Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

I’m Coming Virginia

This last year I’ve been living in upstate New York, and the people have been great. Delightful students at Skidmore College, for one. But now, largely thanks to Lucas Morel , author of one of our better books on Lincoln, I’m returning to what’s become my home away from home, the . . . . Continue Reading »

Introducing Carl’s Rock Songbook

This blog has been carried by Peter Lawler for the last year or so, and the time has long since passed for yours truly to lend a hand. As a way of prodding myself into the unremunerated glories of blogospheric content production, I’ve given myself permission to muse upon old rock songs. Most . . . . Continue Reading »

Finally: Why We Like Music

It’s not because of its sonority, its emotion, its excellence, or its beauty. No, forget all that; none of those messy, unscientific explanations get to the bottom of why we like music. The real truth has at last been revealed in its fulness: Whether it’s the Beatles or Beethoven, people . . . . Continue Reading »

Why We Can't Hear Wagner's Music

Late in the nineteenth century, men and women in apparent possession of their senses heard Richard Wagner’s new operas and announced that their lives had changed forever. Charles Baudelaire saw Tannhäuser in 1861 and gushed, “Listening to this impassioned, despotic music, painted upon the . . . . Continue Reading »

Filter Tag Articles