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Great Books

Our world drowns in information, facts, bites, noise, opinions, and other particulars. Yet, even the best of our students have the most difficult time connecting one thing to another. It is myth that allows us to transcend the immediate and the ephemeral...
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Despite the number of times the witches repeat “Fair is foul, and foul is fair,” Macbeth testifies to the objectivity of natural law and universal knowledge of good and evil known to conscience and written on the heart and mind of all persons...
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The hedonism of reading good books makes its mark on the meaning of a life, infusing it with a richness that can be had at no dearer a price than that of a library card—which is to say, it can be had for free by anyone who...
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There is a sickness, traditionally called melancholy, which is particularly at home in communities of learning such as ours. Its visible form can be seen in the engraving by Duerer called Melencolia Prima. Amidst the signs and symbols of...

Democracies were acutely problematic when they did not collectively comprehend the necessity of legitimate authority permeating the polis. Lacking this understanding, power was elevated in authority's absence... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join José Maria J. Yulo as...
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Chaucer’s satire on innovative theories of marriage and the heresy of courtly love validates the wisdom of the Church’s teaching on hierarchy, fidelity, and indissolubility... The great books or classics of Western civilization reflect the enduring ideals...
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I'm uncertain of the joy of reading the Theban plays of Sophocles—the story is just too monstrous—but in accord with the awe. This translation conveys it... Sophocles: The Theban Plays, translated by David R. Slavitt (256 pages, Yale University Press, 2009)

If conservatives can pin down the idea of decadence while avoiding shrill tones, they may go far in explaining what it means for a civilization to decline... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Gleaves Whitney as he explores...
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Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy...
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One of our most remarkable capabilities is our power of at once being and not being in a certain condition. It gives us a way to do justice both to self-avowed fictions and to other people’s truths... Our country’s three...
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Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold, And many goodly states and kingdoms seen; Round many western islands have I been Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold. Oft of one wide expanse had I been told That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as...
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Strong memories—of good times, of challenges met, of shaping experiences commonly shared—are the critical foundation of a good and meaningful life, particularly if you are young. Cherished memories of days passed can spur us on, can exhort us, and can motivate us when our own days seem...
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When we learn math, we are using our mind alone, not our senses. Socrates calls it a study that “by nature leads to intellection"... It is a common occurrence: A math teacher stands at the front of...
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Jane Austen's world is as merry as it is good. All the novels are perfect comedies—mirthful throughout and happy in outcome. Despite their brightness and lightness, these novels are in no way trivial—they are simply not concerned with those terrific follies presented to the...