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 [...]

The Fall and Degeneration of Man in “Gulliver’s Travels”

By |2019-01-24T12:02:31-05:00January 23rd, 2019|Categories: Fiction, Great Books, Paul Krause|

Gulliver’s Travels is a work that defends beauty, passion, and the sacred; it is an indictment against the prevailing spirit of Enlightenment philosophy and utopianism, an esoteric defense of Christianity against its Enlightenment critics, and a prophetic vision into the future degeneration of humanity… On October 28, 1726, the book known today as Gulliver’s Travels was [...]

The Humanity of Huck Finn

By |2019-01-10T15:36:43-05:00January 9th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christine Norvell, Fiction, Literature, Mark Twain, Senior Contributors, Virtue, Wisdom|

Huckleberry Finn is no hero, though he does symbolize the American conscience at the time Mark Twain wrote, or at least the conscience Twain hoped for. Yes, Huckleberry Finn is a coming-of-age tale and a social criticism and satire, but it also asks crucial questions: Who actually changes? What type of American will change? Huckleberry [...]

The Best Books I Read This Past Year

By |2019-01-08T11:48:03-05:00January 8th, 2019|Categories: Books, Culture, Fiction, Literature|

Every year, reading becomes a new and fresh experience. Each new volume offers us the opportunity to grow in knowledge, enjoyment, and (hopefully) empathy. As we age, different sorts of books offer different remedies for what ails us: an escape from trouble, perhaps, or a respite from the daily grind. We might crave the [...]

The Eve of the Eve: A Christmas Story

By |2018-12-22T22:56:34-05:00December 23rd, 2018|Categories: Christmas, Culture, Fiction, Joseph Mussomeli, Senior Contributors|

It was still dark outside when the boy awakened and his thoughts immediately turned to the gifts that would be awaiting him under the tree downstairs. This year, like every other year he could recall, the tree was a little too tall for the ceiling and leaned precariously toward the fireplace opening. In his [...]

An Annunciation on the Battlefield

By |2018-12-01T00:26:51-05:00December 1st, 2018|Categories: Beauty, Books, Christianity, Classics, Fiction, Literature, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors, War|

It is the encounter with beauty, all-consuming beauty, the infinite, which directs the human soul back to God. The sky calls us up; the earth drags us down... On December 2, 1805, the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte achieved his most spectacular victory at the Battle of Austerlitz against an allied army of Russians and Austrians. [...]

Jane Austen Forever!

By |2018-11-28T21:34:42-05:00November 28th, 2018|Categories: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Books, Classics, Culture, Education, Fiction, Jane Austen, Literature, Television|

Pick up a Jane Austen novel, and you will discover that behind the long gowns and country dances, people in her era struggled with the same weaknesses we struggle with today. Well-written stories like Austen’s bring to life the human drama that is played out in every age, in every heart… I’ve been reading [...]