Christine Norvell

Nine Great Christmas Reads

By |2019-12-11T14:00:38-06:00December 11th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christine Norvell, Christmas, Gifts for Imaginative Conservatives, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors|

Christmas reads can be described in pairs it seems—single stories and collections, old and new, for readers young and old. You may have a few of these on your shelves, or you may be looking for gift ideas, a way to invest in the imagination, in the heart, or both. […]

Mortimer Adler & the Context of an Educational Philosophy

By |2019-11-29T12:25:56-06:00November 28th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christine Norvell, Education, Liberal Arts, Mortimer Adler, Senior Contributors|

Robert Woods’s “Mortimer Adler: The Paideia Way of Classical Education” embodies the life and educational philosophy of one education reformer. Though intended to be informative, most chapters are akin to an educator’s devotional, leaving the teacher inspired to be a more thoughtful and focused Christian tutor. Mortimer Adler: The Paideia Way of Classical Education, by [...]

Who Is Alien? Science Fiction Shorts by Updike and Klein

By |2019-11-14T13:01:27-06:00November 14th, 2019|Categories: Christine Norvell, Fiction, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors|

Many authors use imagery to create atmosphere, and in short fiction, that efficient imagery is vital. It may be a particular environment for their characters, but in the case of science fiction, it is also an ample tool of criticism, one in this case that has a lingering bite. […]

The Witches of “Macbeth”: A Weyward Translation

By |2019-10-30T17:42:37-06:00October 30th, 2019|Categories: Christine Norvell, Halloween, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors, Tragedy, William Shakespeare|

Enter three sisters as thunder and lightning clash above. Their very presence inspires both fear and wonder of the unknown. William Shakespeare’s broad audience of commoners, merchants, and nobility all readily acknowledge their supernatural presence, the stuff of superstition. But what was Shakespeare’s intent for their appearance? What are they? Imagine a smoking cauldron [...]

How Edgar Allan Poe Ensured That Gothic Stories Will Never Die

By |2019-10-06T22:47:52-06:00October 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 [...]

Horace’s Humanity

By |2019-09-27T14:16:42-06:00September 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, [...]

The Challenge of Goodness in George MacDonald’s “Sir Gibbie”

By |2019-08-29T11:20:52-06:00August 29th, 2019|Categories: Books, Charity, Christine Norvell, Fiction, Literature, Morality, Senior Contributors, Virtue|

In “Sir Gibbie,” George MacDonald shows us how goodness is not in action only, but also in the doer first. The virtuous person sees truly, judges rightly, and acts. It is the love of God within Gibbie that prompts him to do so. Sometimes you read a book that causes you to marvel at [...]

Emily Dickinson and Drinking All Summer Long

By |2019-08-14T21:49:54-06:00August 14th, 2019|Categories: Christine Norvell, Imagination, Literature, Nature, Poetry, Senior Contributors|

Emily Dickinson creates a simple buffet for our imagination in her nature and summer poems, but most especially in "I taste a liquor never brewed." And rather than being accosted by her “drunkenness,” I embrace her abandoned delight in the essence of summer. I taste a liquor never brewed – From Tankards scooped in Pearl [...]

Land as Literary Character

By |2019-07-24T22:30:22-06:00July 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 [...]

“Dandelion Wine”: Awakening to the World

By |2019-07-15T22:52:09-06:00July 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 [...]

Antigone and Me

By |2019-06-19T14:42:28-06:00June 19th, 2019|Categories: Antigone, Christine Norvell, Great Books, Sophocles|

Antigone was verbally attacked by Creon for her choice, for her womanhood, and for her independent actions. Being able to withstand a barrage of abuse made Antigone’s resilience clear. My life is in no way a parallel of Antigone’s, yet thousands of years later, the virtues that rise within us by God’s grace and [...]

The Sound of a Summer Symphony: Grofé’s “Grand Canyon Suite”

By |2019-11-19T13:09:11-06:00June 5th, 2019|Categories: Christine Norvell, Culture, Music|

Ferde Grofé’s “Grand Canyon Suite” communicates an infectious passion for the beauty of the Canyon, especially the allure of the composer’s magnificent first impressions. His pictorial orchestration is emotional but that does not imply simplicity. It is a strength that welcomes and holds listeners of every age. Emblazoned with striking black and white titles, [...]