The Shire and Pestilence: A Fairytale

By |2020-03-27T17:23:35-05:00March 27th, 2020|Categories: Civil Society, Economics, Fiction, Imagination, Joseph Pearce, Senior Contributors|

Once upon a time there was a beautiful land that called itself the Shire. Its people were happy. They lived and worked on their own small pieces of land, growing their own food and trading the surplus with their neighbours. Many of them were also craftsmen, making and fixing things so that everyone could [...]

David Weimer’s “The City as Metaphor”

By |2020-03-26T10:56:58-05:00March 27th, 2020|Categories: Books, Christine Norvell, Fiction, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors|

David Weimer’s “The City as Metaphor” traces the concept of the city through a century of American fiction, to find that its depiction has a trend. Where once the city was a symbol of hope, a place to seek one’s fortune, where expectant immigrants and starry-eyed farmboys sought success, all has changed. The City [...]

The Haunting of America: Russell Kirk’s Ghostly Fiction

By |2020-03-16T09:18:18-05:00March 16th, 2020|Categories: Ancestral Shadows, Fiction, Imagination, Literature, Mystery, Russell Kirk|

The ghost story was the perfect vehicle for Russell Kirk to extend his own sense of awe-filled wonder to a wider audience. He was keenly aware of the need for romance and mystery in everyday life—and how hard it was to achieve it in America. He created for his readers one of those places [...]

The Mixed Legacy of Christopher Tolkien

By |2020-03-07T11:20:36-06:00March 7th, 2020|Categories: Fiction, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Senior Contributors|

Only the works published during J.R.R. Tolkien’s lifetime should be considered canonical, whereas the unfinished works collected, collated, and edited by Christopher Tolkien should be considered extra-canonical. I would even venture to suggest that Christopher Tolkien’s work should be considered as footnotes to his father’s corpus and not an extension of it. In the [...]

The War of the Gods and Demons

By |2020-02-22T21:48:55-06:00February 22nd, 2020|Categories: Aeneas, Aeneid, Culture, Fiction, Literature, Louis Markos, Religion, Senior Contributors|

Playwright David Lane has graced the Christian community with a formal, blank-verse play that takes up the war of gods and demons. “Dido: The Tragedy of a Woman” retells the tragic tale of the “Aeneid,” but with some dramatic plot twists that allow it to function both as a timeless meditation on the universal issues [...]

“Libertopia”: A Glimpse Into a Progressive Future

By |2020-02-20T13:27:30-06:00February 20th, 2020|Categories: Fiction, Joseph Mussomeli, Liberalism, Progressivism, Senior Contributors|

The great question that perplexed progressives throughout much of the 21st century was how to completely untether us from the past, thereby for the first time in history truly liberating ourselves from our moorings and ushering in a new age of gender freedom, radical equality, and ethnic equity. The Crime His fingers twitched, but [...]

The Land, War, and Knowing Oneself: Willa Cather’s “One of Ours”

By |2020-02-13T10:38:34-06:00February 12th, 2020|Categories: Books, Christine Norvell, Fiction, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors|

After publishing her pioneer trilogy and numerous short stories, Willa Cather turned her writer’s craft to the effects of World War I with One of Ours (1922). A Pulitzer winner, it is often touted as a moving story of war, glory, and martyrdom. Critics responded that it was clichéd, recycling a sappy tale of [...]

Now Residing in the Blessed Realm: Christopher Tolkien

By |2020-02-11T16:45:42-06:00February 11th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Fiction, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

After his father’s death, Christopher Tolkien became the literary heir of all things Middle-earth. He quit his prestigious academic professorship at Oxford and dedicated himself fully to his father’s legacy. We are a better people and a better civilization as a result. On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, the holy host of the Valar (all [...]

Glenn Arbery’s Southern Gothic

By |2020-01-31T22:21:39-06:00January 31st, 2020|Categories: Books, Dwight Longenecker, Fiction, Glenn Arbery, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors|

Glenn Arbery, in “Bearings and Distances,” uses bizarre humor, well-drawn characters, a wider landscape, and unexpected twists to expand the reach of Southern Gothic to critique more widespread contagions of modernity: the superficiality of academia, the hypocrisy of conventional religion, the sour legacy of slavery, the suffocating spiral of promiscuity, and the terror of [...]

Vale, Christopher Tolkien: Middle-Earth Is Indebted to You

By |2020-01-29T16:37:58-06:00January 29th, 2020|Categories: Character, Fiction, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature|

If J.R.R. Tolkien was a Titan, Christopher was Atlas, with the weight of a cosmology on his back. On January 16, in France, and at the age of 95, Christopher John Reuel Tolkien quietly passed away. The headlines of many obituaries and tributes refer to him as the son of J.R.R. Tolkien, which indeed [...]

A Constellation Near and Wide: Thornton Wilder and Sigrid Undset

By |2020-01-21T16:12:27-06:00January 21st, 2020|Categories: Books, Christianity, Fiction, Imagination, Literature|

Though their orbits may differ radically Christian authors are concentric. No one, for example, would confuse Flannery O’Conner with Marilynne Robinson, nor Graham Greene with either one of them. At first their differences (apart from—because of?—the denominational) can be unsettling. But later, when we’ve dwelt upon those differences, a sort of complementarity comes into [...]

The Fickle Moll Flanders

By |2020-01-17T02:51:41-06:00January 16th, 2020|Categories: Books, Character, Christine Norvell, Fiction, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors|

In “The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders,” Daniel Defoe relates the life story of an English adventuress and her exploits, portraying Moll’s life in such authentic detail that the readers can easily see themselves in her position. However, while reading, we must keep in mind a question: Is Moll’s story a [...]

C.S. Lewis’ “That Hideous Strength”

By |2019-12-23T10:44:48-06:00December 22nd, 2019|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, C.S. Lewis, Fiction, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors|

Though it would not see publication until August 1945, C.S. Lewis finished his greatest novel, That Hideous Strength, on Christmas Eve, 1943. In terms of depth, style, and audacity, That Hideous Strength is superior to its closest dystopian rivals, Brave New World and 1984. Its characters are far more realistic, and the setting—far from [...]

A Reflection on the Resurrection of the Superfluous Man

By |2019-12-07T03:11:19-06:00December 6th, 2019|Categories: Character, Fiction, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Imagination, Literature, Russia|

Russia’s nineteenth-century literary luminaries all found themselves wrestling with a particularly Romantic archetype: the Superfluous Man. Bored, confused, dissolute, yet noble and aristocratic, the Superfluous Man experiences tragedy in his reckless pursuit of passion. And I can’t help but wonder whether there is any hope for these characters—both the Russians in the novels, and [...]