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The Sexual Revolution and Its Victims

By |2018-10-02T13:33:09-05:00November 22nd, 2016|Categories: Anthony Esolen, Catholicism, Christianity, Culture, Featured, Marriage, Sexuality|Tags: |

The sexual revolution has brought us a world wherein people sweat themselves to death in the pursuit of unhappiness. Some of those people, by the grace of God, miss their aim… What strikes me most powerfully about the defenders of the sexual revolution is their immovable abstraction. Always the matter is couched in terms [...]

The World and the Wardrobe

By |2016-02-12T15:27:53-05:00November 22nd, 2015|Categories: Books, C.S. Lewis, Christianity, Death, Featured, Literature|Tags: |

On the day C.S. Lewis died—November 22, 1963—the world was hardly in a position to take notice. The assassination of an American President, after all, had clearly and shockingly co-opted everything that day, including even the ending of a life unsurpassed for its sheer breath catching lucidity in defense of ordinary Christian belief. But [...]

What Would Laura Ingalls Say?

By |2015-10-31T17:06:49-05:00October 16th, 2015|Categories: Books, Family, Featured, Literature|Tags: |

In our family, we frequently pose the question, “What would Laura say about…?” Presently, we are wondering what Laura Ingalls Wilder’s reaction would be to various aspects of the Modern World. Recently, I have been contemplating what Laura would think if she heard phrases like this: Come on, sweetie. Just read a few more [...]

Dr. Johnson: The Man of Letters Behind the Dictionary

By |2015-09-28T09:55:24-05:00September 6th, 2015|Categories: Books, Featured, History, Literature|Tags: |

James Boswell’s biography, The Life of Johnson, portrays a distinguished man of letters after whom a whole literary period was named: The Age of Johnson. To read of Johnson’s life (1709-1784) is to learn of an eminent man of learning whose love of literature, passion for truth, and genius for writing achieved extraordinary works of [...]

The Mysteriousness of Real Things: Walter de la Mare’s “Come Hither”

By |2015-04-16T10:35:29-05:00April 3rd, 2015|Categories: Books, Poetry|Tags: |

The late British author, Alice Thomas Ellis, is a bracing if improbable combination of Flannery O’Connor and Evelyn Waugh. Intimidated by nothing, satirically amused by most things, and weary of everything that her profound Catholic sensibilities found facile and false, Ellis wrote novels and essays that, sadly, too few now read. How fitting, then, [...]

Conservative Scholarship and the Problem of Myth

By |2015-10-28T10:07:55-05:00March 30th, 2015|Categories: Forrest McDonald, History, Myth|Tags: |

On the face of things, conservatism and historical scholarship would appear to be antithetical ideals. A viable social order seems to require, among its other adhesives, a set of fictions agreed upon as truths—myths and their corresponding symbols—to provide the sense of legitimacy and purpose which are necessary if people are to live together in [...]

Frog and Toad: Arnold Lobel’s Little Gems

By |2015-03-27T18:14:41-05:00March 27th, 2015|Categories: Beauty, Books|Tags: |

Every child should read Arnold Lobel’s stories of Frog and Toad. These stories are pure, unashamed delight. Once upon a time, all children’s stories were a pleasant romp, an indulgence in something lovely. Think of Mother Goose, The Wind in the Willows, The Tale of the Pie and the Patty Pan. As our times [...]

Poe, Dickens, Ravens, and the Madness of Nevermore

By |2016-11-26T10:20:16-05:00March 20th, 2015|Categories: Charles Dickens, Culture, Edgar Allan Poe, Poetry|Tags: , |

There is something of the madman in every man. There is something of the sadist in every sinner. Is there something of ecstasy in every elegy? So it was with Edgar Allan Poe—and he called it Beauty. It often takes a poet—a poet like Poe—to exhume the mysterious depravity of people. As churchgoers lean [...]

Downplaying Doctrine

By |2015-01-23T15:54:57-05:00January 23rd, 2015|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity|Tags: , |

Man is a rational animal. That does not mean he is always reasonable, but it does mean that his actions are guided by what he believes about the world and how it hangs together. Reality comes first for him, or at least it should and often does. That is one reason love of God—of the Most [...]

Death: The Point of Intersection

By |2018-12-26T15:04:54-05:00January 16th, 2015|Categories: Death, Heroism|Tags: , |

“In my beginning is my end.” ∼ T.S. Eliot In a passage often cited from the Pensees, which the author sets down in grim and graphic detail, Pascal summons the reader to reflect on the awful finality of death. “The last act is bloody,” he tells us, “however fine the rest of the play. [...]

Beauty and the Ideal Man

By |2015-01-09T12:05:35-05:00January 9th, 2015|Categories: Beauty, Culture|Tags: |

Once upon a time in the Western world, exposure to “the beautiful” was an important element in the development and formation of men. The ideal man was also an educated man, and an educated man knew something about, and appreciated, good art, good music, good literature, and good taste (and perhaps also good wine). [...]