Literature

St. Augustine and J.R.R. Tolkien

By |2019-10-14T10:03:55-05:00October 13th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature, Myth, Senior Contributors, St. Augustine, StAR, Timeless Essays|

As with St. Augustine as the barbarians tore through Rome’s gate on August 24, 410, at midnight, J.R.R. Tolkien looked out over a ruined world: a world on one side controlled by ideologues, and, consequently, a world of the Gulag, the Holocaust camps, the Killing fields, and total war; on the other: a world [...]

Listening to “Little Gidding”

By |2019-10-12T15:53:55-05:00October 12th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Four Quartets Series, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

In “Little Gidding,” T.S. Eliot captures an experience that lodges his reader into a recurring theme of time and memory, history and destiny; the poem’s lines are among the finest and most moving in Eliot’s oeuvre. Here there is motion and emotion, intention and commitment. All is driven and motivated by love. It would [...]

The Death of Eros & the Tragedy of Love in “Antony and Cleopatra”

By |2019-10-11T12:59:16-05:00October 10th, 2019|Categories: Imagination, Literature, Love, Paul Krause, Politics, Senior Contributors, William Shakespeare|

Antony and Cleopatra is one of the most mature of William Shakespeare’s tragedies. As such, it is arguably one of his finest and deepest works. Pride, love, and the Fall all factor into the play as much as does the contest between temporal politics and eternal love. Antony and Cleopatra are passionate and energetic [...]

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 [...]

How Edgar Allan Poe Ensured That Gothic Stories Will Never Die

By |2019-10-06T22:47:52-05:00October 6th, 2019|Categories: Christine Norvell, Edgar Allan Poe, Fiction, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors|

At the same time that writers were bringing depth of character to the gothic setting in the 19th century, Edgar Allan Poe revitalized the genre in mid-century America. Suddenly Tales of Horror had a distinctly American flair and a surprising psychological depth. This nuance captivated readers then and still does today. Two hundred and [...]

Revisiting “The Return of the King”

By |2019-10-05T22:21:17-05:00October 5th, 2019|Categories: Books, Culture, Film, J.R.R. Tolkien, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Senior Contributors, Uncategorized|

I’ve just completed the sixteen-hour marathon, run over three consecutive Tuesday evenings at a friend’s house, watching all three extended editions of Peter Jackson’s movie magnum opus, The Lord of the Rings. I’ve already shared my impressions of watching The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers for the first time in possibly [...]

The Wonder of G.K. Chesterton

By |2019-10-02T15:12:49-05:00October 2nd, 2019|Categories: Christianity, G.K. Chesterton, Imagination, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Senior Contributors, StAR|

What makes Gilbert Keith Chesterton so wonderful is that he is full of wonder. He doesn’t merely see trees, or clouds or sky; he sees glorious creatures charged with what Gerard Manley Hopkins called the grandeur of God. He sees that seeing is itself a miracle. “Give me miraculous eyes to see my eyes,” he [...]

The Earliest Days of the Inklings

By |2019-09-30T23:36:32-05:00September 30th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, C.S. Lewis, Imagination, Inklings, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature, Senior Contributors|

J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis talked, dined, drank, and walked together. And then, other friendships began to form around this critical one. Some arrived by chance, some by circumstance, and others by design. Eventually, they adopted a name: “The Inklings.” With the friendship of Tolkien and Lewis having grown into something almost preternaturally solid, [...]

A Return to Normalcy? George Babbitt’s America

By |2019-09-30T23:47:57-05:00September 29th, 2019|Categories: Books, Civil Society, Imagination, Literature, Mark Malvasi, Senior Contributors|

For Sinclair Lewis, ”Babbitt” was a vehicle through which to explore and critique American society during the 1920s. The eponymous hero of the novel finds himself trapped in a conflict between the man he is and the man he wants to be, between the demands of society and the desires of the heart. Lewis sought [...]

Revisiting “The Fellowship of the Ring”

By |2019-10-04T12:56:45-05:00September 28th, 2019|Categories: Books, Culture, Film, J.R.R. Tolkien, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Senior Contributors|

As I pondered the artistic license that Peter Jackson had granted himself in one of the most important scenes from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring, I realized that a film adaptation of a literary work should not be expected to follow the literal letter of the original but should seek faithfully to [...]

Listening to “Dry Salvages”

By |2019-09-27T23:33:09-05:00September 27th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Dwight Eisenhower, Dwight Longenecker, Four Quartets Series, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

In “Dry Salvages,” T.S. Eliot moves into a new confidence and clarity. The arcane symbolism begins to evaporate. The artificial voices are silenced and we are at last face to face with the poet himself, and a new level of emotional interaction is experienced. We sense a new vulnerability and with the new honesty [...]

Horace’s Humanity

By |2019-09-27T14:16:42-05:00September 27th, 2019|Categories: Christine Norvell, Imagination, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors|

Like songs today, Horace’s odes were about anyone and anything that struck the poet’s fancy. Some, for instance, praise his patron, while others eviscerate noted women or men for their immoral and feckless behavior. His subjects appear innumerable, but they do share one thing—the poet’s desire to be known. Son of a former slave, [...]