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Glory vs. the Garden Gnome

Roger Scruton’s written a book on beauty, in case you hadn’t heard. Here’s a nice little review, which frames the beauty question evocatively enough in terms of beauty’s relation, or antagonism, to kitsch. And so I ask: if beauty is the promise of happiness, is the problem . . . . Continue Reading »

Solophobia

In the Emmy-winning 1997 version of Rebecca , there’s a scene in which the new, young Mrs. de Winter is harassed by one of the film’s less savory characters for claiming to enjoy being alone at the vast Manderlay estate while her husband is away on business. From our present-day . . . . Continue Reading »

Specialty Bibles

A While We’re At It in this month’s edition of The Public Square, the popular column at the end of First Things:Intelligent and entertaining are two adjectives that go together far too rarely, but they belong in company when speaking of our contributing writer Alan Jacobs. He has in this . . . . Continue Reading »

From Cannes to Super-Cannes

Coincidentally, our launch date here was the 150th anniversary of Tocqueville’s death. He passed on April 16, 1859, in Cannes. 150 years and 3 days later, J.G. Ballard, author of creepazoid milennial dystopia Super-Cannes (2000) , died. The first line from Super-Cannes reads as follows: The . . . . Continue Reading »

Jews as the Romans Saw Them

Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient ­Civilizations by martin goodman knopf, 624 pages, $35 When I first saw the title of this book, I thought of Tertullian’s famous question: What has Athens to do with Jerusalem? But Goodman did not have Tertullian in mind when he chose his title. He was . . . . Continue Reading »

Newman in the Modern Classroom

I really think learning should be optional, ma’am.” This statement comes from one of my ninth graders in response to yet another lecture of mine on how important it is for students to bring their literature books to class—a particular hurdle in my case because I teach at a military school. . . . . Continue Reading »

What's So Funny

The Morality of Laughter by f. h. buckleyuniversity of michigan press. 239 pp. $29.95 Football, a famously dour Scotsman once remarked, is not a question of life and death: “It’s more important than that.” The same might be said, with greater justice, of humor. A vast literature, growing by . . . . Continue Reading »

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