Category: Literature

100 Days of Dante

2021 marks the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri (b. 1265). Dante was a poet, a politician, a philosopher, and a theologian. He is best known for his masterpiece, La Commedia, known to anglophone readers as The Divine...

/ September 8, 2021

Prolegomena to Poetry

A poem is a thought that comes out sounding good, and lingers awhile; But it doesn’t have to rhyme, Though it could What is poetry? A poet will maintain that it is a noble enterprise; a numinous expression of the...

/ June 15, 2021

The Austen Years: A Review in Six Movements

Rachel Cohen. The Austen Years: A Memoir in Five Novels. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2020. 304 pp, $28. “We do not enjoy a story fully at the first reading. Not till the curiosity, the sheer narrative lust, has been...

/ May 5, 2021

In Praise of Reading Aloud

It felt a bit awkward at first, a group of friends in their mid twenties sitting around in my library in an old Capitol Hill row house. We had all brought our copies of various Tolkien, some with a well-loved...

/ April 6, 2021

Befriending Books: On Reading and Thinking with Alan Jacobs and Zena Hitz

We like to think, of course, that we think; but what people allow to pass for thinking is usually about 90 percent reshuffling of images. —Robert Farrar Capon Do you want to do intellectual work? Begin by creating within you...

/ November 23, 2020

Reading Emily Dickinson with Job

A few months ago, a Mynah hatchling fell out of its nest in one of our carport rafters. When we found it, it was lying awkwardly on the ground, clearly hurt beyond our capacity to heal. Nonetheless, my kids insisted...

/ October 13, 2020

An Interview with Andrew Peterson About “The Wingfeather Saga”

One of the few highlights of 2020 for me has been getting to read the Wingfeather Saga to my kids. It gave us a bedtime routine and something to look forward to every night for several months as we made...

/ October 12, 2020

D. B. Hart’s Inquisitor

“It is hard to understand the psychology of pious Christians who calmly accept the fact that their neighbors, friends, and relatives will perhaps be damned. I cannot resign myself to the fact that the man with whom I am drinking...

/ July 1, 2020

Beauty Spots

…When old age shall this generation waste,                 Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,          “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all                 Ye know on earth, and all ye need...

/ June 24, 2020

On Diligence

I was the sort of teenager who studied too much Latin. I was homeschooled, then, and lonely. We lived in Rome. I had no friends. I read books off my mother’s shelves for most subjects — textbooks, and Madame Bovary,...

/ June 12, 2020