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Literature

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J.R.R. Tolkien's story of Númenor is the story of Athens, Rome, Great Britain, the United States, and every power that began with the best of intentions and saw itself decline because of envy and pride. It is the story of the Fall in Eden. It is grim,...
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In his "Elegy," Thomas Gray wrote a great, some­times mystifying and troubling poem, and, where the pastoral impulse is concerned, an admonishing one... No one born after the French Revolution, said the durable Talleyrand, can know how...
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Where are the Flannery O’Connors and Evelyn Waughs of our day, who can be witty about wickedness and plant their theology in the thicket of character, the turns of a plot, and the twist of a knife? Where are the writers who can be both entertaining and...
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Is there a difference between evil art and evil in art? Or, to put the matter differently, is there a difference between the dark arts and the art of darkness? As soon as we begin to ponder...
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T.S. Eliot’s poem, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," shows that men do not need more pleasurable escapes or more time, but loving friends and an introduction to reality. They need to listen to human voices instead of the illusive mermaids out in the ocean. And...

Social visits are done for their own sake, for disinterested reasons, for the pleasure of others, and as a gracious act of thoughtfulness that dignifies both the visitor and the visited... In the novels of Louisa May...
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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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W.H. Auden realized that J.R.R. Tolkien’s greatness was not simply the result of a capacity for the fantastic, but rather that it relied just as much on his scholarly acumen as on his imagination... W.H. Auden...
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In Natalie Fenollera Sanmartin’s bestseller The Awakening of Miss Prim, Miss Prudencia Prim has accepted a position as a gentleman’s personal librarian in the small village of San Ireneo. In the course of the several months she...
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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...
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Jesus saved a hurting T.S. Eliot. And Eliot, the greatest poet of the twentieth century, thought Jesus could save us as well. A person can hate the conclusion, but if English is your mother tongue, then you cannot...
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He’s first to claim his faith’s a spur To politics—but in the cause of modern life As seen by a minority of folks who stir The democratic pot to greater strife, For whom the wooden spoon too oft becomes a knife; His faith’s a compass,...