Correspondence: Was Shakespeare Catholic?

I shall ignore the shrill personal attacks upon me in Robert Miola’s spleen-venting review of my book , The Quest for Shakespeare , in your August/September issue. I would, however, like to respond to the factual errors and seriously misleading rhetoric with which his review is peppered.In . . . . Continue Reading »

A Tale of Sound and Fury

Macbeth is Shakespearean tragedy at its scariest. It opens with a crash of thunder and a flash of lightening, with a hurly-burly of fog and filthy air, with three spellbinding wicked witches¯and it only gets worse from there. Notoriously difficult to produce, Macbeth has been christened . . . . Continue Reading »

The Offense of Piety

The intemperate, even violent tone in recent criticisms of faith is quite striking. Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens: They seem an agitated crew, quick to caricature, quick to denounce, quick to slash away at what they take to be the delusions and conceits of faith. And the phenomenon is not strictly . . . . Continue Reading »

Hannah Montana

Even if you go around with one or several fingers stuffed into each ear, you will not be able to exclude the words “Hannah Montana” from your field of consciousness, especially now that the number one movie in the United States bears that name. No American citizen is permitted to be . . . . Continue Reading »

Reason and Pop Atheism

The publishing world, it seems, is just as prone to the fickleness of trends and fashions as is, well, the fashion industry. A few years ago, a whole spate of books came out on Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust, most of them flogging (surely not by coincidence) the same dead horse of papal perfidy. . . . . Continue Reading »

Jane Austen and Park Honan

I don’t have the computer skills, let alone the patience, to set up my own blogsite. So I am especially grateful to the editors of First Things for their ecumenical hospitality in opening their cyber-pages to voices other than their own during this month of August. In my first foray into this . . . . Continue Reading »

Of Time and the River

Of Time and the River I love the way the river rollicks here, and how it sluices headlong down the hill to hurtle through these spruces in a thrill of spray. Up-slope, beneath the glacier’s sheer façade, this melt of snow that fell the year the earth was made emerges as a rill; then, far . . . . Continue Reading »

Films of the Spirit

It is a truth seldom acknowledged that the most delightful art is also the most didactic. Jane Austen comes readily to mind, as does the best of children’s literature. Supposed counterexamples only prove the rule. Oscar Wilde is celebrated for his dictum that “bad art is always sincere,” but . . . . Continue Reading »