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 [...]

Robert Frost: The Conversationalist as Poet

By |2020-01-28T15:45:37-06:00January 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, [...]

Who Was T.S. Eliot’s True Love?

By |2020-01-25T20:12:57-06:00January 25th, 2020|Categories: Character, History, Imagination, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Love, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot’s correspondence with Emily Hale was recently opened, having been kept in Princeton archives until fifty years after Miss Hale’s death. Also opened was Eliot’s response to the archives. It seemed that the poet’s ghost had returned for one last lover’s quarrel with the ghost of his first love, over a century after [...]

“Christos”

By |2020-01-25T23:46:01-06:00January 25th, 2020|Categories: Imagination, Literature, Poetry|

To the rocks And to the open trees, The wandering insects about their work, The circling birds and covering grasses, To the mountains tuned in their summit, And the flowers searching among new scents … […]

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 [...]

Can We Save Our Dying English Departments?

By |2020-01-17T15:07:00-06:00January 16th, 2020|Categories: David Deavel, Education, Humanities, Literature, Senior Contributors|

We’ve been dumping Shakespeare, Milton, and Eliot in favor of the latest, trendy lesbian poet or controversial rapper. And then we wonder why fewer and fewer college students are majoring in English. What can be done to renew and revive our English departments in this age of political correctness? Q. What’s the difference between [...]

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 [...]

Heroes of Love

By |2020-01-15T15:10:03-06:00January 15th, 2020|Categories: Great Books, Greek Epic Poetry, Heroism, Homer, Iliad, Imagination, Literature, Love, Odyssey, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors|

One of the most defining aspects of our humanity is love. We are creatures of affectivity made in love for love. It is the recognition of this fact that makes Homer so eternal: his heroes are heroes of love. In a cosmos governed by lust, strife, and war, the loving deeds of our Homeric heroes stand [...]

“Ballade of Senseless Sensibility”

By |2020-01-13T11:09:52-06:00January 11th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Imagination, Poetry|

They are the most attentive pair, Their senses constantly on the alert For verbal faux pas; and because they care, They will most violently assert Their right to random remonstrations if their feelings hurt; Providing you behave, they are the friendliest of folk – But always at the ready with opinions pert; Because they [...]