Category: Literature

Tolkien and Violence

There’s a further Tolkien-related question that needs to be discussed after last week’s comments by George RR Martin, concerning the role of violence in Tolkien’s legendarium. Martin asked in the interview if Aragorn hunted down and killed all the orcs after...

/ May 5, 2014
cs-lewis

Things I’ve Learned From C.S. Lewis

The world didn’t take much notice of C.S. Lewis on November 22, 1963, the day he died. It was too frenzied by the shocking assassination of John F. Kennedy, which occurred in Dallas about an hour after Lewis died in...

/ November 22, 2013

When the Story Stops Telling Itself: A New Letter from C.S. Lewis

As the author of the bestselling children’s stories The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis inspired many young readers to take up the pen and write him in response.  And they did not write in vain. It is well known that he replied...

/ August 27, 2013

Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Modern Literature?

Back during the halcyon days of the Bush administration (ha!), I read a piece in Touchstone which bemoaned the dearth of Evangelical modern literature. Evangelical professor David T. Williams surveyed the fiction produced by his tradition over the past century...

/ July 31, 2013

A Reading Guide for 2013

In the Andersonian fashion of asking questions, I submit that one of our urgent questions is this: What are the possibilities of the vita contemplativa in the late modern world? In Human, All Too Human, Friedrich Nietzsche lamented, “Because there...

/ July 19, 2013

Home: An Essay on The Little Way of Ruthie Leming

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” – T. S. Eliot Home. It’s a mythic notion. Two of the three...

/ June 4, 2013

A distant, glorious echo: Tolkien and typology

In his foreword to the second edition of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien boldy declares his dislike of allegory and notes that, whatever critics and readers have suggested, the novel is most certainly not an allegory. Nonetheless, Christian readers...

/ February 21, 2013

Romance in Pride and Prejudice: Sometimes, We Settle

It is axiomatic that an artist’s work will be admired and disdained for a single set of qualities. Some admire the breadth and passion of Beethoven while others find his stamina and pathos tedious. Some admire the precision and pacing...

/ February 18, 2013

Jackson and Tolkien: Hollywood’s Infatuation With Angst

Matt’s piece on The Lord of the Rings a few weeks ago nicely summed up one of the major ways in which Peter Jackson’s view of the world diverges from Tolkien’s: its profoundly different moral vision. But Jackson’s storytelling sense...

/ February 14, 2013

Ruminations on Joy

A few weeks ago I read Zadie Smith’s essay, “Joy,” in the New York Review of Books. If you haven’t read it already, I highly recommend doing so. It’s a beautifully written, decidedly contemporary reflection on joy with a tone...

/ February 4, 2013