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Daniel McInerny

At the beginning of the third volume of Evelyn Waugh’s masterful World War II trilogy, Sword of Honor, Guy Crouchback, a British Catholic officer entering a disillusioned middle age, has a conversation with his elderly father in...

Naïve. Imprudent. A “Jesuit.” Such are some of the negative attributes that have been imputed to Pope Francis in the worried emails and dismayed blog posts that have come across my laptop screen in the...

Would that I had received the education of my children! Last night at dinner our family enjoyed an unusually rich conversation prompted by a question that had arisen during my wife’s homeschooling history lesson with our seventh-grade son. In...
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An elderly woman picks up a telephone and a strange voice says, Remember you must die. “Who is that speaking, who is it?” the elderly Dame Lettie demands, but the caller, “as on eight previous occasions,” has...
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The only thrill, even of a common thriller, is concerned somehow with the conscience and the will.– G. K. Chesterton A book I much admire is the detective writer P.D. James’s little book, Talking...
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I write today in celebration of P.G. Wodehouse’s sublimely mirthful Blandings stories, one of literary history’s greatest achievements in comic art. I want to submit that the genius of Blandings Castle is its resemblance to the Garden of...

In 1961 the philosopher and novelist Iris Murdoch published an essay in Encounter entitled, “Against Dryness.” In it, she laments the way in which our “scientific, anti-metaphysical age” has left us with “far too shallow and flimsy an...
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At the crescendo of his stirring cri de coeur, “Word and Anti-Word: A Christian Humanist Meditation,” Bradley Birzer asks how we might best undertake the renewal, inspired and grounded in the best intellectual traditions of...

In a recent post here on The Imaginative Conservative I claimed that popular entertainment has a crucial political role within a democracy, because popular entertainment is the venue where most citizens gather to contemplate...
online higher education

Raphael's School of Athens The humanities in American higher education are in deep crisis, and the cry of alarm released on June 18 by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences will...
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Bank of America Theatre Did anybody catch the 2013 Tony Awards? I thought so. Actually, I didn’t watch the whole thing either. And I don’t think we missed much. The...

David Mamet is the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, film and television director, and author of many books of essays, most recently, in 2011, of the crackling libertarian manifesto, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of...
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Greek tragedy grew up and was cultivated within the context of religious festival, but these play-festivals of Dionysus, as Paul Cartledge has written in The Cambridge Companion to Greek Tragedy, “served further as a device...
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With Baz Luhrmann’s garish 3D hip-hop adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby rolling into theaters this week, my thoughts turn to a piece from last June’s Guardian in which novelist Jay McInerney...