Encountering the Beautiful

September 1, 2018
James Matthew Wilson wants to overcome the opposition of mythos and logos. This involves going back to Plato, who is often read as setting up this opposition.
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Literary Study and the Social Order

January 5, 2018
The question of the moral and social effects of literary study is so knotty that even people who have made a career of teaching literature sometimes reverse their beliefs concerning the effects of the study of literature upon human conduct.
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Antigone’s Flaw

January 4, 2018
Some theorists define politics as who gets what, when and how. Alasdair MacIntyre defines it as "civil war carried on by other means."
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Aesop, Aristotle, and Animals: The Role of Fables in Human Life

January 3, 2018
While animals cannot reason, plan for the future, or think through a long-range plan of action, people can and should engage in these actions. Why should we choose to act like animals when we can choose not to and when we can create an environment in which acting like animals is unnecessary?
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Geometries of Force in Homer’s Iliad: Two Readings

January 3, 2018
The idea that war might somehow be mediated by reasonable agreements, heroic values of resistance, and religious scruples, such as those governing the burial of the dead, has been reduced to a shambles by the internal dynamics of war and the logic of violence itself.
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George A. Panichas Conservator Extraordinaire

January 3, 2018
Ultimately, it is this reverence, this humility before God, and this faith in the goodness of life that are at the heart of Panichas’s long and productive career, and that also underlie the sort of conservatism that he has defended so admirably over the course of the past four decades.
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The Hidden Depths in Robert Frost

January 3, 2018
Over a long and accomplished career, Peter J. Stanlis has often worked at the intersection of literature, philosophy, and political philosophy, and this emphasis is evident in Robert Frost: The Poet as Philosopher, a study that explores Frost’s relationship to developments in the sciences, the humanities, and politics from the age of Charles Darwin to the time of John F. Kennedy’s presidency.
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Babbitt, Literary Positivism, And Neo-Positivism

January 1, 2018
There is another major element in Babbitt’s criticism which has a strong resemblance to the positivist method, even to the original statement of it by Comte. This is the concept of the interrelationship of all knowledge.
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Peter Viereck (1916-2006)

January 1, 2018
Peter Viereck was born in New York City in 1916. He died on May 13, 2006, at the age of 89 in South Hadley, Massachusetts, in the same house on the edge of the Mount Holyoke College campus where he and his family had lived since he started teaching at the College.
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The End of Art Theory

January 1, 2018
In the present age Hegel claims that "the form of art has ceased to be the supreme need of the spirit."
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‘Beyond Presentness’: The Practice of Criticism

January 1, 2018
In Panichas’ view, the critic’s responsibility consists, first, in identifying “the highest things,” and then in articulating how this time-bound aesthetic form can function as a means of transcendent revelation.
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Allen Tate and The Catholic Revival

January 1, 2018
Yet while the "southern mode of the imagination" in Tate's work has received extensive scrutiny, the Catholic mode of imagination in his writings has been left largely to conjecture.
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Deconstruction: Fad or Philosophy?

January 1, 2018
Like other great neologisms—ones we wish we would have thought of but didn’t—deconstruction has suffered the fate of its own ascendancy.
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Kafka’s Afflicted Vision: A Literary-Theological Critique

January 1, 2018
The novel’s aesthetic and interpretive complexity, it will be seen, underlines the multi-layered meaning of salvation itself, in a modern world in which salvation is not necessarily one of divine grace, of deliverance from sin and damnation, in short, of redemption in the hands of an all-powerful God.
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Croce in America: Influence, Misunderstanding, and Neglect

January 1, 2018
The prestige of historical figures rises and falls, and the tendency for the biggest to fall hardest may be especially prevalent in intellectual history. But there seems something anomalous about Croce's case, as René Wellek, the distinguished historian of criticism, recently emphasized.
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A Humanist Romanticism?

January 1, 2018
When poets go wrong in this book, which they sometimes do in spectacular ways, they do so for morally comprehensible reasons. Gurney reminds us that Christian virtues can be practiced not only by pagan poets but by readers like ourselves.
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Left and Right Eclecticism: Roger Kimball’s Cultural Criticism

January 1, 2018
Mark Lilla held that for Kimball "the cause of the Sixties was quite simply . . . the Sixties. They just happened, as a kind of miracle, or antimiracle—Why did such a profound revolution take place?" In my opinion, Kimball’s reply is not entirely satisfactory.
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Céline: Unembellished Man

January 1, 2018
The book’s insights are insights into our century, and what strikes us most is that it is life and not just a marble tribute.
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Dostoyevsky and Malthus: Debunkers of Utopianism

January 1, 2018
Then there is the matter of the fixity of human nature and of its separateness from that of the rest of the animal creation, which is also a central assumption, I believe, of all truly conservative thought.
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A Worthy Kaddish

November 13, 2017
He deliberately sets out to defy Platonic Truth, worshiping the Shadows—the felt, believed, imperfect, flawed perception of touched reality. This—and nothing else—is truth, or at least the only truth that matters.
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Shylock’s Conversion

September 8, 2017
The thesis of this essay is simply stated: The Merchant of Venice is a Christian play and a comedy that…
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Burke’s Higher Romanticism: Politics and the Sublime

September 8, 2017
It is argued here that understanding Burke’s romanticism is an important part of understanding Burke. Understanding Burke’s romanticism also helps one understand the subtle ways in which aesthetics, ethics, and politics interact.
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Conor Cruise O’Brien’s Burke

September 8, 2017
It is good to see that Burke is being systematically studied. O’Brien gives his reader a broad overview of how Burke pursued his causes in Parliament and in his writing.
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War’s End: A Short Story

September 8, 2017
This story is loosely based on an encounter between the Russian photographer Yevgeny Khaldei and the American photographer Robert Capa, as reported by Michael Specter of the New York Times, in a July 1995 interview.
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Jacob and Esau

September 6, 2017
Esau grew to be a “natural man,” a man of the field and the hunt, an “elder” or more primitive image of humankind, while Jacob grew to be a “smooth” civilized man, a logo-centric man of the tent, or the polis.
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From ‘Inner Check’ to ‘Bank Check’: Post–Babbitt Literary Criticism

September 5, 2017
I shall concentrate on four themes in Babbitt’s writings that are relevant today to the discipline of comparative literature as well as to related disciplines for which the study of literature may be more important than is generally recognized, whether or not these themes have been reflected in recent critical texts.
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Can Virtue Be Taught?

September 2, 2017
There are pleasures too numerous to mention within literature, the fine arts, history, mathematics, science, and philosophy. We cannot say with any assurance, however, that these pleasures will dispose the person to virtue.
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