Understanding William Faulkner

By |2020-09-25T16:33:48-05:00September 24th, 2020|Categories: Books, Cleanth Brooks, Imagination, John Crowe Ransom, Literature, South|

In the forties and fifties, the most influential literary quarterlies in America featured “new criticism,” a brand of formalism that never succumbed to the absolute relativism of the deconstructionists. One of their foremost practitioners was Cleanth Brooks, who devoted himself to interpreting and popularizing the work of one of America’s greatest but most difficult [...]

“Good Things Out of Nazareth”: The Letters & Life of Flannery O’Connor

By |2020-07-30T12:22:15-05:00August 2nd, 2020|Categories: Books, Christianity, Flannery O'Connor, Literature, South|

“Good Things Out of Nazareth: The Uncollected Letters of Flannery O’Connor and Friends” is the epistolary record of Flannery O’Connor’s other life, the life lived behind the printed page in small-town Georgia. This life is not nearly as “large and startling” as her fiction, but it is unforgettable all the same. Good Things Out [...]

“I’ll Take My Stand” as Southern Epic

By |2020-07-17T17:55:43-05:00July 17th, 2020|Categories: Agrarianism, Books, South|

Ever since the first stir they created in the early 1930s the Southern Agrarians have been difficult to assess. How serious, politically and economically, were they in what they advocated? How much agreement was there among them? The four collected above papers point up and even accentuate their divergence, investigating wide-ranging and, at least [...]

Nothing But Glory Gained: Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg

By |2020-06-30T19:10:31-05:00July 2nd, 2020|Categories: Civil War, History, Robert Cheeks, Robert E. Lee, South|

On that summer-hot afternoon at Gettysburg, after two days of fighting in the summer-lush Pennsylvania countryside, the fate of two nations still hung in the balance. General Robert E. Lee intended to tip the scales. Just before 3 o’clock on the morning of July 3, 1863, Robert E. Lee rose by starlight, ate a [...]

The Benedict Option and the Case for Spiritual Secession

By |2020-06-15T09:45:53-05:00June 13th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Conservatism, Donald Trump, Liberalism, Politics, South|

We are called to be contemplatives in the world, not of it or above it. Since our true life is not here where political parties constantly vie for our affection, we can let go of all this nonsense and focus on neighbor love. That doesn’t mean not voting or not dealing with the massive [...]

The Richard Weaver-Abraham Lincoln Debate

By |2020-06-01T19:06:06-05:00June 1st, 2020|Categories: Abraham Lincoln, Civil War, Conservatism, Literature, Reason, Richard Weaver, South|

For some time I had puzzled over a discrepancy or inconsistency between two of Richard Weaver’s essays which treat of Lincoln to one degree or another. In his “Abraham Lincoln and the Argument from Definition” (1953), Weaver praises Lincoln as a “conservative” by virtue of his employment of the argument from definition on such [...]

If Only Progressives Could Learn to Think Small

By |2020-05-23T22:55:24-05:00May 28th, 2020|Categories: Civil Society, Community, Conservatism, Government, Wendell Berry|

Nostalgia for the smaller face-to-face societies of the past is common to both progressives and conservatives. There was a time, whether it was 100 years ago or 10,000, when relationships between people were more meaningful, families lived more in harmony with nature, and communities worked together to care for the young and the needy. [...]

Bridging the North-South Divide: Jonathan Edwards and James Thornwell

By |2020-05-01T05:32:46-05:00May 2nd, 2020|Categories: American Republic, American Revolution, Christianity, Civil War, History, Religion, South, Theology|

The narrative of a North-South divide in American History is a powerful, yet problematic one. However, closer metaphysical inspection of both regions uncovers a series of considerable similarities and ironic connections between the Puritans of New England fully embodied in Jonathan Edwards, and the Presbyterians of the Old South fully embodied in James Thornwell. [...]

Jurgen Habermas, John C. Calhoun, and Slavery

By |2020-04-03T20:48:09-05:00April 3rd, 2020|Categories: American Republic, History, John C. Calhoun, Slavery, South|

Perhaps no American thinker has suffered more from a scholarly hegemony of discourse than John C. Calhoun, whose work and personage are often dismissed by his critics for a single phrase attributed to him, diminishing the careful and complicated analysis he deserves. The careful reader does not have to be a devotee of Jürgen [...]

Old Rowan Oak: William Faulkner’s Conservatism

By |2020-03-31T17:15:52-05:00March 31st, 2020|Categories: Books, Conservatism, Literature, South|

Russell Kirk’s Ten Conservative Principles reflect the way William Faulkner wrote, acted, and organized his life. As a property owner with notions of limited government, he brought that orientation to his fiction, to his work in Hollywood, to his commentary on civil rights, and to his everyday relationships with his family and community. His [...]

Donald Davidson: The Poet as Citizen

By |2020-02-28T15:58:33-06:00February 28th, 2020|Categories: Agrarianism, Donald Davidson, Literature, Poetry, Politics, South, Southern Agrarians|

It may be true that Donald Davidson went too far in his concern for art’s effect on the community. Given the decadence of much popular and highbrow art in our time, perhaps other readers of Davidson’s verse find themselves in a curious predicament. Like me, they may find fault with the principles of his [...]

The Forgotten Corners of Alexander Stephens’ “Cornerstone Speech”

By |2020-02-06T15:08:37-06:00August 12th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Civil War, Equality, Government, History, Politics, Secession, Slavery, South, War|

History is complex, messy, and unyielding to our dearest wishes for easy categorization. That Alexander Stephens understood the Confederacy through its cornerstone of slavery is plainly true and explained in his own words. But the “Cornerstone Speech” goes further, planting the other corners of the Confederate state in concerns over federalism and sovereignty. Anxious [...]

Boyd Cathey’s “The Land We Love” as an Admonition to My Co-Religionists

By |2019-08-02T23:09:38-05:00August 2nd, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Catholicism, Christianity, Civil War, Politics, South, War|

Under advanced liberalism there is an expectation that anybody who so much as dares to speak civilly to or about any figure associated with the Confederacy is to be deemed persona non grata. For Catholics as Catholics, such sweeping and absolutist expectations are simply unacceptable. Forth from its scabbard, high in the air Beneath [...]

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