Imagination

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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 correspond with we who live in that most confusing and rudderless...
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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 correspond with we who live in that most confusing and rudderless...
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Author's Note: I wish to dedicate this essay to a writer of books whose greatness is at once utterly at home in America and quite without spatio-temporal boundaries, Marilynne Robinson, who produces in reality the images I...
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"Technique has penetrated the deepest recesses of the human being. The machine tends not only to create a new human environment, but also to modify man's very essence…. He must adapt himself, as though the world were new, to a universe for which he was...
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Though land and setting seem rarely featured in Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark, they do comprise an unusual role, one that grows towards the past instead of the future. Cather...
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The imagination invests the world with that richness and resonance which makes it an attractive dwelling for the intellect. But the imagination is indispensable to action as well. For the real world is worth our exertion only when the visionary imagination sets the scene for action...
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Last week a student asked me, “What is creativity?” I was unsure how to respond. I felt like the speaker from Leaves of Grass musing about a child, who, fetching a handful of grass, asks him what the...
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Storytelling shaped Washington Irving and his life as much as he shaped it. Irving describes how from boyhood he rambled about the countryside and “made myself familiar with all its places famous in history or fable. I knew...
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The whole scene expressed the vain struggle of the gilded vanities of this world, when opposed to age, infirmity, sorrow, and death... There is a certain church in the city of New York which I have always...

Russell and Annette Kirk with the author Driving across the snowy landscape of Michigan the day after Christmas in 1973, I was somewhat apprehensive. I had been invited to take part in the first seminar...
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Let us picture a woman thrown into a dungeon. There she bears and rears a son. He grows up seeing nothing but the dungeon walls, the straw on the floor, and a little patch of the sky seen...
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Applying imagination to politics can lead to political wish-fulfillment fantasies or to the enlivening of real communities from within... The topic "Politics and the Imagination" is at once larger and more restricted than "Politics and the Arts,"...
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Although modernity contains other and contrasting elements, it may be permissible to call the new type of person simply "modern man." His demeanor is very different from that of premodern man. Far from discounting the opportunities of a worldly existence, this person entertains great expectations... Today’s...

Our world drowns in information, facts, bites, noise, opinions, and other particulars. Yet, even the best of our students have the most difficult time connecting one thing to another. It is myth that allows us to transcend the immediate and the ephemeral...