Category: Literature

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

Law and Les Miserables, Revisited

Ed. note:  I’m thrilled to publish this reflection by on Les Mis. by Dr. Jason Hood, a friend of mine and author of an important upcoming book on imitation that you should really preorder right now.  In its opening weeks...

/ January 8, 2013

What’s Wrong with the Hobbits? Jackson’s Malformed Moral Universe

Jeffrey Weiss thinks that Peter Jackson doesn’t understand the moral universe of J.R.R. Tolkien.  That’s a thesis that I wholeheartedly endorse.  But not quite in the same way that Weiss does, or at least not with the same bit of...

/ January 7, 2013

Of Women and the Freedom to be Holy

There is a story told in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein about a young French man and an Arabian woman who fall in love. As Frankenstein’s monster is telling his creator about how he came to understand language, sorrow, love, and human...

/ December 13, 2012

Ray Bradbury, J.R. R. Tolkien, and the Benefits of Nostalgia

In an excellent piece on Ray Bradbury’s nostalgia, Andy Rau tosses off this fascinating but undeveloped parenthetical: “Of the various Christian fantasists of the 20th century, I think only J.R.R. Tolkien matches Bradbury’s sad but determined nostalgia for what we’ve...

/ July 6, 2012

Adults in the Body of Children: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Midsummer Night’s Dream

Alan Jacobs passed along this fascinating little bit on Lewis’s story: My real criticism of this novel relates to a different matter. It is that it ends just when it is getting interesting. The Pevensie kids become the kings and...

/ December 20, 2011

Waking in the Dark Wood

Midway this way of life we’re bound upon, I woke to find myself in a dark wood, Where the right way was wholly lost and gone. Canto 1:1-3, Inferno Now, this is an interesting way to start a story. From...

/ August 11, 2011

Harry Potter and the Age Old Story

Tonight is the opening night of the final installment of the Harry Potter movies. I have lots of feelings about this. A little over a year ago I was still refusing to read those little children’s books about a boy named Harry...

/ July 14, 2011