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Eva Brann

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Vast topics are notoriously easy to avoid, and those who undertake to wrestle with them in public owe their audience some concrete reason for their choice. Let me begin with mine. First, this summer I had...
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If people and dogs have common ground of a higher order than animal needs, it must be in the territory of the spirit. Spirit is, just as Aristotle says, where friendship is at home. Now among us humans, this capability of the spirit is both an accomplishment and a...
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I love midnight movies, the Golden Oldies; they are the silver-lining of insomnia. Recently I caught part of an old black-and-white movie—Pressure Point—of the days when African-Americans were still called Negroes. Sidney Poitier plays a black prison psychiatrist....
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The imagination invests the world with that richness and resonance which makes it an attractive dwelling for the intellect. But the imagination is indispensable to action as well. For the real world is worth our exertion only when the visionary imagination sets the scene for action...
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We must come to grips with the actual expansiveness of the West and consider candidly its possible superiority—superiority, that is, in the scope it gives to individual human nature by the universality of its conceptions... I shall begin with...

The document entitled “To the Honorable the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, A Memorial and Remonstrance” is a jewel of republican rhetoric. Nor has this choice example of American eloquence gone without notice. And...
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Publisher's Note: In this episode of a documentary series on St. John's College's most beloved tutors, Senior Contributor Dr. Eva Brann recounts how she escaped Nazi Germany and ended up at the College; her relationships with such philosophic luminaries as Jacob Klein, Seth Benardete, and Leo Strauss; and her vision...
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You needn’t bring on yourself a dark night of the soul over your essay deadline, since you’ve already got what it takes to be an essayist, and certainly an essay-writer. Instead of agonizing, start early and savor the sweet freedom, the lovely leisure, to be fully at work, essaying...
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Mr. Ropoulos and I were talking in the St. John’s College Coffee Shop, and the subject of modernity came up. So he asked me to write a few pages for his issue of the Gadfly [ed., the St. John’s student...
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Dualisms: The Agons of the Modern World, by Ricardo J. Quinones (472 pages, University of Toronto Press, 2007) Dualisms stand at the very beginning of Western ways of viewing the world. Aristotle bears witness to...
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Homeric Moments: Clues to Delight in Reading the Odyssey and the Iliad (326 pages, Paul Dry Books, 2002) "Reading Homer's poems is one of the purest, most inexhaustible pleasures life has to offer—a secret somewhat too well kept...
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Modernity consists of perversions of notions drawn from Christianity; to be a modern means to be deeply enmeshed in them... The part of the title of this talk which I asked to have announced is "The Roots...
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The Raj Quartet is one of the longest, most successfully rendered works of nineteenth-century fiction written in the twentieth century. It has something War and Peace lacks: an evil presence of enormous pathos... The Raj Quartet by Paul Scott (1,032 pages, Everyman's Library, 2007)
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Applying imagination to politics can lead to political wish-fulfillment fantasies or to the enlivening of real communities from within... The topic "Politics and the Imagination" is at once larger and more restricted than "Politics and the Arts,"...