Defending the Permanent Things

By |2020-05-20T16:04:50-05:00May 20th, 2020|Categories: Books, Classical Education, Culture, Education, Language, Liberal Learning|

Apologists for Greek and Latin have lately dwindled. Yet in the past several years there have been some notable attempts to save classical education from utter extinction—one of which is Tracy Lee Simmons’ “Climbing Parnassus.” Climbing Parnassus: A New Apologia for Greek and Latin, by Tracy Lee Simmons (290 pages, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2007) [...]

University Administration and the English Language

By |2020-05-06T09:14:17-05:00May 6th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Education, George Orwell, Language, Modernity|

Learning and language are intimately related. People speak well—clearly, concretely, and accurately—about the things they know, and poorly when they pontificate about things they don’t. Broadly-educated people speak well about many things; they are dilettantes rather than pedants, the two kinds of intellectual according to Miguel de Unamuno. Primo Levi, a professional chemist as [...]

Learning Latin the Medieval Way

By |2020-03-21T17:27:41-05:00March 20th, 2020|Categories: Classical Education, Culture, Education, Language, Western Tradition|

Latin, as the primary historical language of erudition and learning in the West, is the sole gateway into the halls of Western thought and humanistic learning. Without the use of this language, we can hardly know ourselves, and certainly not the road that brought us to the modern day. “To read Latin and Greek [...]

On Naming

By |2020-02-22T18:51:51-06:00February 29th, 2020|Categories: Christian Living, Christianity, Imagination, Language|

To cast off our name is to cast off who we are. By embracing a name, crying out to it, we somehow do the opposite. We embed it into ourselves. With every repetition of the Sacred Name, we change the entire cosmos, and we change ourselves. “As the most effective prayer the Church Fathers use [...]

Robert Frost: The Conversationalist as Poet

By |2020-03-25T11:22:45-05:00January 28th, 2020|Categories: Language, Literature, Peter Stanlis, Poetry, Robert Frost|

Robert Frost’s theory goes to the heart of his entire aesthetic philosophy and conception of art, and is ultimately a vital part of his great skill and power both as a conversationalist and poet, and in his metaphorical habits of thought as a philosophical dualist: “I was poetry that talked.” From around 1913 until [...]

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, [...]

Joseph Priestly, School Lessons, and Liberty in Grammar

By |2020-01-18T11:12:13-06:00January 17th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Education, Language, Western Civilization, Writing|

I did not become an English professor because of my early public education—but despite it. The standards advocated in the public schools pose a danger to our English-speaking world, and losing our language, or our ability to remake it, is indistinguishable from the diminishment of our Western civilization. Like most American children who attended [...]

In Defense of Archaisms

By |2019-09-14T23:01:03-05:00September 14th, 2019|Categories: Conservatism, Joseph Pearce, Language, Senior Contributors|

Archaisms renew the language; they are the means by which language is renovated and restored to its original splendor. It is the old things that make all things new. The “coming peril” was not Bolshevism, G.K. Chesterton said in 1927, only ten years after the Bolshevik Revolution, it was “standardization by a low standard.” For [...]

Unity in Difference: Language-Learning & God’s Kingdom

By |2019-08-10T22:07:13-05:00August 10th, 2019|Categories: Charity, Christianity, Culture, Education, Language, Literature|

Learning another language helps me to not only understand, but to better experience first-hand how another person thinks, feels, and interacts with the world; this creates the possibility for empathy, fellow-feeling, and ultimately, charity. Having taught high-school Spanish for the first time last fall, I have been wondering why it is that we teach [...]

Are We Apart From or A Part of Nature?

By |2020-04-02T23:58:47-05:00July 1st, 2019|Categories: George Stanciu, Intelligence, Language, Nature, Science, Senior Contributors|

Our capacity to grasp universals and natural laws sets us apart from the other animals, and, in that sense, we are apart from nature. Human beings in some mysterious way transcend space and time; through science, philosophy, and art, we rise above nature. We live in time, yet touch the timeless. Several years ago, [...]

The Madness of Jacques Derrida

By |2019-04-05T16:22:57-05:00April 1st, 2019|Categories: Books, Language, Philosophy|

In Of Grammatology, Jacques Derrida’s prose functions as a deadly siren call; he appeals to the contradictions of language, summoning the reader to see in his thought a new system of thought never before brought before man. Just as with the Homeric sirens, however, following Derrida’s thought leads to destruction. Of Grammatology, by Jacques Derrida [...]

Giving Good Things a Bad Name

By |2019-07-30T14:46:31-05:00January 27th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Donald Trump, History, Joseph Mussomeli, Language, Rhetoric|

President Trump has an uncanny knack for energizing his supporters and riling his adversaries, but to have a lasting positive impact on American society he will need to find a way to inspire a majority of the American people... Like most first-time visitors, I rambled as if in a trance through the temple complex at [...]

Grammar, Speech, Rhetoric & the Fate of Humanity

By |2019-08-15T14:31:44-05:00October 11th, 2018|Categories: Language, Philosophy, Time, Truth|

Could a fifty-year-old, small book on grammar, speech, and rhetoric by a nearly-forgotten thinker have the power to revolutionize and re-awaken our decadent intellectual life? Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy (1888-1973) might not recognize, in 2018, the America to which he came in 1933, seeking refuge from a Germany that had just elected [...]

Why Reality Ought to Shape Language

By |2018-07-07T00:59:17-05:00June 30th, 2018|Categories: Culture, Flannery O'Connor, Glenn Arbery, Language, Literature, Wyoming Catholic College|

Let reality shape language. Reality in this sense means what is actually the case, which includes what people actually think, not what they are supposed to think. It means an order in which God provides the very grounding of the real… On Sunday afternoon, 34 high school students arrived at Wyoming Catholic College for [...]