Berlioz’s Song: A Brief Dialogue on Love and Wanting

Berlioz’s Song: A Brief Dialogue on Love and Wanting Persons: François-the Cynic, and composer Hector Berlioz-the Romantic The Scene: The deck of a ferry, crossing the English Channel to Britain. January, 1831. THE CYNIC. Pardon me, sir, I don’t mean to interrupt your writing, but are you Hector Berlioz? THE ROMANTIC. Ah, yes, I am. Always a pleasure to meet an admirer, please sit down! … Continue reading Berlioz’s Song: A Brief Dialogue on Love and Wanting

Mythical Samizdat

Mythology has long allowed cultures to connect with and find meaning in their past, encouraged them to work in the present, and taught them to hope for their future. By grounding individuals in their environment and tying them to their community, myth served as the grounding for nearly all cultures and civilizations throughout the Ancient and pre-Modern world. Myth teaches morals, and a civilization without … Continue reading Mythical Samizdat

The Surrender of Plot: Uncovering the Divinity of Storytelling

I stood in the bookstore, gaping at the vibrant colors and whimsical text scrawled across hardcover book jackets. Each book made a pretty picture on the shelf, but after years of book store prowling, I knew that few, if any, offered much beyond aesthetic. I wandered into the classics section and ran my hand along the spines of compendiums, comprehensive volumes, and special editions. What … Continue reading The Surrender of Plot: Uncovering the Divinity of Storytelling

To Conquer a Virus and Unweave a Rainbow

When the recent coronavirus shut-in hit, and the Michigan governor’s stay-at-home order forced its way through my phone by emergency text message, I took one last fleeting look at my campus office bookshelf for any last-minute tome I might bring with me as I escaped to the safety of my country estate. For a moment that old copy of Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy looked like … Continue reading To Conquer a Virus and Unweave a Rainbow

Reborn in Wonder: How Belize Re-Taught Me to Love the Liberal Arts

Last August, I moved to Belize to teach humanities at a liberal arts junior college. It would be natural to assume that my decision, coming on the heels of four years of studying history at Hillsdale, arose from my confidence in the value of liberal arts education. That assumption would be wrong. If there’s any message a liberal arts college wants you to believe, it’s … Continue reading Reborn in Wonder: How Belize Re-Taught Me to Love the Liberal Arts

Love and Attention: The Films of Greta Gerwig

In a scene near the beginning of Lady Bird, the heroine argues with her mother on the drive home from visiting colleges. Frustrated by the mundanity of life in 2002 Sacramento, she protests, “I wish I could live through something.” The mother, irritated, replies, “Aren’t you?” The conversation swiftly devolves, ending with Lady Bird throwing herself out of the moving car in dramatic frustration. But … Continue reading Love and Attention: The Films of Greta Gerwig

Things Below: Thoughts on the World and Literature, Part Two of Two

Continued from last issue. O’Connor’s sense of the fantastic nature and Rev. Ames’ wonder at the lovely particularity of creation are, in my experience, unusual among Christians. In fact, it’s rare among people anywhere, no matter their religious perspective. This general inattentiveness to nature’s quiet glories draws the attention of Emerson, for instance, in his book Nature, where, regarding the stars, he writes, “Seen in … Continue reading Things Below: Thoughts on the World and Literature, Part Two of Two

A Hidden Life

As the Nazi guards beat him, Franz Jägerstätter smiles. It’s a moment that’s unexpected and almost lost among successive scenes of violence, but one that briefly shines the light of Christ within the cracked, water-stained walls of the Nazi prison.  In director Terrence Malick’s newest film, A Hidden Life, Franz Jägerstätter and his wife Fani live with their three young daughters in the Austrian village … Continue reading A Hidden Life

Star Wars

Star Wars closes out its newest trilogy and the entire Skywalker saga, delivering an enjoyable adventure with loads of nostalgia.   We enter the story not long after Last Jedi left off as the Resistance rallies on a jungle planet. Rey, under Leia’s guidance, grows stronger in the Force despite lingering uncertainties about her identity. The brooding Kylo Ren returns, this time with a red-streaked helmet … Continue reading Star Wars