Fiction

Tolkien’s “The Children of Húrin”

By |2019-08-23T11:55:02-05:00August 22nd, 2019|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Fiction, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature, Senior Contributors, Tolkien Series|

How does one account for J.R.R. Tolkien’s seeming ability to live inside of mythology? He read it, he translated it, and he absorbed it. After all these grand things, he rewrote it. Yet, no matter how deeply he delved into the profound and pervasive paganisms of pre-Christian cultures, he never lost his ability to [...]

The Batman and Tolkien’s Batman

By |2019-08-01T23:45:27-05:00August 1st, 2019|Categories: Christian Humanism, Dwight Longenecker, Fiction, Heroism, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature, Senior Contributors, Superheroes|

While we continue to marvel at the steady stream of superheroes being pumped out in comics and movies, I am more interested in ordinary heroes. The ordinary hero is the man or woman behind the scenes. They are the ones who play the steady, supporting role. Natural second fiddles, they are the loyal retainers [...]

“The Pilgrim’s Regress”: The Allegory of C.S. Lewis’ Conversion

By |2019-08-02T11:41:05-05:00July 29th, 2019|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, C.S. Lewis, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Fiction, Inklings, Literature, Senior Contributors|

In “The Pilgrim’s Regress,” C.S. Lewis fictionally traces his own intellectual and faith journey. As Lewis wrote ten years after the book’s first publication, “All good allegory exists not to hide but to reveal: to make the inner world more palpable by giving it an (imagined) concrete embodiment.” During the thirty-one years that C.S. [...]

Land as Literary Character

By |2019-07-24T22:30:22-05:00July 24th, 2019|Categories: Character, Christine Norvell, Fiction, Literature, Nature, Senior Contributors|

Relationship is integral to any story, and more so as the environment itself interacts with a clearly human personality. Willa Cather’s land can reflect the many paradoxes within us to show us more of ourselves, all the greater reason to see her settings as characters of value, power, and influence. In the world of [...]

Philip K. Dick’s “The Pre-Persons”: Abortion & Dystopia

By |2019-07-26T10:47:35-05:00July 20th, 2019|Categories: Abortion, Culture, Fiction, Literature, Modernity|

Secular liberals can only celebrate Philip K. Dick’s writing by filtering and censoring it, for among other things, it includes an unambiguous, carefully argued, and strident attack upon the central liberal sacrament—abortion. Philip K. Dick From Amazon’s The Man In The High Castle to the Hollywood films like Blade Runner and Minority [...]

“Dandelion Wine”: Awakening to the World

By |2019-07-15T22:52:09-05:00July 15th, 2019|Categories: Beauty, Books, Christine Norvell, Fiction, Literature, Nature, Ray Bradbury, Senior Contributors|

Dandelion Wine is a summer read if ever there was one. I know quite a few Ray Bradbury lovers who read it as a summer ritual, and for good reason. From the first moments when we meet Douglas Spaulding, we know his life is one of imagination and adventure. In Dandelion Wine, Doug is [...]

A Day of Reckoning: Glenn Arbery’s “Bearings and Distances”

By |2019-05-16T22:06:48-05:00May 16th, 2019|Categories: Books, Culture, Fiction, Glenn Arbery, Imagination, Literature, South|

Glenn Arbery’s “Bearings and Distances” shuttles back and forth between two eras, weaving, careening, towards an inexorable revelation of truth. The plot is rich and complex, and its world is both fertile and elusive in meaning, expanding through time and culture, expressing a deeply Catholic view of the cosmos. Bearings and Distances, by Glenn [...]

Literary Realism Redux

By |2019-04-30T23:16:08-05:00April 30th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Fiction, Glenn Arbery, Literature, Senior Contributors, Wyoming Catholic College|

Several weeks ago, I wrote down some of my reservations about the fantasy works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, both of whom I praised. I anticipated at the time that my reservations would anger someone—but who knew that it would be my redoubtable friend Joseph Pearce, who has given such insightful attention to [...]

Parable, Fable, and Allegory

By |2019-04-25T23:38:27-05:00April 25th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christine Norvell, Culture, Fiction, Imagination, Senior Contributors|

Each one is a tool of influence. Parable often teaches truth or morals through comparison. Whether translated as the Greek “beside” or the Hebrew “meshalim,” known as a riddle of “mysterious speech,” the parable is always couched in story or the routine of life. Fable implements story in the same way with a variation [...]

Tolkien, Lewis, and the Need for Literary Realism

By |2019-04-06T22:40:38-05:00April 6th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Fiction, Glenn Arbery, Literature, Senior Contributors, Wisdom, Wyoming Catholic College|

J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis tempt us to escape to a self-evidently numinous world rather than to seek out the texture of wonder in this one. What we need is an unsparing literary realism—literature without recourse to fantasy, literature in which talking trees do not come to the rescue. It’s quiet at Wyoming Catholic [...]

Truth in Story: Lois Lowry and “Gathering Blue”

By |2019-01-24T22:13:56-05:00January 24th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christianity, Christine Norvell, Fiction, Literature, Senior Contributors, Truth|

Tales and stories are an elementary wonder because they touch the nerve of the ancient instinct of astonishment. Wonder and astonishment can prepare our minds and hearts to receive truth just as soil receives seed; one such truth-bearer is Lois Lowry’s Gathering Blue… According to G.K. Chesterton, tales and stories are an elementary wonder because they [...]