A Forgotten Poet

Aimé Foinpré (1841-1880) died a hundred and thirty years ago today (17 December), killed as he leapt from a second story window in Paris’ seventh arrondissement to escape the wrath of a jealous husband; he was dead even before the raven-tressed cause of contention had hastily gathered up her clothes and fled from the room… . Continue Reading »

American Empire

“Empire” comes from the Latin imperium, derived from the verb imperare, which means to command. Thus an emperor, the man who governs by command rather than consensus or consultation. From the fall of the Berlin Wall to the invasion of Iraq, America was in command, not absolutely and not everywhere … . Continue Reading »

Julie Taymor’s Tempest

More famous for her Broadway productions of The Lion King and the upcoming Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark than for films such as Titus, Frida, and Across the Universe, Julie Taymor has brought a new version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest to the screen… . Continue Reading »

In Defense of Disgust

Relating an incident that occurred on an expedition to South America, Charles Darwin wrote: In Tierra del Fuego a native touched with his fingers some cold preserved meat which I was eating at our bivouac, and plainly showed utter disgust at its softness; whilst I felt utter disgust at my food being touched by a naked savage, though his hands did not appear dirty…Continue Reading »

A Christmas Book Sampler

A number of fascinating books that haven’t received all that much attention, but richly deserve it, have crossed my desk in recent months. Each would make a fine Christmas gift to someone on your list who likes to think outside the box… .Continue Reading »

A Global By-Pass of the Heart

In vitro fertilization is not therapy because “it does not treat whatever pathologies are at the root of couples’ infertility,” writes Tim Muldoon on the Patheos website, taking issue with the Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded to Robert Edwards for his work in developing the techniques of human in vitro fertilization… . Continue Reading »

The Parable of the Miners

Two months ago, with the riveted world for an audience, the thirty-three Chilean miners who spent seventy days in the darkness of the San Jose mine emerged one by one into the light of day. Worldwide, watchers responded with outpourings of enthusiasm, wonder and relief… . Continue Reading »

The Advent Search

“Derek? Who’s Derek?” begins a flyer I have in my files. “He isn’t a prophet or a god, just a member of the Unitarian-Universalist Community at Pitt. You see, we draw upon many sources in our search for truth. Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism. And most importantly You [sic]. After all, you determine your own faith.” … . Continue Reading »

Brokenness and Modern Poetry

Readers charged that Kathleen Graber's poetry was “slovenly” and “shapeless.” As the poetry editor of First Things, I thought I’d step in and open a wider discussion of poetry, particularly as it pertains to First Things Continue Reading »