Innocence Lost: Reading Nineteenth-Century American Literature

By |2021-03-02T00:45:37-06:00March 2nd, 2021|Categories: American Republic, Conservatism, Great Books, Herman Melville, Liberalism, Literature, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors|

In the wellspring of classic nineteenth-century American literature, a spectacular theme unites our greatest authors. They, in various ways, challenge the naïve optimism of the “American Adam” and American liberalism. They are deeply conservative in their skepticism toward human and civilizational progress and perfection. It is true that the classics, especially Virgil and Cicero, along [...]

The World Spins On: “The Value of Herman Melville”

By |2019-10-07T12:22:17-05:00October 9th, 2019|Categories: Fiction, Great Books, Herman Melville, Imagination, Literature|

The quest to write the Great American Novel has long been the American literary equivalent of the quest for the Holy Grail. Among the perennial roster of contenders for this legendary status, there is a strong case to be made for “Moby-Dick.” With the generosity of a patient teacher, Geoffrey Stanborn makes that case in “The Value [...]

Herman Melville’s Last Story

By |2020-01-09T10:19:51-06:00May 8th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christine Norvell, Great Books, Herman Melville, Literature|

Some would argue that “Moby Dick,” written at the height of his popularity, is Herman Melville’s best work. But his novella Billy Budd, written in obscurity and published twenty years after his death, just might surpass his early masterpieces for its concise portrayal of humanity. “The author is generally supposed to be dead,” writes poet [...]

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