honed cleverness and deep-souled imagination; we can acquire it by education. This art, the art of discovering significance, is the art of interpretation...
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Blaise Pascal’s argument in favor of Christianity was simple: Faith is so perceptible, even so palpable, to the intuition that man needs only to be in the world to realize that there must be more. Christianity has a direct connection to the heart; as Pascal said, “the heart has its...
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“First attend to the adjustment of your own soul, particularly the regulative liberal learning of your intellect, then project your internal economy on the world as social and political justice. The other way around is headless.”  – Eva...
Gulliver's Travels
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Gulliver’s Travels is a work that defends beauty, passion, and the sacred; it is an indictment against the prevailing spirit of Enlightenment philosophy and utopianism, an esoteric defense of Christianity against its Enlightenment critics, and a prophetic vision into the future degeneration of humanity...
Eva Brann

From time to time, there is the need for sentinels of classical learning, individuals who, if one is fortunate to be around them, beckon the meandering intellect back to the pursuit of the truth, the discovery of the good, and the conservation of the beautiful. In the...
Odysseus
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The epithet “much-enduring” is often associated with moments when we see the interplay between Odysseus’ self-knowledge and his ability to use his experience to judge and adapt himself to circumstances; between his enduring self and purpose, and the many-ness of his schemes and courses of action...
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Oh, dear sons of the twenty-first century, do not balk at those who call you to live up to your father’s reputation. Do not define yourself against him, as so many of your age have done. If you do, you will dash yourselves on the rocks and miss out...
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T.S. Eliot reminds us that the answers to our soul’s depravity are all around us, in our collective culture—the books we read, the places we inhabit, the music we listen to—but also that culture can only survive if we remember it and keep it alive... Today’s offering in...